INTP Decorating for the Thinker/Architect

Welcome to the first of a 16 part series, looking at how your Myers Briggs personality profile affects your decorating choices.  Everyone has different tastes when it comes to home decor, but have you ever considered if your own decorating is driven by something more than pure aesthetic?  I believe that the preferences we have can often be traced back to our personality profile and how we perceive and react to the world.  And, by better understanding our personality profile, we can make informed decorating decisions that can lead to more peaceful living and well-rounded lives.

In this guide, I will not attempt to tell you whether country cottage fits you better, or if you are more the modern eclectic type.  We all are drawn to different styles, and similar personalities will not necessarily have similar decorating tastes.  But, they will have similar ways of making decisions, evaluating choices, and experiencing the decor in their homes.  Which is why, in this series, I will be focusing on broader concepts and decision making  in your home decor versus specific design styles.

To kick off the series, I’d like to start off with my own type, INTP – the Thinker/Architect.  Below is a quick overview of this type.  For a more indepth analysis of the INTP, visit here.

If you are an INTP, you are likely most often oriented inwardly: more focused on the thoughts in your mind than the external world around you.  You enjoy wrapping your head around ideas, and analyzing them logically.  Rather than focusing on the here and now, you think of things in terms of the future–imagining what might be ahead.  Independence is important to you and you are likely a very independent person: neither a leader nor a follower.  In general, you’re a flexible person, preferring not to be constrained to tasks and deadlines.  And, when you focus on something, you are able to give your complete attention to it: tuning out surrounding distractions.

INTP - The Thinker | Mrs. Fancee

INTP Decorating

  • Think things through fully.  As a Thinker who often puts a great amount of time and brainpower into dissecting facts, situations, and ideas, it will be important for you to fully understand all your options when it comes to decorating.  Organize all the possibilities in your head, research what is out there.  This should be the most fun part for you, so don’t skimp!  Take you time and enjoy the thought process, before you begin decorating.

Decorating for your Personality (INTP~The Thinker) | Mrs. Fancee

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  • Display your creativity.  Thinkers often have abstract and creative thoughts: show this in your decorating!  It’s likely you are very passionate about some things, don’t leave these out in your decor.  Abd, be creative in incorporating them.  Like music?  Create a desk out of a piano. Fascinated by nature?  Add raw wood elements throughout your home.  Be fun and quirky!  It’s part of who you are 🙂

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  • Make independent decisions.  It can be fun going shopping with a group of friends, but in the end, you are the one who has to live with what you bought, not them.  If you are like most INTP’s you think best inwardly, not when you’re outwardly focused.  For making decorating decisions, go by yourself or with a person very close to you.  If you aren’t able to think about the decision in the moment, chances are you will later and might regret the choice.
  • Create a retreat.  As an intovert, you enjoy spending time alone, engrossed in your thoughts.  To better appreciate your home, create a space where you can get away and focus on something for a while.  Into crafts? Convert that spare bedroom into a craft retreat.  Like to be outdoors?  Create a garden space with a little seating area.

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  • Draw out your Feeling side.  One of your natural weaknesses is to focus all your energy on rationale and logic and neglect your sensative and empathic side.  to create more balance in your life, surround yourself with decor that stirs your emotions.  Try creating gallery walls of loved ones, or setting out a particularly moving book.  Add some orange: a color that draws out emotions, or pastels: encouraging sensitivity.

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  • Don’t second guess.  You will want to: the thinking preference in you searches for absolute truthes, while your perceiving preference leaves you open minded to multiple solutions.  Here is the key: once you’ve picked…. stop analyzing the choice.  Look for confidence in your decisions and know that, while there will always be other right choices, you chose the one for you. You like it.  Period.

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  • Carry through.  I know, the fun part is envisioning it all in your head, with endless possibilities and choices to be analyzed!  But, once you’ve decided what cabinets you want, or with wall mirror: take action!  It will be much more rewarding in the end, to have that imagination in your head become reality. Preferably, live with someone who is more externally focused: they will happily let you dream to your heart’s content.  Once you’ve made a decision, they will be the ones to help you complete the project.

