The Enneagram is an ancient tool that has been used for centuries to help people understand the baseline motives behind their actions and decisions. While its wisdom has been honed across generations, it seems as if this personality indicator is having its heyday now. I am having so much fun talking with my friends about what their Enneagram Type may be, and how this influences their lives, their decisions, and their relationships. If you aren’t familiar with this personality inventory, you can take a free brief assessment here!
While I believe that there is more that unites us as people than may divide us, gaining knowledge from tools like the Enneagram can help us understand what makes us tick, and design our lives with our strengths (and struggles) in mind. Knowledge is power!
As you begin thinking about purchasing or designing your home, considering the needs of your personality type can help you make the most of your space (and your budget) Here is a brief overview of the nine Enneagram Types and some factors that may come into play when finding their perfect space to call home…
TYPE ONE: The Reformer
When a One is looking for a place to call home, function and intentionality matters. Finding a home that has space for a One to immerse themselves in their passions for creating the world they want to see matters. This looks different from person to person- it may look like a woodwork shop, a kitchen ready to cook for crowds, or a home office where they can set up their online crusades, but a One will be happiest in a place where they feel they can work to help the world without being constrained by space or design. Ones also value an ability to separate work and relationships, so a home with a separate working and relaxing space will come in handy! Finally, sourcing matters when it comes to how their home is constructed, where it is located, and whether it was created in an ecological friendly way.
If a One is investing some of their resources in a home redesign, thinking ethically and practically about their space, its use, and creating a haven to relax in at the end of the day are all important!
TYPE TWO: The Helper
Twos are relational, warm, people-people! They highly value serving others, hospitality, and seeking to make the lives of those they love richer and more beautiful. Because of this, Twos highly value space where they can welcome their community. This may mean a large entertaining area, a dine-in kitchen with a large community table, or an outdoor living space where there always seems to be music and a grill sizzling! Twos typically enjoy homes with open floor plans, lots of natural light, and many entertainment spaces.
Because Twos are so giving by nature, its actually very helpful for them to find sanctuary in the private areas of their homes to relax and recharge. Though they may not value it at first, having a comfortable master bedroom suite with places to unwind and take haven can be hugely helpful to their long term emotional and physical health.
When planning an interior design project or home renovation, twos will usually spend most of their attention- and their budget- on public spaces, and special areas for other family members. Making sure they are attending to their own needs and creating a safe haven for restoration can be a beautiful encouragement for these generous people.
TYPE THREE: The Achiever
Threes are ambitious, eager, and excited to make their mark on the world. They are captivated by ideas, and often love geeking out on the new cool technology, or going ‘all in’ on their hobbies. Because they appreciate success and the fine things in life, they love homes that reflect this flashy fun. Threes gravitate to sleek, modern designs, classic, Mid-Century Modern homes, or anything unique and well designed. They love creating their ‘man caves’ or ‘she sheds’ that hold collections of the things that capture their imagination and interest.
When a three is considering home design or a renovation project, the most important question is What and Why. How can they get the most value for their dollar? What new feature in their home will make them feel happy and motivated every time they see it? With the increase in the work-from-home lifestyle in the past few years, creating an ideal home-office space for them to burn through their working hours is an investment that will pay off well.
TYPE FOUR: The Individualist
Fours are our natural artists, deeply connected to beauty and connection in their worlds. For a four, it is meaningful to find a home and a design style that reflects their personal tastes and aesthetic, a place where they can feel at home in their vast array of emotions, projects, and passions.
Fours tend to gravitate to homes with unique design, that receive lots of natural light. They can feel at home in urban lofts or country retreats, but often feel uninspired by planned suburban neighborhoods. When you walk into the home of a Four, expect to be wowed by their use of color, texture, light, and whimsy when it comes to their decorating style.
When a four is planning a major home or decor overhaul, it’s important that they slow down and operate from their mind as well as their gut. Stopping to think about what is NEEDED from the space’s function, not only its form and aesthetic, is a key step. Help a Four drill down to the basics and see what they NEED, then set them free to decorate and create the space they want!
TYPE FIVE: The Investigator
Fives are analytical and cerebral by nature. They are drawn into the magic of data, and find comfort and beauty in the order of a measurable world. Fives are often introverted by nature, and may often feel depleted or overwhelmed by what others may consider a normal amount of activity. Fives tend to dive deeply into their areas of interest, and collect mountains of knowledge, books, and memorabilia about their favorite subjects!
