Place Attachment and the Importance of Home

Recently, I stumbled across the idea of Place Attachment, a term from Environmental Psychology describing the bond people have with their surroundings. This sent me down a rabbit hole of research into why some people prefer towns over cities and others cities over towns, why the benefits of sidewalks go well beyond safety, and how place and trauma and the role of community are linked. Place Attachment is also used to help design physical spaces such as dorms or retirement homes. I think every designer should have at least a nodding acquaintance with the theory.

Research indicates that if people don’t feel a strong sense of home, it can be unnerving. I think that’s why I tend to rearrange the art and the furniture when stressed. If you can’t control any other element of place, you can at least control your throw pillows!

Recently, I ordered this vintage lion door knocker for my office. It doesn’t suit my current house but will surely suit my next one. And it will serve as an excellent paperweight until such time as it can be installed. I’ll think of it as a portable version of Place.

I want my next front door to look something like Anne Hepfer’s front door in this month’s House and Home. Isn’t that colour fabulous? It looks like a jewel. Wouldn’t the lion suit it perfectly?

Photo: @annehepfer

As I was bouncing all over the internet doing my research, I came across this terrific piece by Wesley Morris on Gwyneth Paltrow in The New York Times. I’ve always enjoyed GP’s work and I think this piece is spot on. On a lighter Gwyneth note, Sea of Shoes had this piece on her style in A Perfect Murder. I’ve always adored that movie and bought a similar shearling coat and Hermes scarf after I saw it. (I first stumbled across Sea of Shoes when I was diagnosed with endometriosis last year. Vogue did a very honest interview with her about chronic pain that is worth reading.)

I’m planning a weekend with some time in the city and an injection of culture. Do you have any fun plans?


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