Good News for the Thinker

1. You have the ability to be creative and out-of-the-box with your home.  Make sure to harness that creativity in your decor choices.  You enjoy thinking long and hard about things, so don’t neglect you decor.  Chances are if you put your head into it, you can come up with original and novel ideas!

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2. You are open-minded and flexible.  Trying new things doesn’t scare you, and imperfection won’t cause you stress.  You are one of those lucky types who can have marble countertops! Aesthetic over function is fine by you, so make it beautiful!  Even if it’s less than practical.   (Case in point, my greek key clock, that is too cute!  But, I can’t even read it in the morning…)

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There you have it: INTP decorating for the Thinker/Architect.  Are you a fellow INTP?  I’d love to hear from you on how you combat second-guessing, and ways that you are creative in your decor.  Stay tuned next week for: ESTJ Decorating for the Guardian.

Decorating for your Personality:

Introduction
INTP Decorating for the Thinker
ESTJ Decorating for the Guardian
INFP Decorating for the Idealist
ENFJ Decorating for the Giver
INFJ Decorating for the Protector
ENTP Decorating for the Visionary
ESFJ Decorating for the Caregiver
ISFP Decorating for the Artist
ISFJ Decorating for the Nurturer
ESFP Decorating for the Performer
ENFP Decorating for the Inspirer
INTJ Decorating for the Mastermind
ENTJ Decorating for the Executive
ISTP Decorating for the Artisan
ESTP Decorating for the Promoter
ISTJ Decorating for the Duty Fulfiller 

]

 

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23 Comments:

  1. As an INTP, you had me until you put in the marble counter top. I don’t know about other INTPs but I am environmentally conscious, as I want to reduce waste and not have excess in my home. We are a type who likes to live in our heads, so our homes are generally full of things that can allow our imagination to flow, or allow us to think of another time. Organization and function (that works for us) is important. Imperfections in things does not have a tendency to bother us unless it becomes a real eyesore, or it prohibits function. Secret areas are always fun as well. Multi-functioning pieces are important as well. And we seem to be very eccentric. No rhyme or reason to what we have and how we place it generally….meaning, we have numerous themes…so many that they aren’t even themes, they are random pieces for whatever reason. 🙂 Our Si makes us want a cozy abode, with stacks of books, and things we find a bit soothing overall. Technology is a big thing for us. Most INTPs I know seem to favor a mix of modern, rustic, and natural (of nature) type surroundings.

    1. Such great insight from an INTP! I love it 🙂 I totally see the multi-functional aspect, and what you mentioned about technology is very interesting to note!

  2. As a fellow INTP, I think marble counter tops would be awesome. My house decor is simple, mostly because I’m married to an ESTJ. I have eclectic elements scattered through the house (i.e. a replica of my teeth in the curio cabinet; toast clock in the kitchen, random quilts I’ve made throughout the house) and places to hide my clutter. My dream house has hidden rooms and passageways, though. You should have seen my childhood bedroom. I had pink flamingos sticking out of the walls. 😉 Thanks for posting this; it was a fun find!

    1. So fun to hear from you, Amber, and all the neat ways your personality plays into your home! I totally get compromising when you’re married to a different personality type, it’s important that your home reflects each of your characteristics 🙂 haha, love the pink flamingos!

  3. I’m almost 100% absolutely sure that nobody on this thread is an INTP. If you were an INTP you would know how ridiculous the idea is that any INTP would be capable of producing a site like this. On your topic, INTP’s, with Si in the tertiary, are at most conservative in their decorating, usually they’re absolutely ignorant and uninterested.

    Not trying to offend but offer some insight. It’s very common for S dominants, who have N in the inferior to type themselves as intuitives – INTP seems to be a common target for some reason. It’s the inferior attraction (and relative immaturity of the inferior) which causes this. Intuitive have the same problem but in a different way.

