The Handbook of Interior Architecture and Design
The Handbook of Interior Architecture and Design

Graeme Brooker

Graeme Brooker is Professor and Head of Interior Design at the Royal College of Art, London. He has taught Interior Architecture and Design at the University of Brighton, University of Wales Institute Cardiff and Manchester Metropolitan University. Between 2013 and 2015 He was the Head of the Department of Fashion and Interiors at Middlesex University, London. He has been a visiting professor at institutions across Europe, the Far East and America. Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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and Lois Weinthal

Lois Weinthal is Chair of the School of Interior Design at Ryerson University, Canada. She is the editor of Toward a New Interior: An Anthology of Interior Design Theory (2011), and co-editor of After Taste: Expanded Practice in Interior Design (2011). Additional publications include ‘Interior-scapes’ in Feminist Practices (2011), ‘Bridging the Threshold of Interior and Exterior: An Interview with Petra Blaisse’ in AD Architectural Design (2008) and ‘House Lab’ in the JAE Journal of Architectural Education (2006). Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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Bloomsbury Academic, 2013


Content Type:

Book chapter

Related Content

Inhabited Space: Critical Theories and the Domestic Interior

DOI: 10.5040/9781474294096.ch-003
Page Range: 40–49

Inhabited space transcends geometric space.

Gaston Bachelard [1]

While the interior and its design remain a largely untheorized area of cultural production, recent applications of critical theory from a wide range of disciplines emphasize the interior as a site of rich scholarly inquiry particularly suited to this type of discursive analysis. This chapter addresses potential means of theorizing the interior—an intrinsically interdisciplinary construct—through three separate but interdependent categories: the spatial envelope, the contents of interior space, and users or inhabitants. It is limited in scope to the domestic interior, which, as Gwendolyn Wright has argued, is the central preoccupation with twentieth-century architects, and aims to build on recent scholarship that greatly strengthens the theoretical foundations of interiors studies, including Intimus, edited by Mark Taylor and Julieanna Preston, and Toward a New Interior, edited by Lois Weinthal.[2]

The first category of analysis in this chapter is the threshold, that transitional space that divides both interior from exterior and room from room. While many critics, theoreticians, and practitioners of the interior address the threshold itself, it has not received extensive attention from scholars of the interior despite widespread acknowledgment of the significance of the distinction between inside and outside. I will also examine Walter Benjamin’s use of the interior as a means of locating his cultural and social critiques.

The second section addresses the furnishings and other objects found within the interior and the deep significance they often hold both individually and collectively, including the acts of collecting and consuming, and the role of everyday objects in the interior. The cultural critiques of Jean Baudrillard and recent explorations of the significance of things beyond their conventional exchange value, as argued in Bill Brown and Frank Trentmann’s work on thing theory, elucidate this category.

The final section looks at spatial theory and other means of apprehending the experience of interior space. This section contextualizes the interior as interpreted by philosophers such as Henri Lefebvre, who argues that space is an economically and cultural charged production, and Gaston Bachelard, who interprets space through the lens of phenomenology. Interior space, and especially domestic space, is the focus of much of this analysis. The role of the users or inhabitants of a space, and their subjective experience of interiority, including the roles of gender, sexuality, and other specific expressions of interior space, are also included in this section. Examples include theorist and historian Jasmine Rault’s definition of “sapphic modernity” as a key constituent of modernist interior design, Henry Urbach’s analysis of the social and physical implications of the closet, and George Wagner’s exploration of the role of technology in the midcentury bachelor’s pursuit of women as a kind of prey.

The goal of this chapter is not to articulate a fixed discursive apparatus within which to analyze the interior and its design (which may be impossible) but rather to attempt to reveal some of the many ways in which critical theory and philosophy can both respond to and potentially inform the design of interior space.

Thresholds Of Experience: Transitional Spaces And Transgressive Boundaries

Danger lies in transitional states, simply because transition is neither one state nor the next, it is undefinable.

Mary Douglas [3]

The interior, in theory as in practice, is understood as binary and even dialectical. It is always defined against what it is not: the outside world, the public realm. Furthermore, as Lynne Walker has argued, these binary categories often serve to diminish the significance of specifically domestic interiors, privileging instead the facade over the inside, the public building over the private home.[4] This seemingly obvious distinction also often calls into consideration other relevant concepts including privacy and publicity, class, and gender. In this regard, the threshold or boundary between the interior and the outside and between distinct interior rooms or spaces provides a rich context for expanding theories of the interior.

