Authenticity in Design

As a result of COVID, we are spending significantly more time in our homes these days, and even as stay-at-home orders have relaxed, lingering concerns about our safety keep many of us from venturing out as often as we would like.  It now almost goes without saying that your home decor should make you feel comfortable, and truly at home.  Part of that sense of comfort comes from who you are.  Your decor should reflect your personality.

So how do you decide what style or styles best match you?  Do the unornamented sleek lines of mid-century modern tempt you?  How about the clean, easy-going minimalism of Scandinavian?  Or perhaps you are more of a cool brash industrialist?  If your answer to these questions is “yes,” then the authenticity movement may be just what you need.


The choices we make in designing our living spaces reflect who we are as individuals, and have the potential to inspire those who visit our homes.  The furniture we choose, the color palettes we implement, and even the dominant shape themes we use say something about how we view and approach the world.

Authenticity is about making choices that enlighten you and fit the personality you want to portray. The key is to spend time with colors and shapes, to explore furnishings and understand their materials, textures, weights, and colors so that you know what truly speaks to you.  Only then, can you build a design scheme that feels authentic and inspiring!


A great deal of research has gone into understanding how the choices we make speak to our personality characteristics, so one immediate way to plan your design scheme is to understand how “you” matches with design elements.

Colors, for example, can speak to our characteristics.  People who love blue tend to be reliable and sensitive.  Their preference for tidiness and their desire for stability suggest that elements of unornamented minimalism or the weighty furnishings of traditional might match well with their authentic style.  On the other hand, those who enjoy purple are often artistic, unique, and may be perceived as arrogant.  People of this temperament might enjoy the more unusual lines of a zig-zag chair or the quirkiness of an eclectic style.

Shapes equally can tell us something about our psychological make-up.  Based on Susan Dellinger’s book on psycho-geometrics (and yes that is apparently a field), people who are drawn to squares don’t typically like surprises, are organizers, and seek a sense of security — traits that connect well to more traditional styles like classicism.  Round lovers are more forthright and outgoing and match well with the eclectic sense of style. Look out lovers of curves and waves!

Squiggly lines suggest the non-traditionalist who is creative, motivated, independent, and sexy.  These traits of the young professional often match well with urban styles like industrialism and modernism.

Even overall design schemes say something about who we are.  Drawn to Scandinavian design?  Chances are you’re friendly, stylish, and interested in culture.  Tend toward the modern?  You are likely driven, organized, and professional.  The traditionalist is poised and elegant.  The minimalist is introverted and efficient.  But remember that authenticity is about finding all the parts of yourself so that one style doesn’t have to define you.  If you feel like your personality traits bridge various styles, then try blending the styles to find what works for you!


Authenticity is about knowing and embracing your personality traits and the ways they connect to the designs you love.  Don’t feel locked down by any one trend, by styles that seem chic, but that make you feel like a visitor in your own home.  Take a look “inside” . . . both with yourself and your home and don’t be afraid to make home decorating choices that truly say, “this is the real me.”