    Cheers,

    1. Very insightful of you! This is the first post in the series I wrote, since then I have studied MBTI much more in depth and have come to realize I am not an INTP, but ENTP. Sorry for the confusion, I never changed it in this post. Thanks for the further insight into the minds of INTP, always appreciated! 🙂

  4. I am most definitely an INTP. I’ve taken the test several times to verify the results.

    I’m fairly sure there are other factors that read into a person’s decorating style. While there are certainly some truths here for me (I conceptualize so many things, and somehow rarely follow through on them), pretty much every pictorial example here made me cringe. I don’t know if INTPs tend to be minimalists, or if it’s just me, but too much in a small space makes my head spin. It’s just too distracting when I need to think. Not that I’m not a naturally messy/cluttered person, especially when I’m working, but when I’m in the midst of my self-created chaos and I look up to think something out, I need something simple and fantastic. For me, it’s something of nature – stones or wood patterns – that calm my mind down and allow me to get lost in thoughts for a few moments to figure things out. So what little decorations I do have tend to be plants, or books. I have very few hanging pictures, and none of actual people (certainly I have none of myself).

    I do lean toward interesting and unique items, but they become a focal point, and I’ll have one or two unique items on a shelf rather than 20. I also lean toward interesting architecture. I will gravitate to a space that already exists that has patterns or shapes that most other people would find strange. That does the decorating for me. If I already have an interesting area, then I don’t need to fill it with stuff to make it interesting, what little I have will complement.

    I don’t agree with another commenter that INTPs don’t care about decorating at all, but I don’t think decorations matter so much as they do to some other personality types. Once it’s done, we’re done thinking about it until it’s brought to our attention again. And when we tire of a certain decoration, we’re much more likely to just throw it out and do something completely different.

  5. I read this post a month or so ago and had to come back and respond to the person convinced that INTPs do not care about decorating or could not have a site like this. I am an INTP and I love decorating. Always have. I also have a home blog. And a deeper thoughts blog because INTP 😉

    I’m not Einstein. I’m terrible at math. I love decorating. I write. I enjoy philosophizing. I’m always reimagining. I ask why a lot.

    And I am an INTP.

    I agree with all your points! I overanalyze and overthink too much when I’m decorating! The possibilities are endless and I want to get it right! Most of the rooms you picked are definitely not me though. They are too busy and colorful. They would fit my ENTP sister much better! I like neutrals and lots of natural elements. Like the above commenter said, “something of nature.” Feathers, wood, stones, natural light. I like simplicity and clean lines.

    Something funny I discovered about my decorating style recently is how to style my bookshelves. I love pretty styled bookshelves but I could never get it to look right for me. When an ISTJ and an INTP get together you can imagine there are a lot of books around! One day, I threw a couple books on the shelf at random along with the little styling I had already done; Some backwards, some horizontal, some jutting out weird, some normal. Apparently perfect books and styling don’t work for me and the slightly disorganized book lover look does!

    1. I love your unique bookcase style! Those can be so tricky to get right, but it sounds like sometimes not thinking too much is the way to go and worked well for you 🙂 Thanks so much for stopping by and adding to the discussion here. I agree that all personality types have people who do and don’t enjoy decorating, and that’s what makes us all unique and fun. Hopping over to check out your site now 😉

  6. As an INTP, I can say you missed the mark by a thousand miles. Way too much useless crap. I have one picture on the wall – it was given to me. Very little in my house is there solely for aesthetic appeal. Yes, I’ve chosen functional items like my dining room table to fit my taste, but there are probably 3 items here that exist purely for aesthetics. One was given to me and has sentimental value, another was my grandma’s and has sentimental value, the other came with the house and is interesting historically. The rest are just reflections of who I am. Telescope in the corner, book cases stuffed to the brim, a stack of vintage synths in the corner (all operational), antique (functional) Aladdin kerosene lamps I restored.

    To be fair, i did chose the house itself based partially on aesthetics. I can’t stand soulless McMansions. I live in a modest 100 year old house made from real bricks, wood, glass, brass, iron and steel. There’s no plastic or foam-core here.

