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Bye-bye bedroom, hello home office

28 May 2015

Nearly half (44%) of UK householders have changed rooms in their homes from their intended use into something completely different and the trend could spell the end of the guest bedroom.

Just under a quarter (23%) of householders have ditched their spare bedroom in favour of other, and 32% of those we surveyed have changed a room into a home office (32%), laundry room (13%) or a computer gaming room (12%), whilst 8% are now using their dining room or living room for different purposes.

Researchers, commissioned by Gocompare.com, polled over 2000 UK householders to find out how many of them had customised their accommodation and 11% said the changes have made their homes fit their lifestyles and 3% converted the use of the room instead of moving house. However, after ‘Home Office’, the second most common use of an extra room is simply for storing ‘junk’ which indicates the nation may be in need of a major de-clutter.

The UK’s 10 most popular ‘changed’ rooms:

1)    Home Office – 32%

2)    Junk Room – 25%

3)    Laundry Room – 13%

4)    Computer Gaming Room – 12%

5)    Hobby Workshop – 9%

6)    Library – 8%

7)    Collection Room – 6%

8)    Playroom – 6%

9)    Gym – 6%

10) Art Studio – 5%

Other new rooms created from old include music rooms and recording studios, home cinemas, and rooms for train sets and sun beds.

34% of over 65’s have converted a spare bedroom for another use, and over half (51%) of the pensioners we surveyed chose to switch a room into an office. 15% of 25 to 34 year olds have changed the use of a spare bedroom but nearly as many have changed the use of their living room (14%) or dining room (13%).

Ben Wilson from Gocompare.com Home Insurance, said: “It looks like the days of the guest bedroom are numbered. The spare bedroom might once have been set aside for visitors stopping over but now it seems more people are creating a permanent space for their computers and files or their everyday junk with guests most likely relegated to the sofa or camp bed.

“With Brits using their space for such a wide range of purposes it seems that the key to a home fit for modern day living is versatility. However, householders should also be aware of the implications having specialist office, technology or leisure equipment at home may have on their home insurance. For example, many policies will require you to declare if you have items above a specified value, sometimes that can be as little as £500, and if you regularly work from home you may also need to inform your insurer or your business equipment may not be covered.”

For information on insurance when working from home

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Notes to editors:

Between 20-23 February 2015, Vision Critical conducted an online survey among 2,019 randomly selected British adults who are Springboard UK panellists.  The margin of error-which measures sampling variability-is +/- 2.2%. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and regional data to ensure samples representative of the entire adult population of United Kingdom. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.