Your home is a direct reflection of who you are as a person, and perhaps no decorating choice is more indicative of your personality type than the paint colours on your walls. Whether you’re drawn to something that brightens your space or gives it a moody aesthetic, paint colour is an extremely personal choice that gives your home a lot of character.
Since it is such an important design element, you want to choose a shade that’s compatible with your personality. “Colour’s superpower is that it has the ability to transform the mood in a space,” says Erika Woelfel, vice president of colour and creative services at Behr. “It’s important to consider what colours will bring out the right moods in you.”
Beyond basing your paint colour on your home’s existing furnishings, we recommend tailoring the hue to your specific personality type. Ultimately, this will be what dictates how at ease you feel in your home.
The 5 personality types
There are five major personality types that psychologists use to help people understand their core character traits. Known as the Big Five, they include: Openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism.
“These categories offer a reference point for the public to understand their own and other people’s behaviours, attitudes, and different ways of thinking, operating, and relating to the world,” says Monica Vermani, C.Psych, a clinical psychologist and author of A Deeper Wellness: Conquering Stress, Mood, Anxiety and Traumas.
Openness: Highly imaginative, creative, adventurous, risk takers, have a broad interest in the world, eager to experience new things.
Conscientiousness: Thoughtful, superior impulse control, goal oriented, pays attention to detail.
Extraversion: Talkative, assertive, emotionally expressive, energised by the company of others, enjoys being the centre of attention, likes to meet new people.
Agreeableness: Trustworthy, kind, affectionate, comforting, cooperative, empathetic towards others.
Neuroticism: Moody, over thinkers, have a hard time relaxing.
The best paint colours for each personality type
Everyone interacts with colour differently, and how you respond to a certain hue is largely based on your personality type, which is shaped by your unique human experiences. “These experiences include genetic foundations, physiological development, emotional experiences, and interpersonal attachments,” says Daniel Marston, PsyD, psychologist at LifeStance Health.
All of those factors determine how an individual responds to what goes on in their world, including how they react to certain colours. Once you’ve identified your personality type, you’ll gain a better understanding of which paint colours are best suited for you.
If you fall into the openness personality category, you’re likely a risk-taker who is open to new adventures. “Colours that tend to be brighter, saturated, and deeper tend to be available to a risk-taker,” says Sue Wadden, director of colour marketing at Sherwin-Williams, “This type of personality isn’t afraid to try something new.” She recommends leaning into saturated hues like reds, yellows, and oranges.
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However, when decorating a space that’s meant to feel comforting, people who are open should consider opting for darker shades. “In restful spaces, create a dark nest-like space using rich, indulgent jewel tones, which will help you rest properly and quiet the constant churning of your mind,” says Annie Sloan, paint and colour expert and creator of chalk paint.
Organised and structured people who are conscientious often work in jobs where skill sets involve attention to detail and organisation. “Individuals high in this trait regularly plan ahead and analyse their behaviour to understand how it affects others,” says Dr Vermani.
Consider leaning into hues with cool, earthy undertones when choosing a paint colour for this personality type. “This will enable them to feel secure and relaxed in their home environment,” says Sloan. Watery blues, soft greens, and off-white are all examples of cool neutral colours that will help a thoughtful, goal-oriented person feel at ease.
Do you feel energised after hanging out with a crowd of people? You likely identify with the extraversion personality type. “Sometimes people who are very outgoing need a space that allows them to unwind,” says Wadden. “For energetic people in need of a chill space, I’d go to whites and neutrals, which are soothing colours.”
On the other hand, if you prefer a design reflective of your emotionally expressive behaviour, opt for something brighter in spaces used for entertaining, like the living room. Red, chartreuse green, or a bold yellow are all suitable paint colours for extroverts. “When your eye catches these colours, it triggers a reaction in the brain that immediately floods you with adrenaline,” Wadden says.
Comforting and cooperative are two key traits of someone who is considered agreeable. “Empathy towards others is commonly linked to agreeableness,” says Dr Vermani. This personality type is when classic paint colours come into play.
“Neutrals are a perfect fit for people who are agreeable and cooperative because these types of hues are very well behaved,” says Wadden. “Mushroom whites, taupes, soft browns, greys, and any range of neutral with cool or warm undertones would make someone with this personality type feel at home.”
If you fall into this category but prefer a pop of colour, opt for something that’s still traditional but a little more daring than a neutral hue. “Choose strong, classic colours dense with pigment,” says Sloan, who recommends rich greens, blues, and oxford navy.
If you experience neuroticism, which can lead to feelings of stress and anxiety, opt for a paint colour that soothes. “For this personality type, colour should be focused on evoking calm and should have cooler undertones,” Wadden says. “These hues recede into the background of a space.” Natural blues and greens evoke a sense of calmness and don’t tend to be something people fixate on, which is important for the neuroticism personality type.
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