3 unexpected things guests notice in your home, according to an eye-tracking study

They might surprise you

Ediana Washed Chenille Rug in home office space with wooden desk, chair, and house plant
(Image credit: Urban Outfitters)

We love making our homes into calm spaces for ourselves, but we often wonder what kind of impression they give off to guests and even virtual visitors. While you're sweating about a dusty corner or not-so-plush pillow, your friends might be fixated on something else completely. Luckily, a study done last year revealed three things in our homes that are likely to catch guests' eyes.

So what are the top things guests notice? When you're trying to impress friends and family, we'd imagine it would be things like the smell of our hand soap, the plushness of our bath towels, and how comfy the sofa is. In actual fact, it's not what you'd expect at all...

The top three things guests notice

a clean white minimalist hallway with wooden flooring

(Image credit: Norsu interiors)

The research conducted by Confused.com used eye-tracking technology to locate areas of different rooms that hold people's gaze for the longest time when they are visiting. No more guessing needed — here's what your friends and fam pick up on the most.

1. Office chairs

White chair with blue illustrated design in home office space

(Image credit: Urban Outfitters)

In the top spot were office chairs. This might not come as a surprise to the WFH people and freelancers out there, but for others, it's not so obvious. During the pandemic, a lot of us invested in functional office items like chairs, desks, and laptop stands. Therefore, our sitting setup can be subject to looks with people likely comparing everyone else's chairs to our uncomfy choices now — especially via video calls.

Office chairs aren't always the most beautiful pieces of furniture. However, a proper office chair with lumbar support is much better than working from the sofa or your bed. And now, there are some seriously well-designed office chairs from Amazon and other stores that are pretty cute.

If it's time to take the plunge, investing in a good chair can be revolutionary for your back and your desk's aesthetic, too, of course.  Guests will be admiring it rather than noticing an ugly black chair tucked in the corner.

2. Kitchen floors

a modern white kitchen with shelves and wooden floors

(Image credit: Norsu interiors)

Next up, we have kitchen floors. How are yours looking? With 323 views and maintaining the gaze of visitors for 2,987 milliseconds, kitchen flooring is the second most viewed element in the home, according to this study.

Whatever yours looks like, keeping it freshly swept and mopped when guests come over goes a long way. If you're planning a kitchen renovation, it could be worth spending a bit more time making sure you're 100% happy with your decision. But if like the majority of us you rent, consider keeping the floors all around your home that bit cuter with area rugs or even peel-and-stick tiles. These are perfect for covering up ugly flooring and backsplashes or countertops. 

3. Throws on a bed

a blush pink and green style-bedroom with art, a bedside table, and a bed with pillows and throws on

(Image credit: Norsu interiors)

It turns out the throw blanket on your bed can also get a lot of attention from guests. Throws were the fourth most-noticed element recorded in the study, after children's beds or cots. 

The best throws bring all the cozy vibes, as well as provide extra warmth on chilly nights. Layering a blanket at the bottom of your bed is a great way to add more texture to your bedroom and make the bed look more luxurious. But we're very into throws on the couch, too.

Millie joined Real Homes in early 2021 as a homes news writer. When she isn't writing about trends, makeovers and houseplant care, she spends her free time making tweaks to her rented flat in North London. Her next project is a very basic armchair reupholstering job to help create a cosy reading nook in her living room. She loves browsing antique centres, tending to her small front garden, and is never without some fresh flowers at home.