The threshold dividing the domestic interior from the outside world directly engages the notion of comfort, one of the most complex and key aspects of the interior. Beginning in the eighteenth century, both architects and inhabitants placed increasing emphasis on both defining and obtaining comfort within the interior.[5] Over time, thresholds exhibited shifting levels of permeability, signifying changing degrees of comfort with intrusions into the traditionally private realm of home.

While Walter Benjamin in The Arcades Project describes the nineteenth-century bourgeois interior as a hard shell lined with velvet, in which complete retreat from the outside world was the ideal, by the middle of the nineteenth century the blurring of conventional boundaries between inside space and the outside world were commonplace.[6] Benjamin’s reading of the encased Victorian interior is supported by a number of contemporary literary and historical examples of extreme retreat, including Marcel Proust’s retreat to his dark and silent cork-lined bedroom and Joris-Karl Huysman’s 1884 novel Against Nature, in which the protagonist Des Esseintes—an overly sensitive young man who recently inherited a large fortune—cannot tolerate the aesthetic and sensual assaults of modern Paris, withdrawing instead to his meticulously designed house, in which he exerts control over the smallest details.[7] In The Arcades Project, Benjamin argued that the burgeoning French middle class collapsed nearly all aspects of their experience into the interior, seeking to interiorize gardens and other public, nondomestic spaces. “The bourgeois who came into ascendency with Louis Philippe set store by the transformation of near and far into the interior. He knows but a single scene: the drawing room.”[8]

For Benjamin, the interior possessed both phantasmagoric and ritualistic qualities, with the threshold occupying a central place within the potentially enchanted space of the interior:

Threshold magic. At the entrance to the skating rink, to the pub, to the tennis court, to resort locations: penates. … This same magic prevails more covertly in the interior of the bourgeois dwelling. Chairs beside an entrance, photographs flanking a doorway, are fallen household deities, and the violence they must appease grips our hearts even today at each ringing of the doorbell.[9]

The threshold itself can be defined in many ways: by location, function, and material. Etymologically it can mean an opening or beginning as well as an obstacle, and as Catherine Murphy has demonstrated, thresholds are fundamentally and necessarily ambiguous and time-based constructs, referring to both physical and psychological states of being.[10] Some can be transgressed by the body; some are transparent or translucent and purely visual, dominated by the gaze more than by bodily spatial experience.

Theories of psychoanalysis also directly address the significance of the boundary or threshold. Sigmund Freud viewed the unconscious mind as an interior space containing, among other mental impulses, consciousness, all within a drawing room (corroborating Benjamin’s definition of bourgeois life as concentrated within this space). Freud defines the boundary between mental impulses and consciousness as the threshold acting as a “watchman,” policing the strict divisions between these two states.[11] Freud’s own working and living environments employed thresholds to powerful effect. As Diana Fuss describes, Freud strictly segregated the two distinct areas of his professional practice, psychoanalysis and writing, kept separate by a threshold that bisected his office space.[12]

The consequences of the breakdown of this border, of the failure of the watchman to keep unwanted impulses at bay, are expressed through Rodion Romanovich Raskalnikov, the protagonist of Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment, who describes his retreat to his living quarters in animal rather than human terms in explanation of his premeditated murder of the elderly pawnbroker Alyona Ivanovna: “Then I hid in my corner like a spider. You were in my kennel, you saw it…. And do you know, Sonya, low ceilings and cramped rooms cramp the souls and mind! Oh, how I hated that kennel! And yet I didn’t want to leave it. I purposely didn’t want to!”[13] Dostoyevsky uses Raskalnikov’s description of his inhuman living quarters—his kennel—and his inability to leave them after the murder to project the character’s intense psychological decompensation.

The role of domestic privacy and the extent to which the interior can signify its inhabitant are recurring themes across a wide cross section of disciplines. The French writer Georges Perec, whose work was intimately engaged in everyday life, wrote of his own private interior space and the significance of the threshold in demarcating it:

On one side, me and my place, the private, the domestic (a space overfilled with my possessions: my bed, my carpet, my table, my typewriter, my books, my odd copies of the Nouvelle Revue Française); on the other side, other people, the world, the public, politics. You can’t simply let yourself slide from one into the other, can’t pass from one to the other, neither in one direction nor in the other. You have to have the password, have to cross the threshold, have to show your credentials, have to communicate, just as the prisoner communicates with the world outside.[14]

In the abodes of both Perec and the fictional Raskalnikov, separated by a century, the interior projects physical manifestations of their inner selves.

