Research reveals it takes us Brits under a minute to judge someone’s home

First impressions really do count

Not to make homeowners paranoid, but new research reveals it takes us less than a minute to cast judgment. Within just 38 seconds of walking through the front door we judge someone's home.

Most will firstly notice if you the floors aren't vacuumed, windows are dirty and if there's a ‘funny’ smell.

The study found three quarters of adults admit to always forming an opinion on other's houses. Making a mental note if the washing-up hasn’t been done, what books are on the shelf and if the ornaments are dusty.

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kitchen with cleaning essentials and gloves

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Trevor Richards)

The study, of 2,000 adults commissioned by the Independent Network powered by VEKA, found six in 10 consider themselves to be house proud. With half worrying what others think of their dwellings.

As a result, 86 per cent feel the pressure when having guests over – admitting to giving the house a ‘major’ clean before anyone arrives. With six in 10 also revealing they are likely to make an extra special effort if it's a first-time visitor.

If the visit is arranged at short notice, 50 per cent will give their home a quick vacuum. while 48 per cent will quickly hide any clutter in cupboards.

A quarter will buy new candles or air fresheners especially for their guest. 23 per cent will purchase flowers and three in 10 splashing out on fancy food and drink.

living room with sofa set and floral curtains

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Simon Whitmore)

TOP 10 first impressions when visiting other's homes

1. The smell
2. The temperature
3. Whether or not the house have been vacuumed
4. How comfortable the furniture is
5. If the washing up is done or not
6. Dirty windows
7. The books they own
8. How well kept the furniture is
9. Colour of the walls
10. If the ornaments are dusty

The interior of a home is likely to be judged the most, admitted 42 per cent. Interestingly 36 per cent will form an opinion of a home inside AND out.

And of all the rooms in a house, it’s living rooms with 33 per cent where we cast most judgement.

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'Our homes are of course very personal to us and in many ways are a representation of our style, 'says a spokesman for the Independent Network. 'So there is a sense when we have visitors over that we are leaving ourselves open to criticism and judgement.'

'But people shouldn’t be apprehensive about what others may or may not think - ultimately it’s the opinion of the homeowners themselves which is most important.'


Tamara was Ideal Home's Digital Editor before joining the Woman & Home team in 2022. She has spent the last 15 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, both now at Future PLC. It’s with these award wining interiors teams that she's honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing. Tamara is always ahead of the curve when it comes to interiors trends – and is great at seeking out designer dupes on the high street.