Why Introverts Should Have Different Homes Than Extroverts

Finding privacy is not an easy thing. Whether you’re at the office, in public spaces, or even in your home with roommates or family members, it’s tricky to create an environment where you can be alone with your thoughts. While an extrovert might thrive in communal spaces, those designs could make it difficult for an introvert to thrive. Interior designer Rachel Cannon says that it’s important to carve out places to retreat.

“The thing to keep in mind is that introverts have limited resources when it comes to energy. Like batteries, we have to constantly recharge to feel energized,” shares Cannon, a self-proclaimed introvert. “Our extroverted counterparts are like windmills — the more energy they expend, the more energized they feel. Things that energize them, like lots of activity and stimulation, are the things that make introverts feel depleted.”

“When we are overstimulated, either through distractions, noise, meaningless conversation, or even just notifications on our phones, our battery life shrinks. Introverts need time to process the day,” she explains. “Therefore it’s important to design a quiet space in the house where you can have just that — pure, uninterrupted time to ourselves.”

So how can an introvert create a home environment that lets them relax and recharge? Ahead, Cannon shares her tips on how this personality type should approach design.

 Open Plans - Why Introverts Should Have Different Homes Than Extroverts - Lonny

Photographed by Erik Melvin.

“As an introvert myself, I am not a fan of open-floor plans. They have created a culture where people think they have to be 100 percent together 100 percent of the time, which often means introverts are sacrificing precious energy in order to avoid being thought of as ‘antisocial’ when they want to retreat,” says Cannon.

“The cacophony that an open floor plan creates — between kitchen noises, television noises, device noises, plus just the regular conversation between people — can be a major irritant for us,” she notes. “Walls are actually a great thing for offering sound buffering and privacy, and I’d love to see more traditional floor plans make a comeback.”

 Quiet Room - Why Introverts Should Have Different Homes Than Extroverts - Lonny

Photographed by Tessa Neustadt.

“Every home should have a quiet room where people like me can retreat to process our day, recharge our internal batteries, and recover from the toll of functioning in a world that’s designed for extroverts to succeed,” says Cannon. “Every day involves some level of recovery. For me, I need total silence to feel restored. Going from one environment to the next with no time to recharge leaves introverts feeling depleted.”

“Companies are creating environments for employees where participation is mandatory — brainstorming sessions, after-hours socializing, the list goes on,” she notes. “Introverts are thoughtful. We have excellent ideas to contribute, but we don’t function in that kind of space.”

“The difference between ignoring the needs of the introvert in design and providing interiors that take our needs into consideration is that the latter empowers us to be the hero in our own narrative. Thoughtful design really can be that powerful, especially when it’s about more than just the cache of using a particular fabric or the provenance of an antique.”

 Where To Create Quiet - Why Introverts Should Have Different Homes Than Extroverts - Lonny

Photographed by Jenna Peffley.

“You don’t have to build an addition to your home or build a she-shed in your backyard to have a quiet room,” says Cannon. “Look for low-traffic areas in your house where you can build your nest of solitude. Maybe you have a guest room or an office that doesn’t get much use. Maybe there’s an extra closet you could clean out. Once you start looking, you’ll probably find a small area in your home you can carve out for yourself.”

 Private Space - Why Introverts Should Have Different Homes Than Extroverts - Lonny

Photographed by Maria Del Rio.

“A quiet room should not be your bedroom, and of course, cannot be a kitchen or living room if you share the home with other people. It can function as an office, or a room that you can use to rest, read, or take a nap,” she says.

“It might sound selfish at first, but it is quite literally a room to get away from your surroundings so you can recover, process, and recharge — which actually helps you show up as the best version of yourself in your job, and with your family and friends.”

 Set Rules - Why Introverts Should Have Different Homes Than Extroverts - Lonny

Photographed by Nicole Franzen.

“Decide on the rules for your quiet room,” recommends Cannon. “If the door is shut, does that mean, ‘Don’t bother me right now?’ Or, do you welcome visitors to your quiet room? Make sure your family understands the sanctity of your quiet room so it doesn’t devolve into another hangout.”

 Make It Yours - Why Introverts Should Have Different Homes Than Extroverts - Lonny

Photographed by Nicole LaMotte.

“A quiet room is conceptual — there’s no specific to-do list to make this room, so consider what you want to do in your quiet room,” advises Cannon. “Do you love to read? Add a comfy chair, a reading lamp, and a bookshelf for your favorite books. Love to draw or paint to unwind? A window with some natural light and your art supplies would do nicely. Perhaps you need to take a nap? Consider a chaise lounge or a daybed.”

 Curate Favorite Pieces - Why Introverts Should Have Different Homes Than Extroverts - Lonny

Photographed by Nicole Franzen.

“I’d also encourage you to evaluate your belongings and determine which ones hold the most meaning to you. Maybe it’s your grandmother’s afghan or a souvenir from a dream trip. Maybe it’s slippers and a framed inspirational print,” says Cannon.

“Don’t worry about what others think — this is your space. Designing and decorating it around what you love means you’ll feel like you’re walking into a hug every time you open the door.”

 Use Texture - Why Introverts Should Have Different Homes Than Extroverts - Lonny

Photographed by Sean Litchfield.

“Lastly, keep in mind that soft textures like carpet, textiles, drapes, and upholstered walls dampen sound,” advises Cannon. “Think of a recording booth — they are so insulated it almost sounds like you’re in a vacuum, and while you don’t have to be that extreme, following that concept will help you achieve peace and quiet.”

 Get Organized - Why Introverts Should Have Different Homes Than Extroverts - Lonny

Photographed by Jenna Peffley.

If you don’t have space for a personal quiet room, try to make your entire home into your idealized retreat. “Dedicate time to thoughtful organization,” recommends Cannon. “Introverts work best when everything has a place. Clutter equals distractions for us!”

“I recently remodeled my previously old, tiny, dark kitchen,” she shares. “Attempting to cook and be organized in that cramped space versus walking into an expanded space that is set up to function for the way my brain and muscle memory work is life changing and life affirming!”

“That restorative feeling — security, peace, rest — is something our home environments should provide us all the time. And, if yours isn’t bringing you that feeling, the investment in working with a professional interior designer who is skilled at listening and evaluating your needs is worth every penny for the tranquility you’ll experience in the aftermath.”

Rinehart

Rinehart

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