The Best Paint Colors for Introverts and Extroverts, According to Experts
Anyone who’s ever taken a personality test has likely been placed into a number of boxes. If you’re a judger (versus a perceiver), you’re probably an organized list maker who prefers to have all their ducks in a row before starting a new project. If you’re a feeler (versus a thinker), you likely tend to make decisions from the heart and might avoid difficult conversations.
If you’re an introvert (versus an extrovert), you probably prefer small-group gatherings to large parties and tend to recharge when you’re alone. What Myers-Briggs doesn’t tell you is that, because of your inclination toward the “I” or the “E” on the personality chart, the way you decorate your home can greatly influence how harmoniously you live within it.
That applies, specifically, to color choices, the influence of which on our minds has long been studied by psychologists and color experts. (Let’s just say there’s a reason the McDonald’s logo is red and yellow.) Exposure to certain colors can do everything from psychologically calm us down to physiologically speed up our heart rates. And depending on where you fall on the introversion-extraversion spectrum, some colors might serve your particular needs better than others. We asked three experts from Paintzen—the online platform connecting homeowners with painting professionals—to share their insight into which particular paint shades are best for each personality type. Here are their tips:
If You’re an Introvert…
When psychologist Carl Jung first introduced the theories of introversion and extroversion, he defined them in terms of energy: External stimuli (like social gatherings and group work) tends to energize those who fall into the extrovert category while too much stimulation can drain the energy from their counterparts. Color, too, has varying levels of stimulation, with cooler shades often falling on the more mellow end of the spectrum. According to Meghan Stewart, senior director of sales and a certified color consultant at Paintzen, sticking within that cool side of the color wheel at home can create an environment conducive to an introvert’s need for calm and balance.
“PPG’s Light Sage, Lost at Sea, and Gray Frost are perfect for the introvert in you,” she says. “This mix of greens and blues shows a calming and soothing palette, which provides a calming environment. All have an undertone of gray, which really pulls this into the cool spectrum. Any of these colors can be used in common or personal spaces, and would provide fluidity throughout the home.”
If You’re an Extrovert…
Unlike introverts, extroverts thrive in environments where stimulation is high and can feel bored or anxious when they’re alone (which, for many, happens at home). To avoid the post-socialization slump, it’s smart for extroverts to surround themselves with shades that make a space feel lighter, brighter, and filled with energy.
“As we know, extroverts are always looking for additional stimulation, and that shouldn’t stop when they get home,” says Kristen Chuber, Paintzen’s senior director of marketing. “PPG has wonderful reds, yellows, and oranges that would provide a burst of color to really suit the personality of the home. Ideal for an accent wall or painting above wainscoting, I would suggest Lotus Flower (a pale white with cheerful lemon undertones), Nutmeg, and Bordeaux as perfect compliments to amp up the energy in a space.”
If You’re a Color-Loving Introvert…
As Carl Jung brilliantly said way back when, “There is no such thing as a pure introvert or extrovert. Such a person would be in a lunatic asylum.” Meaning: While we might identify as an introvert and relish spending time alone, there still might be a part of us that seeks some stimulation in the everyday. (Or, perhaps you’re just really drawn to the color yellow.) Either way, Brian Haley, Paintzen’s Chief Product Officer, says there are ways for introverts and extroverts to step over their color comfort lines without sacrificing harmony at home.
“Colors like greens, blues, and neutrals are most often associated with introverts because of their calming effects,” says Haley, “but introverts can also use warmer or bolder colors. The key to this is to use color combinations that complement each other rather than provide a stark contrast.” Try starting with a statement color—Haley suggests PPG’s Cerise, Caramelized Orange, or Canary Yellow, all mood-boosting shades—and pairing each with toned down neutrals like white and cream.
If You’re an Extrovert Obsessed With Blues…
Cool shades like blues and greens, which are typically associated with nature and tranquility, are decorating crowd pleasers for a reason (especially in a beach house). Extroverts drawn to these shades can happily splash them throughout their home, though they might want to consider doing so in bolder applications so as not to underwhelm their space. “Extroverts may choose a more neutral or cooler color scheme, but they will often pair it with a brighter pop of color, such as an accent wall or statement piece,” says Haley.
Haley suggests deeper, darker iterations of the hue like PPG’s Quiet Night, Superstition, and Holly Leaf. For a little extra zing, pair those shades with similarly bold hues on the opposite side of the color wheel (considered complementary colors). For a deep blue, that might be a zippy orange; for green shades, consider a head-turning fuchsia.