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In a study that used artificial intelligence to analyze design elements, such as artwork and wall colors, in pictures of living rooms posted to Airbnb, a popular home rental website, the researchers found that people tended to follow cultural trends when they decorated their interiors. In the United States, where the researchers had economic data from the U.S. Census, they also found that people across socioeconomic lines put similar efforts into interior decoration.
"We were interested in seeing how other cultures decorated," said Clio Andris, assistant professor of geography, Penn State and an Institute for CyberScience associate. "We see maps of the world and wonder, 'What's it like living there,' but we don't really know what it's like to be in people's living rooms and in their houses. This was like people around the world inviting us into their homes."
Team - Room - Décor - Cities - Continents
The team examined living room décor in 107 cities on six continents and in neighborhoods across six U.S. cities.
Certain regions seemed to have similar taste in interior design, said Xi Liu, doctoral student in geography, Penn State and lead author of the study. In some cases, the way those cultures decorated their living rooms matched the researchers' expectations, he added.
Lot - Colors - India - Morocco - Example
"There were a lot of vibrant colors in India and Morocco, for example," said Liu. "And, of course, that wasn't a big surprise -- we had an idea that this might be the case before we started the study, but we weren't sure whether that would be true or not."
In Europe, North America and South America, people tended to display more books, according to the researchers. Living rooms in Europe, especially Italy, featured a lot of wall art, which matched their expectations.
Researchers - Findings - Issue - EPJ - Data
However, the researchers, who published their findings in the current issue of EPJ Data Science, were surprised when some cultures bucked the...
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