Have you ever wondered why you gravitate toward a certain style of home? Do you prefer old homes over new ones? Do you cringe at bright colors, or emphatically shake your head no when a friend suggests you buy a neutral rug? Do you value the newest trends or staunchly cling to antiques? We may not even know why we like what we like, we just know it when we see it. These preferences are driven by your personality, whether consciously or unconsciously. The following categories are just a few examples of how our house personality influences decor.
This is a person who values tradition, consistency, and class. Do you love classic literature, vintage cars and understated elegance? Do you love art that reminds you of a museum? Do you own formal china and silver? Do you love to host holiday dinners? Then you’re likely a Classic house personality.
Musts: Elegant furniture that you keep for a lifetime and pass on to your children.
Nevers: Quick, cheap purchases, like an overly trendy light fixture.
Don’t tell them what to do. These free spirits will decorate when and how they please. If they like a bright red Victorian settee, they’re going to get it whether it matches the room or not. If they want a brightly-colored backsplash in their kitchen, they’re going to ignore people who say that neutral tiles are better for resale value. If you like color, irreverent whimsy and sometimes a little bit of disorder, you’re probably a Bohemian.
Musts: An antique chair and a brightly colored Moroccan rug.
Nevers: A matching living room furniture set with beige upholstery.
“Introvert” seems to be a bad word in certain circles, but a kinder iteration is the word “homebody.” These people are my people. We would rather cook dinner than go out. We aren’t concerned with having enough seating for a party, but our couch will always be comfortable. Others may go out to socialize, but we’re at home working in the garden or curled up in bed with a book. Creature comforts take precedence over appearance and socializing.
Musts: Candles, high thread count sheets and all things cozy.
Nevers: Items that look good but don’t feel good (you can keep those bony mid-century sofas).
The Old Soul
Do you love history? Are you always on the hunt at an antique mall? Do you watch black and white movies and shop for vintage clothes? Do you wish time moved slower and you could walk to your favorite restaurant instead of driving? Does buying a new car give you anxiety? Is your record player still getting air time? Then you, and your home, are old souls.
Musts: Movie memorabilia, stacks of records, vintage lamps.
Nevers: Big box purchases. You’ll take grandma’s dining table any day over a brand new one.
Your twist ties are in a labeled bag, and that bag is inside a box that’s also labeled. You can find your baking supplies in a flash, and not one book on your bookshelf isn’t in alphabetical order. You thrive in a world that makes sense and is predictable. If there is chaos in a closet, you won’t be happy no matter how beautifully decorated your home is.
Musts: Closet systems, shelving, clear plastic drawer containers, and bright lighting.
Nevers: Cluttered shelves overflowing with tchotchkes.
The Nature Lover
Your favorite colors mimic the seasons. You would rather spend a Saturday hiking than in front of a tv. You have an entire storage closet in your garage dedicated to camping equipment, or you’ve invested in a well-stocked gardening shed in the backyard. You arrange furniture around plants that need to be situated in front of windows. Your yard is the envy of every gardener who drives past.
Musts: Plants, calming colors, and a tabletop water fountain.
Nevers: Houses with small windows and dark rooms.
Do you prefer to fill your rainy afternoons with Meg Ryan movies? Have you ever met a flower arrangement you didn’t like? Do you like soft colors, wispy curtains, and chandeliers? Is a trip to Versailles your idea of a dream vacation? Are your perfumes organized on mirrored trays and is gilt your favorite accessory? You, my dear, are a romantic.
Musts: Lace curtains, old-world paintings and candelabras.
Nevers: Modern furniture, black dishes and rooms that look cold.
This productive person has no patience for silliness or wasted time. They thrive on achieving goals and are put off by clutter or fusty old rooms. They like efficient interiors, cutting-edge technology, and the newest waves of interior design. In other words, they are the polar opposite of The Romantic.
Musts: Curtainless windows, streamlined furniture, the newest of the new.
Nevers: Grandma-anything or an overflowing cabinet of travel coffee mugs.
This house personality represents the eternal students of the world. Stacks of magazines live underneath bedside tables, bookshelves are a necessity, and musical instruments hang on walls. Bowls of seashells, different species of pine cones, or a stack of books on Picasso grace their tabletops. Their homes are less about organization and appearance, and more about learning about the world around them.
Musts: A home library and long tables to stack their latest crystals and fossil rocks.
Nevers: Soulless houses without books and filled with big box store accessories.
At the end of the day, most of us don’t fall neatly into one house personality category. We hover between two or three with varying percentages. There are also missing categories in this list. For example, the “Oops I Forgot” category would have included those of us who leave wet clothes in the dryer overnight, but that didn’t seem like much fun. Regardless of specific categories, your home is a reflection of who you are. Understanding our personalities and preferences is a big step toward creating a home where we feel comfortable and happy.