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The Eyes Have It: Why Your Holiday Guests Are Staring at Your Office Chair

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Is your home about to become an Airbnb site full of relatives visiting for the holidays? Or are you selling your home and thinking of having an open house? Either way, you may be buying scented candles and colorful flowers to set the stage. But have you zhuzhed your office chair for the attention coming its way?

A new study from reveals that a humble office chair is among the top 10 items that people focus on when visiting a home. The research team discovered this by showing subjects images of rooms and using eye-tracking technology to pinpoint what caught their attention most frequently and for the longest duration. In addition to the office chair, kitchen floors, bathroom mirrors, and bed throws also ranked high on the surprising list.

Why does it matter?

“First impressions are everything,” says Tamara Kaplan, licensed real estate salesperson on the KaplanxKnight Team at Serhant. “Homes can exude confidence just like people.” 

But don’t fret if you’re a homeowner looking to make your entire house—not just a crumb-ridden kitchen floor—gaze-worthy. The researchers also generated photos of the 20 most-coveted decor trends right now and tracked which ones quickly commanded a subject’s attention.

So here are the exact parts of your home that attract scrutiny, and the design upgrades you can add that just might change what people focus on in your living space.

The home office

home office eye study
The size of the dots in each photo represents where subjects’ eyes landed and lingered the longest.

Office chairs beat all other items in the home as the most viewed. If you’re scratching your head over this one, remember the amount of time everyone spent working from home over the past 18 months.

“People look at the office chair first and foremost because they want to think about what it would be like to sit in that chair in that particular office,” says Kristin Bartone, owner of Bartone Interiors.

“The other elements in a home office are typically hard surfaces such as shelves and desks, which people don’t connect with. That furniture isn’t something they can experience with their body.”

The new eye candy: Don’t worry if you can’t afford a fancy new office chair. House plants are No. 12 on the list of 20 decor trends. Pop a few on your desk to draw the eye away from your beat-up chair.

The kitchen

There’s no need to replace your oven. Turns out, people barely notice the appliance.

Research shows your kitchen floor draws the most eyes. Cabinets were people’s second favorite things to gaze upon, garnering almost 15 times as many views as the oven.

“The floor is the largest item in the kitchen and acts as a grounding point for the rest of the items,” explains Bartone.

The new eye candy: Is your kitchen floor beat up from constant traffic? Distract all those eyes with a fancy statement faucet (No. 11 on the top decor list).

“A home with high-end finishes and fixtures is attractive to buyers,” says Serri Knight, a licensed real estate salesperson on the KaplanxKnight Team at Serhant. 

The living room

living room eye track
A coffee table draws the most attention in the living room.

Your coffee table and rug are practically neck and neck as far as what a visitor’s eye prefers to wander to in your living room.

“Whether it’s mental or physical, people are always looking for connection,” says Bartone.

The new eye candy: Consider investing in a midcentury coffee table and a Berber rug if your living room needs to level up. Both trends are in the top five of most eye-catching.

The No. 1 item of the moment is boucle furniture—and the trend of soft, nubby, I-need-to-snuggle-this pieces for the home is on the rise. The easiest way to add boucle? Colorful throw pillows.

The bedroom

bedroom eye tracking
Curtains seem to escape attention.

If you don’t want anyone staring too closely at your dusty bedside table (No. 6), we’ve got the fix: a new throw blanket, which topped the list of bedroom eye-catchers—even behind a chest of drawers (No.2).

“Throws are different, so they stand out,” says Bartone. “And throws are typically tactile and have a soft weave that people are drawn toward in an effort to experience that texture.”

The new eye candy: This fix is easy-peasy. Buy a new throw in a can’t-miss pattern such as this herringbone blankie from Brahms Mount.

The bathroom

bathroom eye trends
Everyone loves to look at a mirror, mirror on the wall.

Bathroom mirrors and drawers under your sink are both among the top 10 areas where people preferred to peek in a home.

“You see all these glitzy bathrooms on social media like Instagram or Pinterest,” says Knight. “That’s what buyers are familiar with and accustomed to noticing at this point, so it’s almost a standard.”

The new eye candy: Prefer someone to not focus too keenly on your hard-to-replace old vanity? Try simply adding some macrame wall art, as this fiber piece ranks eighth on the decor list.

The post The Eyes Have It: Why Your Holiday Guests Are Staring at Your Office Chair appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights |®.

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