Material Thresholds

New building materials and construction methods began to transform not only interiors but also the way they were inhabited, beginning with the extensive use of concrete and glass by the early twentieth century. Increasing use of large expanses of glass in domestic architecture blurred the conventional distinctions between inside and outside, potentially exposing much of what had been private life to the outside world at large.

To early modernist designers such as Adolphe Behn, as well as to early twentieth-century critics and theoreticians such as Benjamin, the visually permeable qualities of glass suggested a concomitant social transparency, with the potential to abolish the conventional bourgeois preoccupation with personal discreetness and physical comfort as manifest in the domestic interior. For Benjamin, transparency “put and end to dwelling in the old sense,” and to Behne it performed the necessary task of extinguishing comfort: “Glass has an extra-human, super-human quality. Therefore, the European is right when he fears that glass architecture might become uncomfortable…. Away with coziness! Only where comfort ends does humanity begin!”[15] Behne expressed this view of glass in his review of Paul Scheerbart’s 1914 utopian manifesto, Glass Architecture, in which primarily colored and translucent glass is used to create a lapidary interior space intended to improve civilization through design, starting with the domestic interior. This effect of this brittle and luminous material on the interior is highly significant, for, as Charles Rice argues, it is impossible to leave one’s trace within an interior made of glass, as neither dust nor the impressions of everyday life imprint themselves on this material.[16]

Pierre Chareau’s Maison de Verre, built in Paris from 1928 to 1932, offers another example of the use of light-permeable materials in creating paradoxical boundaries and thresholds within the interior. As Sarah Wigglesworth has observed, the house itself has two identities: a private house and an obstetrician’s office or surgery, and the divisions between these spaces (as well as the discrete areas within each separate space) are at points intentionally heightened and/or obscured, often through the use of movable and translucent partitions. Wigglesworth describes the provocative use of perforated metal screens dividing the bedroom from the bathroom, in which “the body at its toilette is silhouetted by the light from wall-mounted lamps, and can be seen titillatingly veiled through the porous screen.”[17] Thus, this degree of penetrability allows for the preservation of the appearance of privacy, while in fact using the outline of the body to create a series of suggestive vignettes.

Poststructuralist philosophers continued to explore the effects of glass on the divisions between public and private. Jean Baudrillard, in his 1968 System of Objects (which devotes significant attention to the interior and its contents), posits that the presence of glass “facilitates faster communication between inside and outside, yet at the same time it sets up an invisible but material caesura which prevents such communication from becoming a real opening onto the world.”[18] For Baudrillard, the primarily function of glass is to permit the world at large to visually penetrate interior spaces, a direct counterpoint to Benjamin’s opaque protective shell.

Recent scholarship on glass—specifically large glass windows—in the postwar domestic environment, in which one’s interior and related modes of living are intentionally exposed, highlights the intrinsic conflict in our desire to both reveal and conceal ourselves through our interiors. While Sylvia Lavin has identified how the “spatial excitement of the glazed corners in [Richard] Neutra’s bedrooms recalls the erotic translucency of new products for the bed and bath and the voyeuristic pleasures of picture windows,” Margaret Maile Petty extends the analysis of the increased exposure of the private realm afforded by glass, identifying the potential anxiety wrought by the “binary tension of the scopophilic and narcissistic gaze, of both desiring to view these private spaces and to see oneself within in them.”[19] In both analyses, glass’s materiality and its effects are directly engaged in redefining the cultural role of the interior and public access to it.

Things: The Stuff Of Dwelling

In the most extreme instance, the dwelling becomes a shell. The nineteenth century, like no other century, was addicted to dwelling. It conceived the residence as a receptacle for the person, and it encased him with all his appurtenances so deeply within the dwelling’s interior that one might be reminded of the inside of a compass case, where the instrument with all its accessories lies embedded in deep, usually violet folds of velvet.

Walter Benjamin [20]

Things today are shaking our fundamental understandings of subjectivity, agency, emotions, and the relations between humans and nonhumans.

