If you had to pick a favorite place, your home would likely be at the top of your list. This private sanctuary serves multiple purposes, but it’s ultimately your go-to space to unwind at the end of a long day. That’s why it’s important to treat it as a blank canvas and fill it with details that truly reflect yourself.
Shaolin Liu of Shaolin Studio says that starting by deciding on the style of interior design you prefer allows you to determine how the space will look and feel, and how you want to feel in it. “I think we understand now more than ever how much our environment affects our physical and mental health,” she said. “When you have a thoughtful, curated space, it impacts the way your body relaxes, recharges and presents itself in the world.”
As for the best way to make your home truly represent you? Tailor it to your personality type. We’ve hired a psychologist and several interior designers to help you transform your house into a home that reflects, enhances or calms some of your key characteristics.
related. 20 Design Experts Share Their Best Tips for Curating a Home You’ll Love
Big Five Personality Types
We learn more about the “Big Five” personality types (also known as OCEAN) from Doreen Dodgen-Magee, PsyD, a psychologist, speaker, and author of Starting Over. Author of Designing Healthy Living After the Pandemic. People fall into five main categories, she says: openness, self-consciousness, extroversion, gregariousness, and neuroticism.
1:openness. People who enjoy new and different experiences.
2:consciousness. Attentive, hard-working, efficient individuals who often prioritize doing well and take activities seriously.
3:extroversion. A sociable person who enjoys the company of others and is prone to higher levels of stimulation.
4:Identity. People who are kind, warm, compassionate, and adaptable.
5:neurotic. A person who experiences high levels of anxiety, usually when encountering difficulties.
The Best Interior Design Styles for Every Personality Type
Your personality defines how you interact with spaces—including your own home. “We live, act, think and feel our personality traits in conscious and unconscious ways,” Doddgen-Maggie said. “Interior design has the ability to both reinforce who we already are and advance who we are.
To choose an interior design style that best matches your personality, think about your key personality traits, says Lucas Goldbach, partner and design director at En Masse Architecture and Design. “It sets the tone by providing an emotional connection to the space,” he said. “Every design aesthetic demonstrates certain value.”
openness: eclectic design
For those with an open and creative mind, our experts recommend eclectic interior design styles. Bold colors and layered elements bring to mind Emily Williams, principal designer at Z Properties, a Florida-based design-build-interior firm. “Think about it: non-linear lines, unexpected details, and mixes of pattern, texture and color,” she says.
Abby Grumman of Abbey-Lee Design adds that this interior design scheme is best for open-minded people who like to explore the world and want to showcase their discoveries at home. “[This style] often represents someone who is well traveled, and those travel experiences are reflected in an eclecticly designed home [such as] showcasing sculpture and art,” she said.
Conscientious: minimalist design
Since conscientious people tend towards a highly organized and functional lifestyle, a minimalist home base is the best home base, says Alexandra Peck, owner and principal of Alexandra Peck Design. OK. “To achieve a successful, beautiful minimalist interior, choose simple and clean-lined items,” says Peck. “I recommend sticking to natural fabrics and materials such as linen, wool, white oak, and light-toned, lime-water paints for walls and ceilings”.
Every element should be designed around productivity, and conscientious people care deeply about that, Williams noted. “All the functions of a [minimalist] home serve a purpose, or have some meaning or use,” she adds, noting that a pared-down, functional space should never feel indifferent. “Stuff isn’t super decorative, but there’s still character within the space.”
extroversion: Modern design
Extroverts are the life of the party, so their space should reflect that, notes Williams. This passionate, high-energy lifestyle is best achieved through contemporary interior design, a scheme rooted in open spaces. “I imagined an entertaining home with unexpected gathering spaces and large seating areas,” she says. “Everything flows, and best of all, they always have a place for someone to set up a drink – no matter where they’re standing in the house.”
Grumman suggests adding to the open floor plan by using other modern design elements, such as warm neutrals, grass wallpaper and cozy fabrics; Goldbach notes that bold, impactful pieces are also an option, Like a sculptural sofa or a statement rug.
Identity: traditional design
If you’re the submissive type, you might be hesitant to choose a bold interior style because you’re empathetic and want to craft a space that anyone will love, Peck notes. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have an amazing space. She recommends adopting a traditional aesthetic rooted in history, making it classic, timeless, and familiar to those who enter your home.
Peck recommends sourcing antique furniture from centuries past in dark woods, aged leathers and velvets. Decorate the space with hand-knotted rugs in warm tones and light fixtures in polished brass or oil-rubbed bronze with off-white linen shades.
neurotic: coastal design
Since people with neurotic personalities tend to experience high levels of anxiety, Doddgen-Maggie recommends an interior design aesthetic that is both soothing and stimulating. According to the designer, Mediterranean or coastal-inspired home designs are a bit of both – they transport us to the seaside, where the serene tones and crashing waves simultaneously soothe and invigorate our senses. These interior design styles also provide a homely feel, as common features like neutral paint tones and houseplants all help reduce stress, Low explains.
To implement these design ideas in your home, incorporate light and airy colors like baby blue, cozy rugs and sofas, linen window covers and cushions, light oak and grasscloth wallpaper.