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People increasingly see their homes as leisure centres, according to Paula Higgins.

So what is your home actually for? It isn’t a question we tend to ask ourselves, but a new survey suggests we are looking at our homes in different ways than we used to. Obviously our homes provide shelter from the elements, as well as security from predators (nowadays criminals rather than animals). They can also be status symbols  and style statements, which is a concern as old as humanity itself, prompting such masterpieces as Venetian palaces and English stately homes.

But nowadays we are also clearly seeing our homes as places of recreation and entertainment. With the rise of gender equality, the kitchen has transformed from a small room at the back of the Victorian townhouse to the centre piece of many 21st century middle class British homes. But the new survey into the most coveted things for the home shows how much we expect our homes to be leisure centres. What is the  number one must-have item? The hot tub. Further down the list are 3D TVs, and sound systems for every room. Department stores are full of home cinema systems, play systems and games machines such as pool tables and table tennis tables.  

Many people secretly share the dream of Michael Jackson, whose Neverland home was basically a theme park. All this is obviously a sign of how affluent we have become compared to a generation ago, who tended to see their homes in far more modest terms. The home is no longer just where the heart is. It is where we stay to have fun!

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