Date of Award

5-2015

Degree Type

Honors College Thesis

Department

Construction

First Advisor

Claire L. Hamilton, M.S.

Advisor Department

Construction

Abstract

This study analyzes the interior design choices made by homeowners of Mississippi’s Gulf Coast who rebuilt after Hurricane Katrina, in order to determine how the natural disaster of the hurricane affected residential interior design aesthetics. The aim of the study was to determine if there was a correlation between homeowner’s disaster experiences and their interior design choices following the disaster. Survey results were collected from 128 homeowners of the Mississippi Gulf Coast whose homes were affected by Hurricane Katrina. The data was analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively, with little significance found during cross-analyses. Overall, the most prominent design changes were more a testimony to maintenance of materials than to aesthetic choice. The results of this study did not support the hypotheses that interior design is affected by a major regional change such as a natural disaster and that homeowners with similar disaster experiences would also choose similar design changes to their home. Instead, the results indicate that the aesthetic choices of a home are a personal reflection and rely on each individual’s tastes, rather than relying on generalized information.

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