Frank Trentmann [21]

The significance of the interior is found not merely in the disposition of interior spaces; the functional and symbolic objects located within it collaborate with the spatial construct of the interior and together work to define the space and its inhabitants, and scholarship from outside histories of architecture and material culture has increasingly focused on the importance of “things” as key social and cultural signifiers. As the American literary scholar Bill Brown observes, “Human subjects and material objects constitute one another.”[22] This view of objects in context is expressed by Bloomsbury writer Lytton Strachey, who described his childhood home as an integrated system that literally constituted his identity: “To reconstruct, however dimly, that grim machine, would be to realize with some distinctness the essential substance of my biography.”[23]

The significance of the everyday object is highlighted by recent scholarship on the larger implications of things, referred to as thing theory. Thing theory offers historians and theorists a means of apprehending the larger meaning of objects beyond their function or their monetary value, instead incorporating them into the analysis of whole systems of cultural practice. This has direct relevance to the critical understanding of the interior, given the number of (domestic) things incorporated into the routines of daily life. As described by historian Frank Trentmann in his argument in favor of greater scholarly attention to things as they relate to practice:

Practices thus look beyond possessions. Instead of taking either object or individual as its starting point, research on practices focuses on how users, things, tools, competence, and desires are coordinated. The life of objects, in other words, is not prior to or independent of social practices but codependent. This also means that value is not based in a product or its meanings but in how it is put to use. An object such as the chair acquires its durability because it has become tightly connected with practices, norms, and symbolic meaning.[24]

While histories of architecture long tended to focus on those objects and interiors that represent agency and power, neglecting the domestic environments of the common individual, philosophers and historians of material culture have long been interested in the study of domestic furniture as a means of apprehending value systems and modes of living. This emphasis on the critique of everyday articles of living as an essential tool in decoding wider social and cultural practices is articulated in historian Daniel Roche’s History of Everyday Things, in which he suggests that the composition and arrangement of domestic furniture actually reflect the social structures of a given historical period. As he describes, “Furniture reveals to us a state of society through its significance, giving material form to needs and referring to the silent language of symbols.”[25] This notion is taken further by Jean Baudrillard in his System of Objects in which he posits that the decoration and furnishing of the French postwar bourgeois home—his primary focus—is fundamentally patriarchal in nature. Rather than performing a decorative or aesthetic function, the primary objective of the arrangement of this interior, according to Baudrillard, is symbolic; the role of the furniture is to “personify human relationships, to fill the space they share between them…. They have as little autonomy in this space as the various family members enjoy in society.”[26]

Baudrillard extends this notion of objects performing the identity of subjects to the act of collecting, the fruits of which are often displayed in the domestic interior. One’s desired image can be located directly in one’s individual possessions and the environment they create. According to Baudrillard, the collected object contributes to “the creation of a total environment, to that totalization of images of the self that is the basis of the miracle of collection. For what you really collect is always yourself.”[27] In this sense, the objects themselves are no longer functional but rather symbolic in nature.

In further exploring the role of collecting within the study of the interior, we return again to Walter Benjamin. For Benjamin, the collector “is the true resident of the interior,” and the interior itself is the “étui of the private individual.”[28] The interior, according to Benjamin’s reading, suggests a detective story in which careful observation of its contents may reveal the traces of everyday life.[29] For Benjamin, as for Baudrillard, the collector strips objects of both their exchange value and their use value, supplanting in their stead a system based on connoisseurship, in which the collector projects herself into an idealized past, as represented through the collection.

Another impetus for heightened scholarly awareness of furniture and interior objects is the increased stress on the significance of everyday life, as evidenced by the work of French scholars such as Daniel Roche, whose History of Everyday Things sought to expand understanding of eighteenth-century French culture through the meticulous study of estate inventories of nonaristocratic households. These inventories, mandated by the state, itemized every object in the possession of the deceased, no matter how poor; if a French citizen lived indoors, the state sealed his or her abode and recorded all his or her worldly possessions upon death. The domestic interior is both the theoretical subject matter and the raw source material for Roche, for whom articles of furniture articulate and “symbolize the course of life: the chest, the bed, the table and chairs, the kneading-trough, the clock.”[30] For Roche, culture is found not in the palaces of the aristocracy but rather in the details of everyday life as reflected of everyday people, their possessions, and the ways they stored and used them.

