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How To Style Your Home, Based On Your Myers-Briggs Type

Photo by @lenabelash via Twenty20
June 15, 2018

The home is an extension of the self—a place to showcase personality, gather with loved ones, and express ideas and intentions. So naturally, the décor scheme you gravitate toward says a lot about who you are as a person. Nobody knows this better than Donna Garlough—the stylist and writer whose new book, Your Home, Your Style, is a primer on how to create a home that feels true to you.

We asked Garlough for design tips that correspond to one of the most popular personality indicators of them all: the Myers-Briggs scale. Take the test if you haven't already, and check out which mini makeover is right for you:

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1. ISFJ: Break up larger areas in the home into cozy nooks.

One of the most common personality types, ISFJs are thought to make up about 13 percent of the population. Introverts at heart, these people are wonderful listeners who love gathering with friends and forming meaningful relationships built on trust. Garlough says the prevalence of ISFJs in society aligns with a popular design trend: open floor plans that are divided into different sections with furniture. These spaces are airy enough to encourage people to mingle but designed in a way that encourages deeper conversation. "The challenge in great rooms is that people say when you can do all the things, you often don't do any of the things well," she explains. "So make sure there is comfortable seating where you can kick back but also areas where you can be productive. Rugs can help define these spaces

2. ESFJ: Pay special attention to the dining room.

Another common personality type, ESFJs are the stereotypical extroverts. Popular, fun, and outgoing, they love nothing more than bringing people together, so the dining room is a good one for them to tackle. "Make sure yours has enough comfortable seating and go for good overhead lighting." She recommends putting your light on a dimmer to create an instant ambience and hanging it no more than 36 inches above the table's surface to make sure it casts a small and inviting pool of light.

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3. ISTJ: Create a dedicated space where you can work uninterrupted.

ISTJs respect boundaries and follow rules. They're hard workers who tend to be more traditional in their approach to problem-solving and would benefit from space that's dedicated to productivity. Private retreats like offices, libraries, and craft rooms are wonderful for this more introverted personality type. And even if you don't have an entire room to set aside for a workspace, Garlough says rugs and lighting can work wonders to separate one from the rest of a room. "If you have a desk, put a table lamp on it and a little rug behind it to define it as a nook in a larger space."

4. ISFP: Take advantage of outdoor space.

Are you shy at first but quick to warm up to people? You might be an ISFP—someone who is introverted but fast to come out of his or her shell. Garlough recommends playing up outdoor spaces where you can go to be introspective but also use for entertaining when you're feeling it: "Comfortable lounge seating can make the outdoors feel like a private oasis and a space to go with friends and have intimate conversations. Hang up some string lights, and you can use yours into the wee hours."

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5. ESTJ: Implement systems in notoriously messy areas of the home.

ESTJs are the honest, organized folk among us, and they're born leaders. Someone with this personality type would benefit from putting that detailed-oriented energy into a home-cleaning system. "This is a person who would be great at establishing order in 'drop spots' like the kitchen, entryway, or pantry," says Garlough. Grab those Mason jars, lidded baskets, and label makers, and get to work!

6. ESFP: Play around with color.

Born entertainers, ESFP's love making a space and getting people to smile. Show off some of this warm, bubbly energy by adding more color to your space using bright accent walls. Garlough recommends pulling in some of the same color on the opposing wall too—maybe with bookshelf trinkets or an art display—to balance things out.

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7. INTP: Make a mood board.

A rare personality type, these people are imaginative and curious but also really great at putting plans into action. If you're an INTJ, you might want to make a mood board before your next room redesign by ripping photos out of design magazines and creating a visual scheme for all the magic you hope to bring to life in your space. "Think of it like a self-assessment that will bring your tendencies and preferences to life," Garlough says.

8. ENTJ: List it out.

ENTJs are confident and enjoy being in command, so shopping for the home can be another way for them to execute a well-formulated plan. Let your inner executive out by making a spreadsheet that keeps all the objects your home could use in one neat place. Then, set aside a day to go shopping and bring your vision to life.

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9. ESTP: Recruit a friend.

These are people who get along with nearly everyone and thrive on good conversation. So why not make an event out of home shopping? Ask a friend to tag along on your next purchase, and run what you're thinking by them. "There's a person who would thrive on the social part of shopping—they really enjoy interacting with somebody in a store and getting that feedback," says Garlough.

10. INFJ: Set aside private space for reflection

One of the rarest personality types out there, INFJs are diplomatic peacemakers who can usually be found dreaming up solutions to some of the biggest problems of today. Create space for your musings by focusing on private spaces in your home that feel nurturing: altars, reading nooks, and meditation corners are just your style.

11. INFP: Opt for cozy, feel-good materials.

You're deeply in tune with your emotions, INFP, and you're super intuitive. You might want to focus on the more tactile décor moments throughout the house—those things that just make you feel really good: welcoming entryway rugs or comfortable sheets, for example. "You want to create an experience for yourself, and the best way to do so is by focusing on things you're going to see right away when you wake up or walk into a room."

12. ENFJ: Tell your story through a gallery wall.

ENFJs are born storytellers, and they love sharing their experiences with others in an open forum. "The storyteller type wants to show where they've been and where they come from," explains Garlough. "Use a gallery wall filled with personal photos to put your personality on display."

13. ENFP: Declutter using a Kondo-esque technique.

You're extremely curious and intuitive, and you're always looking to find the deeper meaning of the world around you. This makes you a perfect candidate for a Kondo-esque exploration of your home, in which you hold items in your hand and really intuit whether you still need them, whether they bring you joy in that particular moment. Clutter can quickly mess with our moods, especially if we're sensitive, so make decluttering a regular priority.

14. ISTP: Make a vision board mapping out your next adventure.

Though introverted, you're a free spirit who loves exploring the world around you. So why not use your home to help you manifest that next dreamy vacation? Start a vision board or manifestation altar that features cutouts of places you want to go and visuals that inspire wanderlust. Continue to add to it over time, and let it remind you of lands far away every time you pass.

15. INTJ: Make a craft with your hands.

Detail-oriented and extremely practical, INTJs tend to be great at working with their hands. Welcome this sense of tinkering in your home by starting a DIY project that will bring more life to your space—macramé display or terrarium garden, anyone?

16. ENTP: Designate some transitional space.

You're a born debater, and you love exploring both sides of every argument. Let this part of your personality shine through by establishing a place in your home that can easily change depending on your mood and inclination. Maybe it's a coffee table that accumulates different books and trinkets or an exposed clothing rack that can display whatever outfits you're loving in that moment.

Now that you've given your home a mini makeover, it's time for a good cleaning. Here's an easy routine for scrubbing down some of the dirtiest spots at home.

Emma Loewe
Emma Loewe
mbg Sustainability + Health Director

Emma Loewe is the Sustainability Health Director at mindbodygreen and the author of Return to Nature: The New Science of How Natural Landscapes Restore Us. She is also the co-author of The Spirit Almanac: A Modern Guide To Ancient Self Care, which she wrote alongside Lindsay Kellner.

Emma received her B.A. in Environmental Science & Policy with a specialty in environmental communications from Duke University. In addition to penning over 1,000 mbg articles on topics from the water crisis in California to the rise of urban beekeeping, her work has appeared on Grist, Bloomberg News, Bustle, and Forbes. She's spoken about the intersection of self-care and sustainability on podcasts and live events alongside environmental thought leaders like Marci Zaroff, Gay Browne, and Summer Rayne Oakes.