The Homes That TV Built - Survey Reveals the Influence of TV Shows On UK Homes

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A survey by insurer MORE TH>N has found that 4.6 million homeowners have filled their homes with furniture and designs inspired by some of the UK's favourite TV shows.

What a living room filled with the most common TV show-inspired furnishings might look like

It is fascinating to see just how many homeowners are turning to sitcoms, dramas and even the likes of TOWIE as a source of inspiration for their own homes.

At times it feels like we know the homes in television shows better than our own, but for some an affinity with fictional living spaces extends far beyond the TV screen. In fact, according to a survey by MORE TH>N Home Insurance [1], an estimated 4.6 million UK homeowners have been so taken with living spaces in sitcoms and dramas that they’ve spent thousands of pounds filling their own homes with identical furniture and interior design features[2].

Taking in everything from the apartments in Friends, to the 60s design masterpieces of Mad Men and even the ‘reality’ homes of TOWIE, the survey sought to discover just how influential iconic on-screen living spaces are on Britons’ homes. For almost one third (31 per cent) of the 3,000 homeowners surveyed it would seem such shows are a treasure trove of inspiration, with respondents spending an average of £3,836 each to make their humble abodes look like they belong on the TV – over £3.5 million in total.

In terms of the TV home that’s held in the highest regard, nothing comes close to Carrie Bradshaw’s aspirational apartment from Sex & The City. While the US comedy-drama may have left screens almost a decade ago, in the style and interior design stakes it has truly stood the test of time, with those polled spending a total of over £530,000 on replicating the famous walk-in wardrobe (recreated by 45 per cent of positive respondents), floor-to-ceiling bookcases (38 per cent), and flowing white curtains (30 per cent) seen in the chic Manhattan pad – more than any other on-screen living space.

Although Carrie’s flat is deemed the most inspirational on-screen home it’s the Norcross home in TOWIE which is the most expensive to replicate, with homeowners spending an average £3,016 each to kit out their home with the range cooker, framed plasma TV and pool table.

The same can’t be said, however, for Del and Rodney’s Peckham pad from Only Fools & Horses, which, despite a recent revival in 70s furniture, has not inspired its fans. Sitting at the bottom of the table, only six per cent of respondents said they had put a cocktail bar in their home and worst still only three per cent had taken a liking to the featured tiger rug.

Looking across the country, homeowners in the West Midlands (35 per cent), London (34 per cent), and the North East (33 per cent) are the most likely to turn to the living spaces of TV shows to inspire their own abodes, with a household in these regions spending on average £2,592, £2,607 and £2,350 respectively.

Matthew Poll, of MORE TH>N Home Insurance, commented: “There are countless TV programmes, magazines and books dedicated to inspiring interior design; however, it’s fascinating to see just how many homeowners are turning to sitcoms, dramas and even the likes of TOWIE as a source of inspiration for their own homes.

“Given how much time we invest in TV shows it’s perhaps not surprising that those same living spaces leave an indelible impression on homeowners and some clearly come at a significant cost. We all have our prized possessions and whether it’s the reclining chairs from Joey’s apartment or the vintage science equipment from the Big Bang Theory, it’s important that all homeowners ensure they have appropriate cover for the furniture and features they have spent so much time and money on.”

Notes to editors:

1. Research conducted by One Poll on behalf of MORE TH>N Home Insurance in May 2013. 3,000 British homeowners were surveyed.
2. According to “A Century of Home Ownership and Renting in England and Wales” (Part of 2011 Census Analysis, A Century of Home Ownership and Renting in England and Wales) there are currently 23.4 million households in England and Wales, of which 15 million are owner occupied. 31 per cent of the 3,000 homeowners surveyed by MORE TH>N Home Insurance claimed they had been inspired to purchase furniture and interior design features after watching TV sitcoms and dramas. 31 per cent of 15 million equals 4.6 million.

For a full list of the survey's results please see inside.morethan.com

About MORE TH>N:

MORE TH>N is the direct financial services arm of RSA. It offers motor, home, pet, life and travel insurance by phone and via the internet. It also offers van, shop, office, business car, hotels, property, club and contractor.

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Kaidee Sibborn
MORE TH>N
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