It’s a rare thing when an errand can turn into a fun family trip. When we make our annual trip to Ikea about 40 minutes from our home, the running joke is that we need to remember to get our passports because going to Ikea feels like traveling to a distant fantasyland where everything is aesthetically pleasing and everyday objects are transformed into exotic objet d'art with names like GRADVIS and SVENSHULT. Even my typically sullen teen perks up at the call of plant balls (meatball alternative) and lingonberry soda. While my preference will always be to shop small and local, I have a special appreciation for Ikea for their mastery of family friendly retail experience and their seeming strides towards more sustainable business practices.
So when Ikea released their annual IKEA Life at Home Report with the findings that support our mission, I had to write about it. The study was conducted across 37 countries and asked 37,000 people what creates a better life at home. Here are some key takeaways from the Ikea Life at Home Report:
- When a person sees their personality reflected in their home, they’re 1.5 times more likely to feel good about it.
- When people see themselves reflected in their living spaces, they’re almost twice as likely to report that their home supports positive mental wellbeing.
- Only around 6 in 10 people believe their home actually represents their identity.
In other words, a home is more than just a place where you sleep and store your belongings. Your home is and should be an extension of your identity. When it does, it can help you feel more empowered and help you feel more happy.
At Portmanteau Home, we take this idea a step further and advocate that your home should reflect your cultural identity. Your home should be a place to celebrate your heritage and proudly share your connection to your past with your present. We want people to be able to seamlessly blend decor that speaks to their cultural identity into their existing home decor.
If your family is mixed race like ours, or if your American-ness is preceded with another word (e.g. African American, Asian American etc.), it’s even more critical that you address the idea of cultural identity in your home.
I realize that throw pillows (even with all the awesomeness of Saekdong fabric) can’t answer the many questions our children will face about their cultural identities as they grow up. (What does it mean to be half this and half that? Am I not a ‘real’ American? Am I not Korean enough?) But I sincerely believe that helping them recognize their cultural ties in the context of our home will help them better understand what makes them unique and empower them to face the challenges head on.
So go ahead- Make your home reflect who you are. Make your home beautiful, meaningful. And Ikea, call me if you ever want to discuss Ikea + Portmanteau Home collab.