The 12 Design Personalities small menu wheel


The Design Personality of Control is right for those who want to feel like they are in command of their space. Control manifests in the ability to preside over one’s surroundings with nothing hidden from sight, to have the entire layout spread in front of you and see it as it is.

The Control Design Personality requires a wide space where everything can be seen and heard. This includes line of vision from the entrance of the home to all of its exits, open spaces without screens, and small openings in doors and walls from which we see light as an indicator when someone is there.

A man stands on a balcony overlooking the landscape spread out before him


Perhaps the most significant part of the Control Design Personality is the architectural layout of the space (don’t worry, there are also ways to achieve a sense of control with styling). We feel in control when we can see and hear what is around us, and following this principle, we try to create a space where everything is in sight: entrances in and out of the home can be seen from the main living area, and there is a good view of anyone approaching the front door, from a kitchen window, for example. A loft or open space is perhaps the most extreme example of control, but a central space design, where private rooms open up into one of the main living areas, is also a nice option.

Above the wooden surface of a kitchen sink, a large window looks out over those approaching the home

Height is also a way to achieve Control. An apartment on one of the high floors of a tall building will give its owner the sensation. In a private home, setting an important room a bit higher than the others will accomplish a similar result.

A bedroom on a high floor of a building, where the bed is positioned so that it overlooks the city through a large side window
Photo by Andrea Davis


Control can be achieved by arranging your furniture according to two principles: the first is having sight of entrances, and the second is maintaining a precise order.

A person desiring Control will never feel comfortable when sitting with their back to the door or hallway. Make sure seating areas face entrances, openings, and common living spaces as much as possible to avoid the uncomfortable feeling of being surprised when someone suddenly appears behind you.

The view from the upper floor of a private home overlooking a kitchen, dining area, and living room
Architect Rachel Sela. Photo by Shay Adam

The second principle to follow is avoiding the feeling of mess and clutter. There is no specific style for Control, and everything goes, but it’s important to edit. Select a small number of shapes and forms, and keep your home tidy and well-organized. Heavy, stable, pieces of furniture that don’t easily move are preferred, as is choosing a dominant shade of color. A jumble of materials and textures can create confusion that helps objects hide within the space, which is exactly what we are trying to avoid.

Kitchen drawer divided into neat compartments for plates and silverware
Photo by Jafar Mansuri


Homogeneous surfaces and limited color effects are recommended, especially in your room’s main surfaces: the floor, walls, and prominent furniture. Avoid strong color combinations, like black & orange or yellow & red, or patterns such as chevron, which draw attention and distract the mind.

A neat white kitchen where everything has a place and the stove is in a niche surrounded by cabinets
Photo by Aaron Huber


There are no preferred materials for Control, but choosing solid textures is highly recommended.

Compact house in clear shades of gray, wood and white. Everything is well-built and well-defined: from the living room, to the kitchen, to the dining area entrance.
Photo by Quark Studio
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