October 31, 2011 07:28 ET

Homeowner or 'Show-Home Owner'? Brits Spend GBP 20 Billion Per Year to Keep Up With the Joneses

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Oct. 31, 2011) - Don't move, improve' has been a popular mantra over the last few years – one the British public seem to be taking seriously, admitting to spending a whopping £20 billion* each year on non-functional, decorative items for their homes such as scatter cushions and rugs.

Feeling under pressure to impress the neighbours with the latest home trends motivated the massive spend, according to recent research by

The survey, by online retailer, found three in five (57 per cent) spend time and money updating their interiors to 'keep up with the Joneses' and one in three (34 per cent) go out of their way to emulate designer homes from TV programmes and magazines.

Surprisingly, men are feeling the pressure more than women to keep up with house-proud pals, with 40 per cent admitting they are fanatical about furnishings, compared to 31 per cent of women. The average male forks out almost £500 on interior updates annually, £100 more than their female counterparts, and spends 16 working days per year – or ten hours each month – trawling the shops for items to update their homes.

Women in their 50s are the only group more obsessed with their homes than the average bloke, with one in five (18 per cent) admitting to hitting homeware stores for 20 hours a month, averaging 45 minutes per day, and splurging nearly £600-a-year on their habit.

Julia Kendell, interior designer and DIY SOS presenter, explains: "It's encouraging to see that so many people are inspired to update their homes, but it's very easy to get excited about accessories and blow the budget on smaller items that won't have much impact. It's always a good idea to browse the internet for ideas and sit down with a pad of paper and work out what will be the best investment to have most effect on a new room scheme. I would advise investing in the larger items of furniture first and buy cushions and accessories if the budget allows at a later date."

Visit for style tips and interior advice and for the chance to win £1,000 to spend on isme homewares and a one to one interior design consultation with Julia Kendell.

*Figure based on 46million adults in the UK (UK national statistics), spending an average of £446 a year on interior items for the home

Notes to Editors:


- The research for was carried out online by OnePoll in July 2011 by a panel of over 4000 adults aged 18 and over.

- All research conducted adheres to the MRS Codes of Conduct (2010) in the UK. OnePoll is a member of the ICC/ESOMAR World Research Guidelines, is registered with the Information Commissioner's Office and is fully compliant with the Data Protection Act (1998)


- isme is the new home shopping brand from Shop Direct Group, the UK's largest online and home shopping stable, and owner of brands including and

- Available online and in catalogue format, offers fashion, homewares, electricals, beauty and children's toys and clothes.

- For more information, log on to Further details regarding Shop Direct can be found at

Contact Information

  • For further information, images or quotes please call
    isme PR team at BJL
    Lizzie Smith
    0161 831 7141

    isme PR team at BJL
    Rosalyn Kelly
    0161 831 7141