Increasing your home’s appeal through design

(BPT) – When you think of where you are happiest in your home, is it a place where you can relax, where you enjoy socializing, or where you feel most productive? Most people associate positive feelings with their home — but more specifically, they associate positive emotions with certain parts of their home.

A new study commissioned by leading fireplace and grill manufacturer Napoleon examined the connection people have to different rooms in their home, and how the design of those rooms can have a direct correlation to their emotions. The research uncovered significant findings that can help homeowners create a more comfortable, welcoming home.

“Home is where we raise our families, celebrate holidays and rest our head at the end of a long day, so it’s no surprise we attribute specific emotions to different rooms in our home,” said Stephen Schroeter, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Napoleon. “By examining those emotional connections, we uncovered where the key hubs in a home are, and how to maximize memorable moments in those areas.”

Identifying “hot spots”

One of the main goals of the study was to identify a home’s “hot spots” — rooms or spaces associated with positive emotions and memories. When designed right — by overlapping key room dynamics — a hot spot can increase the overall satisfaction with one’s home. The most beloved rooms are designed to accommodate a balance of functionality, relaxation and socialization.

In the study, rooms qualified as a hot spot when at least 50 percent of respondents checked at least two of the following emotional categories to describe that room: welcoming/social, cozy/warm, relaxed/peaceful, or fun/enjoyable. The more the emotional categories overlapped, the hotter the hot spot.

Based on the above criteria, the following three rooms rose to the top as hot spots: living room, bedroom and kitchen. The living room was the hottest of the hot spots, ranking at more than 60 percent in all four categories. This finding confirms those three rooms should continue to be a focus in home design, as they are prime with potential to become even hotter hot spots. With smart design they can help skyrocket your connection to your home.

Tips for creating hot spots

Just because research identified the living room, bedroom and kitchen as hot spots doesn’t mean other rooms in the home can’t also earn the distinction. The study found that hot spots don’t happen by accident — they can be created. A room’s ability to evoke positive emotions and memorable moments is directly related to the design and amenities of that room.

“There are countless design strategies to increase a room’s appeal,” said President of Visbeen Architects Wayne Visbeen, who worked with Napoleon on the hot spots research study.

Following are Visbeen’s top tips for creating or maximizing a home’s hot spots:

1. Fire it up — Not only do fireplaces serve as an important focal point in a space, but they also evoke strong positive emotions. When evaluating the rooms in their current home, research participants were much more likely to associate positive emotions with the rooms that had fireplaces compared to the rooms that didn’t. Adding a fireplace to a space that might not typically have one — like a bedroom or kitchen — can help increase its overall appeal.

2. Add seating options — Increasing the number and different types of seating options in a room can help create a more welcoming space. Doing so can address all three key room dynamics identified in the study — increasing the functionality of a space, while creating distinct areas for relaxation and socialization.

3. Consider functionality — Homeowners most enjoy rooms that serve a defined purpose, which is part of the reason the living room and kitchen tied as the most important room in the home at 34 percent each. By designing with functionality in mind, you can create spaces that are more useful, and in turn, more used.

With the right design, you can increase the appeal of rooms in your home that might not currently be on your favorites list and make your most loved rooms even more enjoyable.

For design inspiration or more information about Napoleon, visit


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