Parking my car in the alley as I arrived home from work the other day, I made my way past the aromatic garbages, up the first of four flights of stairs to my third floor apartment. My hands full of bags from the day and my empty coffee cup, I pushed past the swinging door that always hits me on my way in. That’s when I stopped, mid-stair, suddenly extremely aware of my psychological experience of coming home.
Even as a designer, formally trained and intuitively keen on our interactions with our built environment, it took almost two years before the physical action of coming home made its way to my consciousness.
And that’s exactly what good design is about; being aware of how our automatic daily movements play into our experiences, even when they’re operating at a subconscious level.
I hate that door. And by the time I’ve reached my front door, shuffling to get my keys, I feel more tired than I was 5 minutes ago.
The good news is, I woke up to that experience. The bad news is, there’s not much I can do about it. But what I am doing is making the transition through the front door more thoughtful. Creating a space for shoes and a small surface for which to set down my keys and bag, I have given myself a psychological transition from the outside world to my home haven.
I would encourage you to also look at your homecoming. Does it invite slower breaths the minute you step on your path? Or is it more like a battle zone you have to fight to get from your garage to your mudroom? Whatever your entry experience is, finding ways to make it more of an appropriate transition space is important for those subtle yet powerful shifts in our day.
I am going to make everything around me beautiful. That will be my life. - Elsie de Wolfe