The Right Interior Design Style for Your Personality Type

Your home should reflect who you are—and how you decorate can help you become your best self.

neutral-colored living room with greenery accents and vaulted ceiling
Photo: Haris Kenjar

If you had to choose one of your favorite places, your home is likely at the top of your list. This private sanctuary serves several 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 like a blank canvas and fill it with details that truly reflect who you are.

Start by deciding on an interior design style you love, and you'll be able to home in on the look and feel of the space—and how you want to feel inside it, says Shaolin Low of Studio Shaolin. "I think we are understanding now more than ever how much our environment affects our mental and physical health," she says. "When you have a well-thought-out, curated space, it affects the way your body relaxes, recharges, and presents in the world."

As for the best way to make your home a true representation of you? Base its design on your personality type. We tapped a psychologist and several interior designers to help you turn your house into a home that reflects, enhances, or calms some of your key traits.

The 5 Personality Types

We learned more about the "Big 5" personality types (which are also called OCEAN) from Doreen Dodgen-Magee, PsyD, a psychologist, speaker, and author of Restart: Designing a Healthy Post-Pandemic Life. People fall into five main categories, she says: openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism.

  • Openness: People who enjoy new and different experiences.
  • Conscientiousness: Careful, diligent, and efficient people who often prioritize doing tasks well and taking activities seriously.
  • Extraversion: Sociable people who prefer to be in settings with others and gravitate to higher levels of stimulation.
  • Agreeableness: Those who are kind, warm, empathic, and adaptable to environments.
  • Neuroticism: People who usually experience high levels of anxiety in response to distress.

The Best Interior Design Style for Each Personality Type

Your personality plays into how you interact with spaces—including your own home. "We live, act, think, and feel out of our personality traits in conscious and unconscious ways," says Dodgen-Magee. "Interior design has the power to both enhance who we already are and move us forward in our development."

To choose the interior design style that best aligns with your personality, think about your key character traits, says Lucas Goldbach, partner and design director at En Masse Architecture and Design. "It sets the tone by providing an emotional connection for the space," he says. "Every design aesthetic displays certain values."

colorful Pittsburgh home tour dining room with window
William Abranowicz

Openness: Eclectic Design

For those who are open and creative thinkers, our experts suggest an eclectic interior design style. Bold colors and layered elements come to mind for Emily Williams, the head designer at Z Properties, a Florida-based design-build-interiors firm. "Think: nonlinear lines, unexpected details, and the mixing of patterns, textures, and colors," she says.

This interior design scheme is best for open people who love to explore the world and want to display their finds in their home, adds Abby Gruman of Abby Leigh Designs. "[This style] often represents a well-traveled person, and these travel experiences are reflected in an eclectically designed home, [like] showcasing sculptures and art," she says.

den room verellen sofa oak coffee table
William Abranowicz

Conscientiousness: Minimalist Design

Since conscientious people lean towards highly organized and functional lifestyles, a minimalist home base is best, says Alexandra Peck, the owner and principal of Alexandra Peck Design. "To achieve a successful, beautiful minimalist interior space, opt for pieces that are simple and clean-lined," says Peck. "I recommend sticking to natural fabrics and materials such as linen, wool, white oak wood, and light-toned, lime-wash paint for walls and ceilings."

Every element should be designed around productivity, which conscientious individuals care a lot about, notes Williams. "All functions of the [minimalist] home are purposeful or have some type of meaning or use," she adds, noting that a streamlined, functional space shouldn't feel cold. "Things aren't super decorated, but there's still personality within the space."

living room of kristen blazek family home
Courtesy of @virtuallyherestudios

Extraversion: Modern Design

Extroverts are the life of the party, so their space should be a reflection of that, notes Williams. This passionate, high-energy way of living is best funneled through modern interior design, which is a scheme rooted in open spaces. "I'm imagining a home for entertaining with unexpected gathering spaces and big seating areas," she says. "Everything flows together well, and most importantly, they always have a place for someone to set their drink––no matter where they're standing in the house."

Gruman recommends adding to the open floor plan by working in other modern design elements, like warm neutrals, grasscloth wallpapers, and cozy fabrics; Goldbach points to bold, high-impact pieces ideas as options, too, like a sculptural sofa or statement rug.

red couch hanging antique rug
Wing Ho

Agreeableness: Traditional Design

If you fall into the agreeable category, you may be hesitant to choose a bold interior style based on your compassionate personality and desire to craft a space that anyone would enjoy, Peck notes. However, that doesn't mean you shouldn't have a space with a wow factor. She suggests a traditional aesthetic that's rooted in history, making it classic, timeless, and familiar for those who enter your home.

Peck recommends sourcing antique furniture from centuries past in materials like dark woods, aged leather, and velvet. Polish off the space with a warm-toned, hand-knotted area rug and either polished brass or oil-rubbed bronze light fixtures with off-white linen shades.

picture window fireplace

Neuroticism: Coastal Design

Since those with neurotic personality types tend to experience high levels of anxiety, Dodgen-Magee recommends an interior design aesthetic that is both soothing and stimulating. According to designers, Mediterranean or coastal-inspired home designs are both—they transport us to the sea, where serene color palettes and the crash of ocean waves simultaneously pacify and invigorate our senses. These interior design styles also offer a welcoming feel, since common features like neutral paint shades and houseplants all contribute to stress reduction, explains Low.

To implement these design schemes in your home, incorporate light and airy colors (like light blue), comfortable rugs and couches, linen window coverings and upholstery, light oak wood, and grasscloth wallpapers.

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