Does Birth Order Determine Your Decorating Style

Posted by Chris Lu on

Is there a correlation between your decorating style and your birth order? To start, there other influences in your environment that help contribute your sense of style like social media, life experiences, websites and design magazines to name a few.

But according to Ana Jovanovic, “There is a lot of research on how birth order affects personality traits.” She is a clinical psychologist at Parenting Pod, a resource for parents and educators about mental health and well being. “There are a lot of factors within a person’s environment and upbringing that affect their personality. Still the research can provide us with some hypotheses to test through our own experiences.”

Firstborns tend to be anxious because they are usually exposed to higher levels of parental anxiety. With their firstborn, parents are experiencing being parents for the very first time. The firstborn’s actions are usually under the magnifying glass. As a result, many researchers have found that firstborns tend to deal with that pressure by having a higher level of anxiety. As a result, firstborns tend to decorate with calming influences like white or gray walls, plain flooring, the simplest of light fixtures and lots of plants. Symmetry like matching nightstands or table lamps are also inherent. Curved furniture are preferred over boxy, sharp angle shapes are slightly less appealing because they’re low-key anxiety-inducing.

Greenery also speaks to the firstborn’s tendency to nurture. This could be a result to feel more obligated to provide for their families, to assume responsibility, or to define the rules once they perceive things out of order. So lots of houseplants and Marie Kondo-ing for the firstborns.

Lastly, firstborns tend to be more traditional and connected to their parents, especially compared to their younger siblings. They might find themselves liking more traditional decor that reminds them of their homes growing up. Flea market finds, aged woods, and traditional turned legs are all things you might expect a firstborn to gravitate towards.

Middle child syndrome is something that gets a lot of play in pop culture and society, but how does finding their way between older siblings, who get more responsibility, and the younger ones, who get more indulgences, play into decorating style? Middle children usually relate well to people and develop better communication skills. So they might gravitate towards a neon sign or typographic print in an interior. It’s not in the middle child’s nature to be subtle. The middle child decorating style tend to be more adventurous and bold.

Middle kids are perceived to love anything that really communicates their personality or says “look at me,” from collectibles to one-of-a-kind art or even a cool graphic rug or throw.

Youngest children are usually treated as the ‘babies’ of the family, circled by the attention. They want to do things not only well but better than the older kids, thereby proving that they are not the ‘babies’ others may feel they are. So if you’re a last-born, you might find yourself into more sophisticated, glam pieces and intricate silhouettes. Art Deco is your spirit decorating style. Because you’re fancy like that.

The youngest may also feel the need to differentiate themselves from all the other kids by doing something different and unconventional, that other kids still haven’t thought of. Decorating with punches of color and pattern like wallpaper or accent wall. The youngest child tend to have more confidence. They are willing to go after a trend because it shows inventiveness.

The birth order study cited above found that only children display lots of firstborn tendencies, both in terms of drive and focus on achievement. They tend to be a little selfish since they aren’t used to sharing the spotlight with siblings. And only children tend to be incredibly ambitious as opposed to anxious. In terms of decorating, only kids love mixing patterns, textures and colors. They pick a style or a palette and definitely follow through on it. They also can layer —rugs, textiles, lighting options within a room—like a designer.