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Report on Dream House

Smart girls decide for themselves™.

About you

The Dream House survey proved to be quite popular. It was taken by a total of 1047 people, 1008 of whom are female, 16 male, and 23 individuals who didn't answer this question. The age of most respondents falls between 10 and 17 years, so it's no surprise that the average age is about 13. As far as where you fit in your family, there are 391 who are the oldest, 207 who fall in the middle, 282 youngest, 135 only children, and 32 people who chose not to answer. We were pleased to see that the people who took this survey come from a wide variety of ethnic backgrounds and from all over the world. While the majority of respondents come from the US, Britain, and Canada, we also had people from the United Arab Emirates, Laos, Namibia, and New Zealand. Cool! Since this survey is about your ideal home, it will be interesting to look at where you live now. Check out the bar graph below for the breakdown.
Where do you live now?
Location, location, location
The way sand manages to get everywhere drives me nuts, but the majority of people (a whopping 421) think the beach is the place to be. A number of others would prefer to live in a big (190) or small (127) city. We got some...curious responses to this question. A few people with really low standards said that their dream home would be a "box" or "a hole in the ground." Another interesting answer was the "Arsenal football ground." I'm guessing that the person meant he/she wanted to live near it and not on it, but you never know with football fans. ;-) See the graph below for a complete report of the responses.
Where do you want to live?
Outward appearances
You'll probably spend more time inside your home rather than admiring it from the outside, but it's still important to make sure that your house's exterior is just the way you want it. The colors people wanted for their dream house ranged from a relatively conservative tan (206) or white (140) to exotic orange (10). The table below shows how varied the responses were.
Color preferences
Red 585.68
Orange 100.98
Yellow 595.77
Green 302.94
Blue 18818.4
Purple 646.26
Tan 20620.16
Gray 676.56
white 14013.7
brick 363.52
stone 242.35
pink 535.19
glass 212.05
wood 80.78
black 181.76
combo 111.08
Brown 100.98
None/Don't care 40.39
other 151.47
It was also interesting to see the overall styles you prefer. Unsurprisingly, the least popular is prehistoric while an overwhelming number chose the modern look. The graph below summarizes the results:
Overall style
Building blocks
The choice of building material is critical. Just ask the three little pigs! As architects experiment with alternative materials, we may see more unconventional houses like those built with carpet remnants or old tires. But at the moment, our options are fairly limited. Most respondents opted to be practical and chose brick (379), but 294 would prefer glass. Those who live in glass houses...ok, I'll stop. 170 people want stone, 86 want wood, and 83 chose another, unspecified building material.
We found out a few more things about how you wanted the outside of your ideal home to look:

Number of stories
~Ranch: 55
~Two: 386
~Three: 577

~Roses: 520
~Tulips: 208
~Sunflowers: 143
~Grass: 90
~Petunias: 32
~Rocks: 28
~Dirt: 4

Dividing the house from the street
~White picket fence: 215
~Flowers: 157
~Sidewalk: 139
~Iron gate: 134
~Trees: 97
~Stone wall: 89
~Bushes: 81
~Wooden fence: 61
~Nothing: 56

It's what's inside that counts
Now we can get to the good stuff--the inside of your dream home. With the popularity of tv shows like Trading Spaces, While You Were Out, Changing Rooms, House Invaders, The Painted House, etc., people are probably more knowledgable about their decorating options now than ever before. The most critical issue is the decorating theme because that will affect your other decisions. Apart from Modern (582) and Traditional (147), none of the other themes had a very strong following.
Floor it
Considering how many of the designers on decorating shows seem to value hardwood floors and the fact that they're relatively easier to maintain, it's not surprising that 398 of you prefer wood floors. The next popular option was marble with 249, followed closely by 235 who want carpeting. Additionally, 75 people want tile, 41 want stone, and 12 chose vinyl.
Room by room
Next, we asked a number of questions about your preferences for specific rooms:

