I’m sure you’ve see the image of a psychiatrist’s couch.                        

The study of Design Psychology is, according to Dr. Toby Israel, an nationally known expert in this field, a little like “making buildings  lie down on a couch and telling her their problems.”

Of course, that’s a bit difficult to do. However, as individuals, we have the ability to speak for our homes and reveal whatever secrets are hidden there.

As it happened, I shared with you last week my own experience of personalizing a ‘home away from home’ while on vacation. What I didn’t realize at the time, is that I had touched on the relatively unknown concept of Design Psychology –those unconscious forces that essentially drive each and every design choice we make.

Not only in how we furnish our homes, but also what kind of home we are drawn to in the first place.

It’s that feeling you get when you first step inside an unfamiliar space and think “This is home!”

In fact, I’d venture to guess that anyone who has ever searched for a new house or apartment has had this experience. And for every potential dwelling that you walked away from – you did so for a reason.

At the time, you probably explained that vague feeling as ‘something didn’t feel right’

What we fail to realize, is that every time we find ourselves in such a situation it is usually something from our past that is speaking to us – something that says “No, this won’t do. Keep looking.”

What do I mean by this, exactly?

You needn’t look any further than your own family history.

For example, do you know where you great-grandparents lived? Are you in some way familiar with their lifestyle, perhaps through family stories or photographs that were passed down to you?

How about your grand-parents? Where did they live? How did they live? Perhaps you have treasured memories of the times you spent together in the warmth of your grandparent’s home – it could be a certain scent, the texture and warmth of wood floors beneath your feet, a lace tablecloth, maybe even the color of the walls.

It could be anything.

Sometimes our memories are negative. Perhaps your childhood home never spoke to you of comfort and warmth – that might explain why today you crave a sense of place, of feeling cocooned and protected.

We all have these histories. The secret is to delve into them and recapture precious memories from your past that complement how you live today.