The connection between bodies and things is an essential avenue of exploration for critical studies of the interior, and the body is itself arguably a thing, simultaneously creating and formed by its environment. Historian Lynne Walker identifies the central role of women’s bodies in the Victorian home, “which both produced and was partly produced by the home and its special atmosphere of domesticity, characterized by family life, cozy intimacy, and a sense of comfort and well-being, a middle class ideal that affected all social groups.”[31] In this example, the woman’s body and its domestic environs are symbiotic entities, dependent on each other to define one another. This type of nuanced analysis can extend our understanding of all aspects of living in the Victorian home, and by extension the significance of the domestic interior.

Spatial Theory And The Interior

The philosophical implications of interior space, and more specifically domestic space, are highly complex. As Lynne Walker has argued, the home is the product of both tangible and intangible elements, including language, social constructs, and space, among numerous other categories.[32] Spatial theory, a methodology that is itself derived from a wide array of disciplines, including sociology, geography, and philosophy, as a field of study aims to dissect the many layers that combine—like Japanese lacquer—to shape the production and experience of space. According to spatial theory, space—whether domestic or public—is never merely a container or envelope. Instead, it is, as defined by French sociologist and philosopher Henri Lefebvre, a socially constructed concept, made by those inhabiting it, a claim reinforced by the title of his pioneering work on spatial theory, The Production of Space, first published in 1974.

In The Production of Space—informed by his Marxist views—Lefebvre defines space as a producible and reproducible commodity, directly tied to capital. He defines three main types of space: absolute space, understood as natural or spontaneous space that is created rather than produced; abstract space, formed by the dominant political and economic forces, tending toward homogeneity, fostering a stratification of classes, and produced by and in the service of hegemonic forces; and differential space, a space of resistance that is implicitly made possible within absolute space.[33]

While Lefebvre directs his argument primarily at urban and public space, aspects of spatial theory and its concomitant definition of society and its structure are relevant to study of the interior as well. The view of space and certain spatial practices as a producible commodity was shared by Baudrillard, who connects it specifically to the modern interior: “As directly experienced, the project of a technological society implies … a world no longer given but instead produced—mastered, manipulated, inventoried, controlled: a world in short, that has to be constructed.”[34]

Lefebvre’s notion of differential space is also of key significance to the interior. The same hierarchies of power and strategies of resistance can be read into domestic space, particularly in its architectural forms, albeit on an intimate scale. As Victoria Rosner observes in her study of the central role of the interior and the practices of everyday life for the Bloomsbury Group, “The plan of the house deploys walls as barriers that stratify the home, defining and organizing social groups and domestic activities into a hierarchical relationship. But there is a difference between the blank spaces of the floor plan and the lived experience of the household.”[35] Thus, the interior is never the sum of its architectural components, or the objects within it, but is rather produced by the people who inhabit it.

French philosopher Gaston Bachelard’s The Poetics of Space explores the domestic dwelling from a phenomenological position, breaking it down into types of space and the experiences found in them, including corners, drawers, nests, and shells, in addition to the house in its entirety and in the context of the outside world. Bachelard locates the importance of this dwelling or house in its particulars as much as in its universalities. For him, the house “constitutes a body of images that give mankind proofs or illusions of stability.”[36]

Memories, both individual and collective, conspire to give the house its central place in our collective experience, and Bachelard draws on psychoanalytical, philosophical, and literary interpretations of the mimetic faculty in his definition of the interior space, and argues for a complementary form of investigation to psychoanalysis based on an in-depth exploration of one’s memories of one’s home, which he called topoanalysis.[37] While Bachelard and Lefebvre differ in many respects, in their emphasis on the significance of the domestic interior beyond its physical properties, they are in agreement.

For Bachelard, the ability to conceal and or reveal aspects of one’s self is located within typologies of storage furniture: chests, drawers, and wardrobes. These objects are containers of memory and experience, access to which is firmly controlled by their user, and signify the human need for privacy.[38] For theorist Henry Urbach, the evolution of the closet space as a replacement for these furnishings has key implications for the complex performance of concealing and revealing gay identity within the home. Urbach defines two closets: one physical and one social. The ambiguity contained within the closet is expressed in closets’ minimization within the architectural plan, wherein they are merely outlined with no additional details. If the person living “in the closet” possesses two identities, so too does their closet contain one set of costumes for each persona.[39]

