|Abstract or Summary
- This exploratory study was focused on the design, meaning and use of the Turkish salon (the sitting room for guests). The findings provided an understanding of the different aspects of people's experiences of their salons. Socially and personally constructed meanings were examined to gain a deeper understanding of the respondents' perspectives. Thirty one respondents participated in the study. They were recruited from two cities in Turkey: Erbaa and Ankara. The data were collected in the respondents' salons via in-depth interviews, audio and video recordings, sketches, and observations. The interviews lasted from one to three and a half hours. The qualitative data analysis revealed themes which were grouped under three main categories: environment, person, and setting. Those interrelated dimensions were discussed in detail to have a better understanding of people's relationship with their salons. Environment related dimensions were conformity, influence of others, influence of changing socio-economic environment and rise of consumerism. Person related dimensions were satisfaction with the setting, interest in home decoration, demographics such as age and income level, personalization and meaningful objects, and place attachment. Setting related dimensions included physical characteristics of the setting such as color, size, and comfort, and use of the room such as how often and why they use the salon. The findings of this study supported the idea that consumption behaviors influence people's relationship with places. With the changing economic conditions, people live more comfortably, afford items easier, and there is more variety of products to reflect self or create the ideal salon environment compared to the past. Many respondents believed that rise in consumerism, spending unnecessarily, being allured by market pervasiveness, and being able to own products easily make people inappreciative, unhappy, and dissatisfied with what they have, and cause "israf" (wastefulness or prodigality). The respondents' narratives confirmed that they tried to create an environment that satisfied them; they cared about their salon designs. Some respondents revealed being influenced by trends and other people's salons indicating the influence of the market and others on salon design. A greater percentage of the respondents from Erbaa reported paying attention to others' salon designs compared to the respondents from Ankara. Although some spouses influenced the selection of furniture, women were more in charge of their salon designs than men. Having children influenced how often they used their salons, their purchase decisions, or when they would replace their furniture. Frequency and profile of the guests influenced use of their salons. The majority of the respondents from both Erbaa and Ankara displayed or revealed interest in home decoration through their effort to design and personalize their salons, their knowledge about furniture styles, paying attention to others' salons, watching home design TV shows, and visiting furniture stores as leisure activity. Socio-economic status influenced some of the respondents' salon designs regarding originality and price of their salon furniture and décor. Other factors such as their approach to consumerism, their taste, and family status influenced their salon design in a greater degree revealing the individualistic nature of domestic interiors. Although the findings provide insight on the relationship between demographic characteristics and salon design and use, the sampling method and sample size make it impossible to draw conclusions regarding the relationship between demographic characteristics and salon design and meaning. The respondents from both Erbaa and Ankara personalized the settings to reflect their self. They designed the rooms to reflect their taste, values, beliefs, culture, experiences, family, occupation, hobbies, and so forth. They displayed meaningful objects such as souvenirs, gifts, and family photographs. Personalization of the rooms provided control over the settings, a sense of connection to their salons, and sense of belonging. Physical characteristics of the setting, especially aesthetic appeal and usability influenced the respondents' satisfaction with the rooms. Although it was possible to observe patterns regarding the type of decorative items that they used, the meanings and stories behind how they acquired the objects made their design process unique and individualistic. The majority of respondents expressed sense of belonging and attachment to their salons and homes. Spending time in the setting, sharing the place with loved ones, feeling comfortable, sense of belonging, being satisfied with the setting, sense of freedom, reflecting own taste, personalization, and memories influenced the respondents' attachment to their salons in Ankara. The respondents from Erbaa added more intangible aspects to this list such as sincerity, happiness, coziness, effort in creating the room, familiarity, and feeling at peace. Exploring the meaning of place and objects in this study provided an understanding of everyday human life experience. This study provided rich information about the relationship between people and their salons. The findings indicated that design, meaning, and use of salons were shaped by the dynamic relationship between many individual, psychological, social, socio-cultural, socio-economic, and setting related variables. The findings confirmed that salons were designed by both personal and social point of view. The respondents created sense of place personally and socially. Studying the Turkish salon provided an understanding of how the socio-economic and socio-cultural changes were perceived by the respondents in their domestic space. The results indicate that political, cultural, religious, and economic environments influence society's perception of buying and decorating. Findings of this study contribute to different fields such as interior design by providing information on design process and design preferences of the respondents; industrial design by providing information on the meanings of objects, respondents' interaction with objects, and preferences for furniture and accessories; environmental psychology by providing information on how the respondents' behavior and emotions were influenced by the design of the setting and vice versa; and cultural anthropology by revealing information on the meanings of everyday life surroundings, and the influence of socio-cultural environment on salon creation.