The Semiotics of Home Decor

by Joan Kron

Although we spend an inordinate amount of time, money, and space acquiring and maintaining 'things', we understand very little about WHY we do that. To put it simply, things make us feel secure, stable, in control. And yes, they also keep us 'up' with the Joneses. But it's not that simple and that's not all that possessions do. We literally use our possessions the same way we use language - to communicate with each other. The language of "things" speaks most profoundly in and around our homes where people create environments reflecting their 'selves', their families, or their groups. Ultimately, Kron posits, the desire for things may not be just mindless greed (to raise status), but instead stems from a deeper desire to communicate our "selves" (spoken through our "things") to others.