The interior as a type of cultural battleground, particularly in the early modernist period, is explored by Jasmine Rault, whose theory of “sapphic modernity” proposes a homocentric—if not homosexual—foundation as a common factor uniting the work of the many prominent women working in interior design in the early twentieth century. For Rault, despite the radical differences in styles and professional focus, the work of Elsie de Wolfe, Eileen Gray, Edith Wyld, Elizabeth Eyre de Lanux, and many others is linked by their use of interior design as a form of resistance directly challenging existing social norms and inextricably connected to modern life. As Rault argues, “They designed to enable the possibility of living sapphic lives, not only divorced from the confines of conventional heterosexuality but also intimately connected to the modern.”[40]

The significance of the interior in projecting the exaggeratedly heterosexual identity of the postwar Playboy bachelor against the increasingly feminine control of the domestic realm is the subject of George Wagner’s essay “Lair of the Bachelor.” Wagner identifies the potentially destabilizing assumptions relating to space, place, and gender for the single workingman in the period after World War II: “If the home is the space of the woman, and if space is either masculine or feminine, what constitutes male space, and what role do women, or homosexuals, play in it?”[41] Wagner argues that the bachelor pad (as articulated by Playboy magazine in a series of illustrated articles in the late 1950s) defines the urban apartment of the single (straight) man as a bulkhead against the “feminization of the suburban domestic realm” and “operates as a strategy of recovery of the domestic realm by the heterosexual male.”[42]

Thus, whether for the lesbian designer of the early twentieth century or the single man in midcentury, the interior, its configuration, and its contents performed essential acts of gender and sexual identity, signifying how things could and should be for the inhabitant and thereby highlighting the interior’s most ambiguous or contentious aspects.


The connections between the individual and interior space are articulated through literature, philosophy, and critical theory. These links can be read into all aspects of the domestic environment, from the spatial envelope to the smallest items contained within it. It is from this position of plurality and interdisciplinarity that theories of the interior can continue to develop. While the dominance of architectural theory has arguably inhibited the development of critically informed interior studies, this imbalance can be used to stimulate meaningful critique of the interior. As both Lynne Walker and Lucinda Havenhand have argued, studies of the interior must embrace the marginality of the interior and further elucidate the implications of this marginal condition if interior design is to break away from the discipline of architecture, both in theory and in praxis.[43] Many areas of cultural criticism intersect directly with aspects of the interior, both materially and in terms of social practice. Going forward, theories of the interior will be greatly enriched by careful integration of established methodologies from philosophy, sociology, history, economics, anthropology, studies of material culture and literature, and architecture. By embracing the lack of center intrinsic to interior studies and drawing from this wide array of scholarly methods, a meaningful body of critical studies will continue to develop.

[1] Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space, trans. Maria Jolas (Boston: Beacon, 1994), p. 47.

[2] Gwendolyn Wright, Building the Dream: A Social History of Housing in America (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1983), p. 13; Mark Taylor and Julieanna Preston, eds., Intimus: Interior Design Theory Reader (Chichester, UK: Academy Press, 2006) and Lois Weinthal, ed., Toward a New Interior (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2011).

[3] Anthropologist Mary Douglas, quoted in Diana Fuss, The Sense of an Interior: Four Writers and the Rooms That Shaped Them (London: Routledge, 2004), p. 66.

[4] Lynne Walker, “Home Making: An Architectural Perspective,” Signs 27, no. 3 (2002): p. 823.

[5] See, for example, Joan DeJean, The Age of Comfort: When Paris Discovered Casual—and the Modern Home Began (repr., New York: Bloomsbury USA, 2010).

[6] Walter Benjamin, The Arcades Project, trans. Howard Eiland and Kevin McLoughlin, (Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2002)

[7] Fuss, Sense of an Interior, p. 182; and Joris-Karl Huysmans, Against Nature: A Rebours, ed. Nicholas White and Margaret Mauldon (repr., Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009).

[8] Benjamin, The Arcades Project, p. 879.

[9] Ibid., p. 216.

[10] Catherine Murphy, “Transitional (Object) Space” (master’s thesis, School of Constructed Environments, Parsons the New School for Design, 2011).

[11] Sigmund Freud, “Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis. Lecture XIX: Resistance and Repression,” in The Standard Edition 16 (New York: W. W. Norton, 1976 London: The Hogarth Press, 1953–74), pp. 295–96, quoted in Fuss, Sense of an Interior, p. 6.

