You know that scene in America’s Sweethearts when John Cusack complains about Catherine Zeta-Jones taking her new beau to “their restaurant”? As if by doing that, she’s poisoned all the dinners he had with her there in the past. Have you’ve experienced that? Did you ever wonder why that is?
This is happening because we naturally build meaning around places and actions and when that meaning is strong, we develop something called place attachment.
A key concept at the basis of environmental psychology, place attachment is a complex phenomenon. It is a set of emotions shaped by a web of interconnected factors and behaviours. When these emotions raise to a certain level we feel that connection toward a place.
Furthermore, we perceive the immediate space around us as an extension of our own physical self and because of this we naturally gravitate toward proximities that we feel comfortable in. The picturesque cities of southern Europe are fascinating to many because they produce fantastic proximities.
By nature, homes are meaningful enough to allow such powerful attachment bonds and like anything that you’re bonded to, that bond needs to be positive and pleasant in order to keep you happy and sane.
Homes are pretty much the clearest example of an extension of the Self.
Image courtesy of Dochia interior design
Beyond the declutter, the cleanliness, the good light and good air that they should always offer, what you want is to find your place in them. To really find your place in them.
You want to occupy them in such a way that the small bits of activity that constitute your indoor life are all enhanced by the space where you perform them. From cooking to reading a book to playing a PlayStation game, the physical “bubble” that you occupy while performing these activities needs to be understood and designed from the inside out.
And if it is, it will have the power to boost your mood, make your activity more pleasant and essentially make you feel good about yourself.