June 21, 2016

"Whether it’s buying new cushions, putting up a photo of our loved ones or giving an old chair new life by painting it, we often try to improve the feeling of hominess."

"More and more people also appreciate the experience of doing DIY jobs and 'hacking' their things. In our study, 37% say that they enjoy making, modifying and assembling things for their home. Those who do, even report being more satisfied with their lives. On the positive side, some researchers claim it’s not the modifying as such that matters, but the fact that we are interacting with and caring for our objects. We can see an example of this 'caring effect' in the use of 'dementia dolls' in care homes. Patients are given plastic dolls to look after, with reports of reduced anxiety and aggression as a result. It seems we have a lot to gain by personalising and taking better care of our things, not only for our wallets, but for our well-being and feelings of hominess too."

From the IKEA "Life at Home" study

ADDED: You need to try to picture how this insight plays out in products and advertising. Like: It's rewarding for us to have to put the IKEA furniture together. And if we understand that, we may refrain from seeking psychic comfort by sprucing up the things we already have.


Eric the Fruit Bat said...

Who writes that garbage?

I think there was a J.D. Salinger short story about some guy who was a talented artist but the only work he could get was processing applications to some correspondence art school.

I don't want to believe that people are genuinely stupid.

Jim said...

Did Scott Adams write that copy? I'm persuaded. But, I'm also an engineer and I like the communion with my cars and motorcycles that I get when I change oil, brake pads, and other fluids. When I assemble IKEA furniture, such as the standing desk that I'm typing on right now, I feel a sense of accomplishment and investment. It's like when I touch the jewelry box I made for my Mom 40 some years ago, she's gone now, and retrieve my keys, I feel a little bit like the 12 year old I was in shop class.

Fred Rawlings said...

Over the last two years we have refurnished and refinished our 750 ft2 cottage in the Tennessee mountains to great but tiring satisfaction.
Putting in a deadbolt is tedious terror.
Painting the corner cabinet for the kitchen is likable, then amazing when we realize the $30 find at a flea market in Lexington is the same brand and style as the writing desk/makeup table that has sat in the back bedroom of the family place since 1956. Maybe Grandaddy sold both of them in his Sevierville furniture store.
Paver patio, not so much.
I watched my dad piddle with things in his garage for 50 years and now i get it.

Chuck said...

Lake Superior State University puts out an annual list of banned words every December. Words that became commonplace in popular misusage in the previous 12 months.

"Hacking" would have been on my list a year ago, or more.

Peter said...

A basic problem with shipped-flat furniture is that it's so much easier to assemble it than to disassemble it back into the easy-to-move flat form it had when you bought it.

That, and they can't really be fixed after the twist-things that are used as fasteners break out of the particle board.

Better fasteners, and a more symmetrical assembly-disassembly process would to a long way toward improving the value and utility.

Cringe-worthy sales talk adds neither.

tim maguire said...

If we get pleasure from doing things ourselves, then the laws stopping us from doing that must be stricter.

Alex said...

“I thought what I'd do was, I'd pretend I was one of those deaf-mutes. That way I wouldn't have to have any goddamn stupid useless conversations with anybody. "

Clyde said...

Putting furniture together is not rewarding. I called my self-assembled bed "The Bed of A Thousand Fucks." Not because I planned to have that much sex on it, but because that's about how many F-bombs I dropped putting the damned thing together.

mikee said...

Some of the nicest furniture I own came from yard sales during college, with my elbow grease doing the refinishing of fine old pieces that had been painted by their DIY owners. Fine solid wood furniture at yard sale prices is hard to find these days.

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