It takes more than a lousy real estate market to discourage Americans from musing about ways in which they'd upgrade their homes. An online poll by House Beautiful gives some detail on this tendency. One question asked people to say which room they'd choose for a $50,000 spending spree. Just 1 percent picked the dining room, a telltale sign of dwindling interest in what was once the showplace of many homes. The living room didn't fare much better (11 percent). More than half (52 percent) said they'd put the money into the kitchen, with the master bedroom/bath a distant runner-up (20 percent).
Asked to cite the "guilty pleasure" they'd most like for their bedroom, a plurality chose "a huge walk-in closet all to myself" (44 percent), with 500-thread-count Egyptian cotton bedding edging out a custom mattress for second place (20 percent vs. 18 percent). Respondents' ideal bathroom luxury would be a multi-jet shower (picked by 27 percent), ahead of a jacuzzi/spa tub and a bathtub with a view (23 percent apiece). As for one's "dream media room," the most important item is "the ultimate sound system" (33 percent), ranking ahead of a big sectional sofa (29 percent), a DVR or TiVo (23 percent) and screening-room or stadium seating (15 percent).
In the home they've actually got now, where do Americans spend the most time? The family room got the most votes (33 percent), followed by the kitchen (31 percent), living room (22 percent) and bedroom (14 percent).