I absolutely loved hearing that the University of Texas Austin did a study on people’s homes and personalities. For those of us who have always wanted to capture that cozy, welcoming feeling of home, but just can’t seem to make our space feel homey enough, you are going to love what their findings showed! So, what is the secret key that makes a home feel more like a home and less like a house? Let’s get into it…
I see you!
What the University of Texas Austin did was conduct a study of over 286 people above the age of 65. Their specific area of focus was the homes of the participants, specifically the areas in which the participants spent the most time. Researchers took photos of the living spaces for each individual and what they found was that they were able to clearly see the personalities of the people show through in their home decor choices and style. Makes sense, right?
It might seem like no surprise that when you see photos of a person’s home, you might be able to get a sense of who that person is. However, this particular study found that quality of life and overall happiness seemed to go up in those participants whose personalities shone through more in their photos.
Professor Karen Fingerman goes on to say, “People who have a match between personality and living space report better well-being, and they feel better about their life and have a better mood,”
Based on these findings, it’s safe to say that the more you are able to decorate your home showing your own unique personality traits, the more likely you are to also enhance the quality of your life and overall happiness.
Creating space for extroverts
If you are someone who is extroverted, according to the study, you might enhance your mood if you allow your space to reflect your bright, welcoming personality.
Maybe that means brighter colors, unique works of art, or random things you find that just seem to bring you joy.
While I am someone who has been known to speak on not over-spending and being aware of shopaholic tendencies, the study shows that happier extroverts benefits from having a “newness” about their homes. Maybe that just goes to show that switching it up, especially when it comes to your home decor can bring new life to space and a sense of renewed energy to you!
What this might look like:
- Alternating photos in your frames from your latest vacation
- Displaying your favorite collections
- Making a statement wall with your favorite color
- Allowing for lots of sitting/socializing space
- Hanging work from your favorite artists
Post you might like: 10 Frugal Ways to Create a Cozy Home That Feels Authentic to You
It’s no surprise that if you love organization, you will benefit more from a crisp, clean, well-organized space! This might mean you would really benefit from some consistent decluttering in your home, so you have less to organize and are surrounded only by things you feel are necessary and important to you.
Also, people who tend to be more organized usually carry this trait to all areas of their lives. So if you are someone who is trying to juggle work, school, schedules, and keep all of these things in a state of organization, having a minimal, organized home can help eliminate the stress of also needing to maintain your home all the time.
Feel like you could use some help eliminating all areas of your life? My program, Unstoppable Purpose is designed to help you simplify all areas of your life so that you can put focus on the areas that matter the most.
If you live in a smaller home this might mean finding clever ways to store excess items or using decor hacks like mirrors and light paint to create a cleaner, more tranquil feel.
What this might look like:
- Solid, neutral paint colors
- Large, open window displays
- Bare walls or larger focal points
- Open spaces and convenient storage
Can clutter be beneficial?!
It pains me to say this, but the study that was conducted also had findings that showed that people who struggle to get around as easily tend to be happier with a fair amount of clutter. Trust me, I’m just as surprised as you.
The main reason this makes sense is that they like having the things they love/need around them within arms’ reach.
I imagine this to be like when I am having a sick day. I keep my books nearby, tissue, water, notebooks, my phone, the remote…all the things within reach.
When we aren’t feeling our best and aren’t as able to be as productive as we would like there is comfort in having our things around us. This makes sense why someone with limited mobility would actually feel more at peace having a certain amount of “clutter” near them at all times.
What this might look like:
- Creating a drop zone for things you use frequently
- Having one zone in your home that is all about comfort
- Using shelving and bins to keep clutter easy to find and close by
For those who don’t love clutter: How to Stop Clutter Before It Starts
The trouble with roommates (and family)
Of course, when we are sharing a home with other people, we might have less opportunity for our personalities to come through in our decor. Especially if there is one main person in charge of decorating. Maybe this is a spouse, parent or roommate.
While this particular study was directed at older people (above the age of 65) I can only imagine that all people benefit from being allowed to have their personalities shine through in their homes. This is something to consider if you happen to be the main decorator. Is there a way that you could allow space for all personalities to shine through?
As our family worked to build a more minimalist home, I struggled with allowing my kids to have their say, even in their own bedrooms.
I wanted the magazine-worthy home that I was seeing on Pinterest and HGTV. However, as I began to ease up in my understanding of minimalism and began to realize that each person has different definitions of what they find valuable, I began to allow my children to incorporate themselves into their rooms. Although we still try to keep toy clutter at a minimum.
I’m so thankful that I learned this lesson and let go of the need to control every space in my home, not only for my own sanity but so that my family could begin to let their uniqueness shine through however they saw fit.
Step away from Pinterest
It can be so tempting to turn to Pinterest photos or experts on HGTV for style ideas. While this can be a great way to get inspired, it can quickly turn into us just copying whatever we see without taking a minute to consider how we can incorporate ourselves into a space.
That’s why I put together a few questions you can ponder that might help you get a better idea of what you want in your space. Keep in mind that if you share this space with another person, a good idea would be a way to find a nice compromise on how to allow both of you to feel at peace in the areas that you share.
- What does comfort mean to you? Could you use this information to help you choose your furniture and bedding?
- Do you prefer bright, well-lit areas or more faded, relaxed lighting? Does this vary based on which room you would be in?
- Are you the outdoor type or more indoors? Is there a way to incorporate your hobbies into this area in an aesthetically pleasing way?
Define what “home” means to you
At the end of the day, as I said, a home is going to feel homier if you allow yourself and your personality to shine through.
You may have seen photos or movies of homes that look “homey” but what does home even mean to you?
- Does it mean somewhere where people can gather?
- A place where you can curl up with a good book?
- Is a home a place that allows for ample space for entertaining?
- Is it small and cozy to snuggle up in or is it large and grand so you have space and room for company?
The clearer you can get on what an ideal home is to you, the easier it will become to put items into it that feel aligned with this vision that you can have for yourself. So let me know, what does your definition of “home” look like?