It is extremely important for Fives to have ‘their space’ in their homes. While a home office or a craft room may be a nice bonus for many, it can be practically a necessity to a Five. They love having a refuge from the world, a place where they can become immersed in the world of their imaginations and feel safe and insulated from the hustle and bustle of the outside world.
When working with a Five on room decor or house design, look for places where they feel they can be ‘off.’ Open floor plans or minimalist spaces can feel overwhelming to many Fives, because they don’t see a place where they can get away from it all. A great way to make a Five feel seen and loved is to help them create a space where their passions, their knowledge, and their need to collect is valued and made beautiful.
TYPE SIX: The Loyalist
Sixes are known to be responsible and vigilant. They love people fiercely, and often show that love by preparing for the worst. While this doesn’t mean that all Sixes are tinfoil hat wearing recluses, it does mean that they are the ones who read the safety manual upon entering the airplane. When a six is evaluating a potential home, safety and function will be top of mind. They are going to look for homes that seem safe structurally, and will think to the future for possible challenges of a home’s layout. If a home doesn’t have an interior room for a tornado shelter, just move on…
One great thing about Type Six people is the way they value good work. Because of this, Sixes love investing in historic homes, preserving the craftsmanship and beauty of the past, while investing in a home’s future strength and beauty. When it comes to design, they prefer to invest in a few, well-built pieces, and build their design as a part of a legacy. When working with a Six on a design or a renovation, show your thought process. Go through the budget with them, and show the research you have done.
When you want to indulge a Six, invest in family space. Create rooms and design that project a sense of safety and warmth, that invite people to pull out a board game or relax by the fire. Creating memories in the space they have chosen is one of the best treasures for this personality type.
TYPE SEVEN: The Enthusiast
Sevens are, in a word, fun. Free wheeling and fanciful, these adventurers are often off writing their own stories. Their homes bounce from town to town, collecting momentos of past experiences- thrift shop finds, splashy, colorful pieces that draw the eye. When a Seven is looking for a place to call home, they often enjoy the wow factor, but come to truly appreciate a place with systems and design that lend themselves to ease of use. Helping a Seven develop a minimalist lifestyle with a home that requires little daily maintenance is a gift.
When a Seven is looking to create something new, they are drawn to the new and the different. Creating spaces that are versatile and welcoming lend well to their extroverted, life of the party lifestyle. Help them lend their own aesthetic and keepsakes to a space that is inviting to others and adaptable for multiple uses is a great idea!
TYPE EIGHT: The Challenger
Eights self-possessed and like to feel in control of their surroundings. Their need for order and predictability can sometimes make them seem controlling, but these efforts of control are actually masking the desire to create a predictable, safe world for those they love.
When looking for a place to call home, Eights typically value a traditional home, where each room has a defined role: a kitchen, a dining room, a family room, a garage (for cars!), bedrooms, bathrooms. Suggest ditching the dining table to create an art studio and watch an Eight’s eyebrows shoot straight up their forehead!
Because a sense of order and predictability make Eights feel at ease, helping create a home with a ‘place for everything and everything in its place’ can be a gift. Projects such as adding built in bookshelves, creating closet or pantry storage solutions, or even creating a designated laundry area, can be exciting! Eights tend to gravitate towards family homes that have space for everyone to engage, both together and in their separate spaces.
TYPE NINE: The Peacemaker
Nines are easygoing and affable, eager to keep the peace. Sometimes to the point that they aren’t actually that connected to what THEY truly want or value! Because Nines value relationship so highly, creating areas where people can gather and have meaningful connection is important to them. Enter a home of a nine and you will see lots of seating in the living room, and probably a porch swing or place to gather outside.
When decorating, Nines tend to gravitate towards soothing color palettes and warm, inviting spaces. However, helping them find their OWN design aesthetic, and uncover what they actually might need or desire in a home can be tricky! Helping a Nine sit down and list the things they can imagine wanting to do often in their home can help them uncover their true desires for the ultimate use of their space.
Now That You Know...
If you have a better idea of which Enneagram type you are and are still feeling stuck on how to design your home, feel free to reach out to me. I'd love to get to know you and your style better and help you create a space that feels right for you!