Are you one of the staggering number of Brits who claim to suffer ‘Housebarrassment’?

A significant number of not so house-proud Brits are embarrassed when guests visit their homes

New research shared by home improvement retailer, Wickes reveals 61 per cent of us admit to feeling embarrassed by at least one aspect of our homes.

They have coined the phrase ‘Housebarrassment’ – the feeling of unease or embarrassment at the thought of guests seeing certain elements of our home.

With this in mind the retailer is launching a new brand campaign #CureHousebarrassement, seen in the new TV advert.

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With almost two thirds feeling an element of shame when inviting others into their homes, presumably this time of the year causes great stress? Almost five million homeowners in fact, are likely to feel judged by visitors during the festive period.

Are you suffering Housebarrassment?

home with brick wall and open door

(Image credit: Future PLC/Spike Powell)

‘With our research demonstrating that so many people in the UK have felt embarrassment of some element of their home,’ explains Mandy Minichiello, Head of Showroom Marketing at Wickes. ‘We want to help customers understand that anything from a lick of paint or updating your kitchen can make a huge difference to help ‘Cure Housebarrassment’.

Perhaps unsurprisingly bathrooms were stated  the worst offenders for  causing such feelings.

Whether it's dated fixtures and fittings, or tired looking decor the research reveals 41 per cent wished their homes looked better. A third even admitted to apologising for the way their home looks.

When reflecting on interiors, there are clear regional divides, with 55 per cent of Southerners proving to be more home conscious than those up North, with 40 per cent.

kitchen with table and chair with woman

(Image credit: Wickes)

Looking into the root of causing the nation the most ‘Housebarrassment’, bathrooms topped the list with 16 per cent of the vote. Followed closely by kitchens at 15 per cent, gardens with 10 per cent and cloakrooms 6 per cent.

Consequently, it's these living spaces that are most likely to receive a refresh every few years.

As a result of the embarrassment factor over half, 57 per cent will only invite guests over once a month or less. Despite 35 per cent believing their homes will be judged, a third of those surveyed admitted to judging their own friends and families houses when visiting.

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The new campaign advert features a couple who have been thrown a curveball, when long distance friends announce they're visiting for Christmas.

Dan and Bridget, the TV couple, then turn to Wickes to help transform their kitchen in time for their guests, to avoid Housebarrassment. This is the first installment in the #CureHousebarrassment campaign.


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.