“The moment people are involved with their built environment they have a totally different relationship to it.” Alastair Parvin
An intriguing 2012 study by psychologists explained something called the IKEA effect. They discovered that when we are involved in creating something (even a piece of flat-pack furniture), we value it much more highly. By investing time and effort, our “labour leads to love”. It’s one reason why if you work with me, my approach will be to co-create with you wherever possible. Why does this matter?
Getting involved makes for a better home
The way I see it there are three main benefits:
- Firstly, if you are part of your own room design, you’re much more likely to fall in love with your home transformation; it will meet your needs and fit you like a glove.
- Secondly, by playing a lead role you’ll go on a journey of self-discovery, and create a strong sense of your own agency and value; these benefits will spill over into other areas of your life.
- And finally, if you’re involved you’ll have more of a stake in it; you’ll be less likely to throw it all out and start again in five years’ time, an approach which is expensive and unsustainable.
Work with an expert who can be your guide
I should finish though by saying that the IKEA effect only holds up when people are successful in their attempts to create something (a collapsed Billy bookcase is not a recipe for satisfaction!). So if you’re overwhelmed or needing direction it can help to have some expert guidance. If you’d like to fall in love with your home, but need some advice, drop me a message and I’ll be in touch.
With thanks to Lily Bernheimer, whose excellent book The Shaping of Us introduced me to the IKEA effect.