The 12 Design Personalities small menu wheel

Power

Power is a personality defined by a strong sense of self and a definitive core.  Power appeals to those who have a deep sense of what suits them, and who may often feel they know what is best for others as well. They are opinionated on most matters and have no problem expressing it, and they tend to make choices without seeking confirmation or approval of others. Hesitation is simply not part of their vocabulary.

A powerful home is one with a clear and consistent theme. It has a distinct feel to it and larger-than-usual elements. Some examples include a large or very long dining table, thick or ultra-thin legs for a sofa or table, and spaces that have clear and well-defined shapes. Avoid mixing small elements, and with whatever color you choose, go all the way and opt for deeper shades—a powerful home revels in drama! You can use dark red, orange, gray, brown, blue, or purple.

Through the window over a couch with large pillows, an impressive olive tree stands with a corded trunk covered in rough bumps and indentations.

Space

The Design Personality of Power tends to be clear and uncompromising. For extroverts, Power is best expressed in a bold and dramatic manner, while the strong-and-silent type feel more at home with softer, more tender touches, which can be expressed through a large picture of soft clouds, or a large and comfortable sofa. Most who carry this trait are somewhere in the middle.

Overlooking a large living room with sofas, armchairs, and shag carpets in red and earth tones
Photo by Naim Benjelloun

A powerful living space is clear and well-defined, with no hidden nooks or corners. Open spaces, large rooms, high ceilings, and glass or thick walls are some options to consider. When creating a powerful space, taking things to the extreme is essential. For example, you might include a wide staircase, extra-large tiles, or unusually over-sized counter tops.

Light is another element we use to achieve the Design Personality of Power: large windows that allow light to fill up a room, a single bold light fixture that accentuates the size of the space, or spotlights aimed deliberately to enhance the drama with the play of light and shade.

A large round light fixture made of folded fabric hangs in front of a staircase against a wall with three tall rectangular windows.
Architect Rachel Sela . Photo by Shay Adam

Style

When it comes to selecting furniture and accessories, one way to create a living space that reflects Power is to choose a single clear style or shape to set the tone. Stick to one design style rather than choosing an eclectic mix, and take everything to the maximum. Anything goes as long as there is one dominant theme on which everything else is based.

A unique living room with a giant brown-gray L-shaped sofa and a coffee table made of huge wooden roots. A white curtain covers an entire wall opposite a large wooden bookshelf, with a huge picture on the third wall

You should have at least one over-sized or outstanding element in your space. If it’s not in the architecture of your home, then furniture will do the trick, with a large sofa, dining table, or lamp. Those who wish for Softness to complement Power can add over-sized cushions and artwork that is large in size but light in expression, such as a photo of soft feathers, or perhaps a large tree with delicate leaves.

Three large soft pillows lined with gray and brown.

Color

Basic colors and strong shades create a sense of Power. Large blocks of white, red, orange, blue, and grey are suitable choices. Meanwhile, you can create a softer and subtler Power effect with combinations of black or dark grey with a single color. Try using black to frame elements or in large surfaces as it adds dramatic depth to any design. Pastels are not recommended.

Material

Power can be expressed through the choice of the material or the way it is applied. Natural materials such as iron, African blackwood, stone or bold-colored and textured materials can easily transform a space into one that expresses strength. Materials that are roughly cut into large blocks or slabs further contribute to the expression of Power in a living space. Therefore, large, sweeping floors made of smooth concrete or wood can also be an option to add to the dramatic atmosphere.

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