  7. Hello Mrs. Fancee,
    As an INTP/INFP I don’t buy this picture therapy idea. Why should INTPs need visual cues to enhance their sensitivity? They are sensitive by nature, an inferior F can make emotionality actually more “wild,” introverted and hard to tame. This is why anything neutral and down-to-earth seems more relevant, as it helps one to calm down and focus. Funny for the INFP side, roses and teddy-bear figurines actually annoy me. What makes me think about my dear ones are objects that relate to some experience I shared with them – travel souvenirs or gifts, but these should not be girly-romantic.
    I love the wooden screen on the second picture though! Plus the zebra room’s wall paint:)

  8. I’m and INTP, and I typically just let myself second-guess, and work through all the options. I mean, it only takes about ten minutes, so why not? lol. But then I go with whatever I choose in the end. Either that, or I get my INFJ bestie to help with my decisions… 😉

  9. Such an interesting approach, Mrs. Fancee!
    For the INTP woman (I don’t know any INTP men who care! Actually I don’t personally know any INTP women…just you who have posted here…are we all closet INTPs?, so I’ll say, For THIS INTP woman), decorating is about the project, the challenge, the puzzle. It’s about filling the space in the most optimal way to balance the alternating need to be soothed and energized. It’s simple and functional with little bursts of playful or meaningful exuberance. Nick-knacks? Never! Studio portraits and posed school photos? NO… But a few weird collections? Yes! Clean surfaces? Yes! Maps everywhere. And books! For me everything is secondary to the books–it’s All About The BOOKS!!! Shelves of beautiful leather-bound books next to tattered books I can’t part with, and old World Book Encyclopedias because I used to read them as a kid and their color continuity is a nice relief against the others.

    When people ask me to help them decorate I have to laugh because I am the least creative person, at least in that flamboyant-artistic-way… I also have trouble making decisions. So we find pictures they like and deconstruct them to find the elements they find most appealing–the color, the grouping, the style, the harmony, the focal point, whatever–and then fill in the blanks in their spaces. I point out the options for their approach and they make their own decisions. Finishing the puzzle is FUN and satisfying. Then it’s off to the next project…the new website or the article about behavioral economics…

    1. Yes, the books! And the clean surfaces! Maps! Filling the space to be energized while also soothed! You took the words out of my head! And, crazy thing is, people do ask me to help them decorate. I am always surprised by that but it is a compliment I guess. And it’s a fun puzzle which allows me to work and play at the same time. Thanks for your comment, it was a fun one to read.

  10. As a strong INTP, I’ve found myself over the years barely decorating at all. For years, my apartment/office/house walls would be bare, save for one or two deeply meaningful pieces of either art or photographs. I found decor to be highly distracting and impractical, especially in my bedroom, and I would refrain from much past my furniture, electronics, and music equipment. Only this year, since doing more in-depth study of INTPs and gaining understanding of my unapologetic eccentricities, have I begun to decorate more intentionally. My new work office, specifically, has artwork and lamps and motivational phrases now on every wall– indicative of my mind and sentimentality.

    I appreciated this post and found myself nodding in agreement to quite a few points you made. Thank you for taking the time to do this. Have a wonderful day!

  11. To those stating that INTP’s only like plain–I am an INTP who is also cluttered. I think it is mixing personality type with sensory preference to say an INTP only wants plain walls. Sort of like saying all INTP’s prefer blue or only eat ramen. Personality type is a rough gauge, not a clone descriptive.

    I don’t need sterile to think–I live in my head which is a kaleidoscope of theory and thought and random movie quotes anyway. Items and objects stimulate my mind. I want everything out. I often have 5-10 tabs open on my computer at least plus 4-8 msword documents. And bejeweled.

    Because I am the absent minded professor, things get really disorganized. My house is an extension of my thought process–a mix of much and little, sparse and extravagant, many “stations” for all the projects/chores one can do. I think that would be one decorating tip I would offer for your excellent list: work in easy to use organization (for those moments we come up for air).

    I do invest in the very few people who I am close to and try to make them comfortable, hence a house that is nice to look at and live in. Plus I am not insensate–I can appreciate art or music or whatever, especially if it makes me think. That isn’t “un INTP” because we actually do feel deeply and do make efforts.

    Your article was awesome :). Thanks.

    1. This is a great comment! I commented above about clean spaces, so that I can clutter them as necessary with whatever is my current obsession. And built in storage/organization is the best, just don’t look in there, lol. Also, I agree that beautiful things are important for me to see and hear though I can only take so much for so long before I overload. Thanks for your comment!

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