The secret to great home decor is math

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Introverted, analytical over-thinkers, who dream about the future, and say ‘no’ to rules, aren’t meant to know how to decorate homes. The secret is, they do it better than anyone.

I’m obsessed with the Myer Briggs Type Indicator. I love discovering more about myself, debating the descriptions with fellow nerdy friends, and using the information like a puppeteer tweaking our own strings for self-improvement. A reoccurring tidbit I discovered in researching MBTI forums about my type, INTP, is that fellow INTP’s are too analytical and robot-like in their thinking to care about interior decorating.

I find this OUTRAGEOUS. Exceptional interior decorating is about figuring out how to get from point A to point B; it’s a math puzzle that requires an analytic brain to decipher. So if you’re a fellow INTP, here’s why you’d be great at home decorating and why you’ll love it.

We understand needs better than others.

Introverted people are great listeners and value meaningful relationships. This gives us a great ability to connect with people, understand who they are and what they really want.

In helping my parents decorate their home, I’ve been able to listen to what they wanted (as well as what they think they want), understand who they are as people, and synthesise that into a solution that made sense for them.

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{My parents family room – captures their cultural diversity and rich aesthetic}

This is a gift of the introverts. This does not come organically to an extroverts, which is more likely to talk you into one of their ideas or listen to the obvious things you say you want instead of asking more questions and uncovering a deeper insight behind what you need.

If decorating for yourself, you are better than anyone else to understand your unique needs and what’s the right choice for you.

We can see the bigger picture.

We have a natural ability to use all the information we’ve learned about a person through meaningful conversation to see patterns and possibilities about what needs to be done to decorate a space. As opposed to decorators who do what’s asked of them and get the job done (also a valuable trait), our perspective is really useful to create something entirely new.

In decorating my home, instead of picking items that made sense, I thought about how each piece would fit with everything else. I let me imagination come up with new ideas and what I got was a richly layered space that had the ‘finished’ editorial look and not just a room of stuff you like.

Mood boards are a great way for us to ‘play’ with all the ideas in our head and create a truly interesting and meaningful space.

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{A mood board I created for my next home – can’t wait to bring it to life!}

We’re math nerds who love research.

When choosing the perfect position for my living room sofa, my decision wasn’t made on a whim. I processed all the factors to find the ‘natural’ spot for it:

  • What I couldn’t change – I couldn’t block the balcony door, and TV had to be in the north-east nook because of the only power socket in the room.
  • Optimal traffic flow – I didn’t want to weave in and out of furniture, so I needed a straight pathway from entry to room to the balcony.
  • Give the room a balanced feel – there’s only one main wall on which I could hang artwork and this was also next to the TV, so I couldn’t put a sofa along that same wall because it would make the room feel like it was all weighted to one corner of the room.
  • Cost and time of each possible option.

All these puzzle pieces gave me clues to what the natural answer was. Like the Logic Grid Puzzles we did as kids. Join enough dots and there’s only one right answer. For my living room this meant positioning the sofa in front of the window.

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{I was obsessed with these as a kid}

INTP’s LOVE this kind of logical thinking, so we excel in problem solving decorating decisions. Rather than just doing what’s ‘hot right now’ or ‘feels right’. We can see the math behind every decision.

We disregard the rules.

We value flexibility and the freedom to change our minds. We’re not fickle, we’re just acutely aware that generic rules give you generic results; so we ignore them.

How I’ve decorated my study room is a demonstration of this.

  • The walls are lined with a french boudoir-style bold red stripe;
  • Against which lies a blue-green check sofa;
  • On top of a busy rug with Parisian streets written on it;
  • With a footstool covered in a floral teal print.

Pattern on pattern on more pattern. A decorating no-no that works because I recognise that home decor is very personal and should not be restricted by design rules that don’t consider an individuals’ needs and desires. My eyes are stimulated by the drama of patterns and subdued neutral tones are too boring and safe, and make me feel anxious.

INTP’s could be the best decorators if you’re looking for someone to help you transform your space into something that is rich with character and is a true reflection of who you are.

Take the MBTI test here to find out more about yourself.

So, I’m an INTP, what MBTI are you? I’d love to know!

Tell me in the comments below, send me a private email or message me on Twitter @decoreducation.

Also, follow my Snapchat (decoreducation) for a regular dose of decor life in Melbourne, Australia.


One Comment

  1. That’s a really cool concept that math can be used with home decor. I’m not super good at calculating these kinds of things, but I am in the market to buy some new decorations. I’ll have to run this idea by some family and see what items we should get to try and follow this style. Thanks for the awesome info!

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