Family room style
~Cozy: 451
~Open: 298
~Fun: 216
~Formal: 48

Dining room table
~Modern: 415
~Traditional: 217
~Circular: 139
~Formal: 118
~Low table: 102
~Picnic: 11

Dining room walls
~Paint (solid color): 379
~Sponge paint: 189
~Wallpaper: 158
~Splatter paint: 111
~Wood: 82
~Fabric: 64
~Feathers: 21

Kitchen appliances
~Steel: 429
~Color: 217
~Blend: 136
~Black: 111
~White: 103

Essential kitchen feature
~Dishwasher: 317
~Stove: 314
~Island: 197
~Water cooler: 97
~Microwave: 79

Bedroom theme
~Beach: 252
~Other: 208
~Princess: 117
~Music: 99
~Flowers: 73
~Rainbow: 47
~Space: 45
~70's theme: 40
~Sports: 31
~TV/Movie character: 27
~Animal: 23

Type of bed in bedroom
~King: 288
~Waterbed: 238
~Queen: 240
~Loft: 182
~Twin: 22
~Trundle: 17
~Bunkbed: 16

Essential game room feature
~Air hockey: 304
~Pool table: 241
~Arcade games: 178
~Pop-a-shot basketball: 123
~Ping pong table: 112
~Darts: 32
Feature presentation
Special feature
Now we come to the final set of questions about dream home. First, we wanted to know what special feature you wanted your house to have. The choices were all tempting: backyard waterslide, bowling alley, trampoline, elevator, or tennis court. To find out which was the most popular option, check out the pie chart below.

Special feature
Essential room
We also wanted to know which room you absolutely had to have in your dream home. 177 consider a music room essential, 163 hospitable souls have to have a guest room, 140 scholarly individuals need a library, 111 want an office/computer room, 101 health-conscious people require an exercise room, 71 want a play room, 60 would be upset if their house didn't have a video game room, and 23 want a sewing/craft room.

Essential backyard feature
The outcome here was pretty much as we expected. The pool, of course, was the most popular choice. The runner-up was the hot tub (207) followed by the pond/waterfall (165), vegetable garden (26), gazebo (23), swing set (23), outdoor kitchen (13).
Quick glimpse of your interest in decorating
I like to help fix things around the house.
~Strongly disagree: 125
~Disagree: 303
~Agree: 463
~Strongly agree: 106

I watch makeover shows on television.
~Never: 95
~Sometimes: 447
~Frequently: 239
~Always: 214

I would like to decorate rooms for a living or as a career one day.
~Strongly disagree: 156
~Disagree: 362
~Agree: 370
~Strongly agree: 105

I have gotten ideas about decorating my room from reading magazines and watching tv shows about interior design.
~Strongly disagree: 81
~Disagree: 221
~Agree: 461
~Strongly agree: 232

How much control do you have in decorating your room?
~None: 35
~Some: 223
~A lot: 392
~Total: 347

Would you rather hire a professional to decorate your house or do it yourself?
~Hire a pro: 380
~Do it yourself: 617
Picture this
You're on a decorating make-over show, and you have the opportunity to makeover your best friend’s room. How would you design your friend’s room on a small budget and in a short amount of time?

Some of you put a lot of thought into your answers and came up with some incredibly creative--though perhaps not always practical--ideas. Here's a sampling of the responses:

~''My friend loves the beach. I would bring in something to cover the floor to make it feel soft like sand, and then add in artificial palm trees, murals of the ocean, and a bed that looks like a hammock. Also, the ceiling would have clouds on it, and the dressers would be light blue and covered in sea shells. It would take no time at all!!"

