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What Does Your Personality Archetype Dictate About Your Preferred Style?

Some design styles immediately catch our eye, while others hold no allure. Why? Personality archetypes are one way to tap into our aesthetic preferences. 

We now continue our exploration of the ancient Enneagram system as it pertains to different design styles. This second installment of our series will cover numbers four, five and six. If you missed the first article, be sure to check out the description of each number in the system (below), along with our deep dive into numbers one through three, which can be found online at 

  • 1 Ones, the reformers, are logical and always ready to live in alignment with their principles and ideals. They are intentional in their way of life, self-disciplined and perfection seeking. They want to live in a way that is objectively virtuous and correct. 
  • 2 Twos, the helpers, are the natural caretakers of the world. As born hosts and hostesses, they come across as warm, giving, nurturing and inviting. They want to make others feel adored and accepted, and they may have a tendency to become territorial or overprotective of those they love. 
  • 3 Threes, the achievers, are ambitious, driven, success-seeking and focused on image. They chase their big dreams and are highly motivated to hustle in pursuit of the next goal. They want to challenge themselves and perform well to impress others and gain admiration. 
  • 4 Fours, the individuals, are the sensitive artists of the world. Fours can express themselves in dramatic ways, experience mood swings and come across as melancholy. Yet, they are old souls with a poetic flair. 
  • 5 Fives, the investigators, are intellectually curious, highly intelligent and typically introverted. They are passionate about researching their areas of interest and prefer to spend much of their time in solitude, in order to process their thoughts and manage their energy. 
  • 6 Sixes, the loyalists, are community-oriented and relationship-focused on their lifelong friends, family members and inner circle. They show up in our world as dutiful contributing citizens who embrace critical thinking. Although they can have a tendency to worry, they can also channel fear into creating security and preparing for a rainy day. 
  • 7 Sevens, the enthusiasts, are focused on the pursuit of fun and adventure. They are flexible, yet difficult to pin down at times, due to their scattered nature. They focus on positivity and finding the silver linings in life. If times get rough or intolerable, they yearn to flee to greener pastures. 
  • 8 Eights, the challengers, are tough bulldozer types who wield power and force. They are full of confidence, competence and determination. They also do not shy away from confrontation and tough conversations. Instead, they address conflict head-on with an assuredness of victory. 
  • 9 Nines, the peacemakers, are sometimes referred to as the “sweethearts of the Enneagram.” With their good-natured vibes, they tend to go with the flow. They are pleasant to be around, affirming toward others around them, naturally empathetic and accommodating. They go along to get along and have an air of natural lovability about them. 

Fanciful fours 
Fours are the individualistic artists of the Enneagram. While other types may enjoy art, for fours, artistic expression is a core part of their sensitive identity. The homes of these poetic old souls tend to feel not so much crisply curated, as creatively collected, based on moods and life experiences. Walking into the home of a four, you’ll feel like you’re in the presence of someone who has really marinated on their experiences, diving into the deep end of life and encouraging others to do the same. This is the friend to whom you can pour your heart out – no emotion too dark, no experience too gritty and no thought too “out there” to share. In terms of catching up, you can skip the small talk and go straight to your most meaningful moments. 

If you’re a four, your sense of style can have a dramatic or melancholic undercurrent. You don’t shy away from darkness and instead, embrace and embellish a full spectrum of emotion. Whimsical art, moody colors, travel-centric accoutrements and an overall one-of-a-kind vibe will make you feel right at home. Think Alice in Wonderland vibes! Browse through looks that feature Bohemian, Moody Maximalism and Tuscan Provincial for ideas to start a new iteration of self-expression. 

Fastidious fives 
As intellectually curious investigators, fives are intelligent introverts who sometimes just want to be left alone. It’s not because they’re grumpy or don’t care about spending time with others. It’s because they experience a rich cerebral life and prefer to carve out time to process their thoughts and dive deeply on their chosen areas of research. In the home of a five, you may feel enriched with insight, always learning something new. This type collects items in niche specific categories determined by interest. Maybe it’s the latest gears and gadgets if they are into tech. It could be maps or globes if navigation tickles their fancy. Messages in a bottle could reveal a penchant for nautical interests. Fives would be likelier than others to have a theme room devoted to a passion project. 

If you are a five and crave a shelter from the storm to manage your energy and simply think, then you’ll love to hole up in a denlike room for deep focus. This type of longform seclusion typically comes quite naturally to you, and it will be quite a while before any kind of cabin fever sets in. You might prefer dim lighting, stonelike touches, neutral colors, shelves and collection displays, books galore and mentally stimulating gadgets. To retreat into your brain and away from the chaos of daily life, Rustic, Light Academia or Steampunk themes could be right up your alley. 

Sensible sixes 
As loyalists, sixes will honor relationships and traditions. Similar to twos, sixes will create gallery walls of loved ones and hang tight to passed down heirlooms, along with any treasure representing sentiment and nostalgia. They hold onto old memory boxes and scrapbooks. If you want to see the movie ticket stub from a special first date, they’ve got it, along with a photo of their kindergarten best friend, who, by the way, is still their best friend in adulthood. When in the home of a six, you’ll feel honored. You’ve been invited into a sacred space and are most likely part of their inner circle. Once you’re in their life, you’re there to stay, as long as you open your heart and accept the loyalty they offer. If you’re in a photo on their wall, it’s a done deal. You’ll be in their lives forever. 

If you’re a six, you probably value traditional wooden craftsmanship and general artistry of bygone eras. You may or may not be a history buff. Regardless, you look to the past to help inform your future decisions. Sixes yearn for security, and thus, you may prefer to surround yourself with anchors like beloved relationship circles, tried and true habits, familiar creature comforts and food stockpiles. Although maybe not be a full-blown prepper, homesteading activities like growing a garden, canning and culinary arts are possible activities you’ve dabbled in. You probably appreciate the timelessness of natural beauty and likely have a few houseplants and botanical symbols throughout your home. If you are indeed a six who finds comfort in duty, community, tradition, critical thinking and natural beauty, consider the styles of Arts and Crafts, Cottage Core and French Country. These design looks lend themselves to homesteading and traditional craftsmanship. Simply put, they promote safety and coziness. 

Join us in the next issue as we wrap up the adventure with types seven, eight and nine.

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