[12] Fuss, Sense of an Interior, p. 100.

[13] Fyodor Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment, trans. Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky (New York: Vintage, 1993), p. 417.

[14] Georges Perec, Species of Spaces and Other Pieces, trans. John Sturrock (London: Penguin Classics, 2008), p. 37.

[15] Benjamin, Arcades Project, p. 221; and Adolf Behne, quoted in Karina Van Herck, “Only Where Comfort Ends, Does Humanity Begin: On the ‘Coldness’ of Avant-Garde Architecture in the Weimar Period,” in Negotiating Domesticity: On the Spatial Productions of Gender in Modern Architecture, ed. Hilde Heynen and Gülsüm Baydar (London: Routledge, 2005), p. 123.

[16] Charles Rice, The Emergence of the Interior: Architecture, Modernity, Domesticity (London: Routledge, 2005), p. 34.

[17] Sarah Wigglesworth, “A Fitting Fetish: The Interiors of the Maison de Verre,” in, Intersections: Architectural Histories and Critical Theories, 1st ed., ed. Iain Borden and Jane Rendell (London: Routledge, 2000), p. 101.

[18] Jean Baudrillard, The System of Objects, trans. James Benedict (London: Verso, 2005), p. 43.

[19] Sylvia Lavin, “Open the Box: Richard Neutra and the Psychology of the Domestic Environment,” Assemblage, no. 40 (December 1999): p. 11; and Margaret Maile Petty, “Scopophobia/Scopophilia: Electric Light and the Anxiety of the Gaze in Postwar American Architecture,” in Atomic Dwelling: Anxiety, Domesticity and Postwar Architecture, ed. Robin Schuldenfrei (London: Routledge, 2012), pp. 45–66.

[20] Benjamin, Arcades Project, p. 220.

[21] Frank Trentmann, “Materiality in the Future of History: Things, Practices, and Politics,” Journal of British Studies 48, no. 2 (2009): p. 283.

[22] Bill Brown, quoted in Victoria Rosner, Modernism and the Architecture of Private Life (New York: Columbia University Press, 2008), p. 128. On this conflation of people and things, Brown elsewhere cites the French philosopher Bruno Latour, who wrote on this same issue that “things do not exist without being full of people” Quoted in Brown, “Thing Theory,” Critical Inquiry 28, no. 1 (2001): p. 12.

[23] Lytton Strachey, quoted in Rosner, Modernism and the Architecture of Private Life, p. 76.

[24] Trentmann, “Materiality in the Future of History,” p. 297.

[25] Daniel Roche, A History of Everyday Things: The Birth of Consumption in France, 1600–1800, trans. Brian Pearce (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000), p. 174.

[26] Baudrillard, System of Objects, pp. 13–14.

[27] Ibid., p. 97.

[28] Benjamin, Arcades Project, p. 9.

[29] Ibid.

[30] Roche, History of Everyday Things, p. 168.

[31] Walker, “Home Making,” p. 826.

[32] Ibid., p. 831.

[33] Henri Lefebvre, The Production of Space, trans. Donald Nicholson-Smith (Maiden, MA and Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishing, 1991) pp. 1–68.

[34] Baudrillard, System of Objects, pp. 27–28.

[35] Rosner, Modernism and the Architecture of Private Life, p. 128.

[36] Bachelard, Poetics of Space, p. 17.

[37] Ibid., p. 47.

[38] Ibid., p. 81.

[39] Henry Urbach, “Closets, Clothes, disClosure,” in Gender Space Architecture: An Interdisciplinary Introduction, ed. Jane Rendell, Barbara Penner, and Iain Borden (London: Routledge, 2000), pp. 342–52.

[40] Jasmine Rault, “Designing Sapphic Modernity,” Interiors: Design, Architecture, Culture 1 (July 2010): p. 35.

[41] George Wagner, “Lair of the Bachelor,” in Taylor and Preston, Intimus, pp. 375–79, previously published in Debra Coleman, Elizabeth Anne Danze, and Carol Jane Henderson, eds., Architecture and Feminism (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1996), pp. 183–220.

[42] Ibid., p. 376.

[43] Lucinda Havenhand, “A View from the Margin: Interior Design,” Design Issues 20 (Autumn 2004): pp. 32–42.