The world’s living rooms need a reality check, and Ikea believes Annie Leibovitz is just the photographer to provide it.
New research from the Ingka Group, the largest Ikea franchisee, finds that 48% of people feel their life at home isn’t accurately reflected in media. So it’s named Leibovitz artist in residence for 2023, sending her on a globe-trotting portrait mission.
The idea stems from the company's ninth annual "Life at Home" report. Surveying 37,000 people in 37 countries, the report explores what makes people feel truly at home. Perhaps unexpectedly, the research finds that just 62% of homeowners worldwide believe their home reflects who they are. Among renters, that falls to 47%.
“We don’t think that’s good enough,” the company writes in the report. “None of us should feel out of place in our own home.”
Leibovitz will photograph home and families in seven nations: Japan, the U.S., Germany, Italy, India, Sweden and England. The plan is to create a series of 25 portraits, all exploring “life at home.”
The report, which includes both qualitative and quantitative research, offers a detailed peek into people’s private spaces and what they do when no one is watching.
For example, one in three talked to themselves at home in the last year, and one in 10 people spoke to their plants. And in India, one out of four people is a plant whisperer.
A significant finding is that people say their beloved objects, such as refrigerator magnets, concert posters, novelty teapots and religious shrines, are the elements that most make home their own.
Those who feel their home reflects them are almost twice as likely to say it is also a source of mental well-being.
But there are also plenty of frustrations, with 80% naming things that bother them. Clutter, messiness and household chores top the list. And 60% say their home doesn’t provide enough privacy for everyone living there. One in 10 have hidden from others in their homes. (For snake owners, that rises to one in three.)
A spokesperson tells Marketing Daily this is the first time the 80-year-old retailer has named an artist in resident, and that the photos will be used in connection with the Life at Home projects.