~"My friend and I are a lot alike. He is also a skater. Well, first of all, he has an extremely tall room so I’d take advantage of that by putting a swing-type thing in it. Then I'd take every skate boarding or snowboarding poster he has and cover one side of his room with them. He also has a bunch of old skate boards and snow boards that he has broken in half and kept. I would take those and nail them into the wall. After that, I would spray paint his name in graffiti on his wall of boards. He also has a bunch of sports things that he has gotten signed by famous people. So I’d make a wall about sports. He then has a lot of Indian in his back ground, so by his fireplace, I would put a lot of bright colors. Well, in his room, he has a bunch of old lockers that he took from the school’s locker room. I would kind of line those up on each side of his bed and make him have the whole jock thing going on. Then he has a huge couch and I would just take that and put his surround sound system around that and put his TV, stereo, Playstation 2, and other games and DVD's and stuff in the corner?!?"

~"I'd make a beach scene with a bed made out of fishing net, sort of like a hammock. There would be beach sand with a cover of plastic under it as flooring, palm trees everywhere, and the color of the room would be an ocean blue color."

~"Paint is the cheapest make over! So after fixing the holes in walls and ceiling for a perfect blank canvas, a nice coat of charcoal coloured paint sponged over with a medium grey and some stencils around the top edges of gargoyles. A wall of full-length mirrors so she can dance and try on clothes. Getting some IKEA shelves and painting all her furniture semi-gloss black. A curtain made of a blood red, velvety fabric would make her happy. And if I still have money, some satiny red cushions in the shape of daggers and dragons. I can sew, so it'd be cheaper."

~"Well, my friend Paige is totally cool. I know she’d most definitely like a bed on a huge shelf with a ladder going up to it, and a 10 in. TV (she’d love that!). But most importantly, she’d like a fireproof, bulletproof, soundproof door because she’s got younger brothers and a sister!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

~"Oh, wow! I would probably put a curtain around the bottom of her loft bed, so that there is a little room of its own that can be opened or closed. The curtain would be sort of a bold color, but not too disruptive. Maybe the desk could go under it. Then around about the bottom third of the walls, I would stencil bamboo. The walls are already this great green, so it would just create a contrast and sort of an Asian feeling. I love paper lamps, so I would probably hang some pretty ones on the ceiling, maybe pinkish or white or something. I would cover her bed in the fluffiest pillows I could find, with silk or satin covers on them, and blankets to match. I have always wondered if it would work to put futons covering a floor because I think that would be SOO comfortable just to lay around on! I think I would try that! :)"

~"l would make her room look like she is Hollywood. I would go out and find vintage (and cheap!) accessories to put around her room. As one of the projects, I would find a way to paint the Hollywood sign on her wall with a projector. There would be spotlights hanging from the ceiling and a mini-stage in one corner of her room. In that corner, there would be a spotlight on her, a mini-stage to stand on, and a microphone to sing along with music or practice on. It would be awesome. I would also re-decorate her furniture to fit the theme."

~"I would make her room a soccer room and put dots of skin color on the walls to look like people in the stands. I would make the carpet green for grass. Her bed would be up in a loft, where the announcer sits."

~"I would put candy jars all over her shelves and put lollipops on the floor. I would also make my own pillows that look like candy. And make matching sheets with real candy stitched on."

~"My best friend Jane is into pop music, Tiziano Ferro, TV, love, and the colors yellow/beige and red (quite the opposite of me, but oh well XD). I would paint the walls of her room in light creamy beige, leaving the ceiling white. I would put a wall-to-wall red-hued carpet on the ground and a red shade on the lamp (but design it so it would let normal white light through... probably a semi-orb one that creates a hat above the light bulb). I would frame Jane's posters of superstars and singers and hang them on the wall evenly, not clustering them together. I'd put light, tartan curtains on the windows and put the desk (wood, or a modern plastic one) in front of it. I'd provide three beanbags in shades of red and a small TV as well. The wardrobe would be a slide-in in the wall with a huge mirror set in the door."

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with us!

Please remember that all web-based polls are not scientific because the pollsters cannot randomly select the respondents to participate in the surveys.

All our surveys are anonymous; check out our privacy policy. All data copyright 1996-2000.


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