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Life behind kitchen doors not all it seems


Aussies don’t like eating at the table – possibly because we’re embarrassed by the state of our kitchens.

That was just one of the findings in the second annual IKEA Life At Home report. The report analysed global eating and living habits and compared how Australians lived in and around the kitchens with residents of eight other countries.


Kitchen chaos

It found that one in five Australians would feel uncomfortable if a friend looked in their kitchen (more than any other capital city) , saying their kitchens were:  messy and untidy (32%); dirty and needed a clean (27%); or small and crowded (22%).

But while we may be embarrassed by the state of our kitchens, we do pride ourselves on the quality of food we eat, with 59% of respondents planning to buy food that was: sustainably sourced or organic (50%) or locally produced (74%) as often as possible. More than half (59%) were keen to grow herbs, plants, flowers and vegetables at home.


What a waste

Being a nation of foodies also has some consequences, with many guilty of being wasteful when it comes to food. The study found 24% of respondents admitted buying food only to discover that they already had it in the fridge, while 26% said they had often found food that had gone off and had to be thrown away.

While more than half of the respondents said that their family always ate together when they were a child, the kitchen and dining room had now become a place for any and every home activity – but not necessarily eating.

Instead, only a third of respondents ate at the table every day, instead choosing to eat in bed (13%), alfresco (12%) and even in the bathroom (4%).

There were even two out of five that never ate dinner in the kitchen during the week.




  1. 73% are confident when it comes to cooking at home.
  2. 62% cook every day, or every other day, during the week.
  3. 54% enjoy cooking.
  4. 22% find cooking relaxing.
  5. 39% wish they could eat with others more often.

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Phyllis Stylianou

Phyllis Stylianou is a journalist with 35 years’ experience as a reporter, sub-editor and editor. Writing is the great love of her life (after her family) – as is renovating old homes and building new ones (which she’s embarking on again!) So writing about everything to do with building, renovating and gardening is her passion.

The opinions expressed in this article are the opinions of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Homeloans Ltd.

  • Lisa

    We have an open plan kitchen, so I try to ensure it’s always tidy – but there are days when the accumulated mess gets a bit too much! There’s always something satisfying doing a good tidy up (until the next time 😉