Design Style: Enneagram Series! Type 3: The Achiever

Enneagram Three: The Achiever

Success-Oriented, Pragmatic, Adaptive, Excelling, Driven, Image-Conscious


Enneagram Threes ... is there anything they can't do well? Even if design isn't their thing, they will make sure they get it done right. Now, I know that if I actually want any three's to read this, I'm going to have to present it in true three fashion: with bullet points. So, here we go ...


Three's learned at an early age that there is a tremendous level of love and admiration tied to being successful, and have crafted a lifestyle built on what they do, more that who they are.

  • Image-consciousness: Space needs to feel well-appointed.

  • Adaptability: What they consider successful will depend on the type of community they are in (business, arts, influencer, education...).

Ex: Mahogany furniture, books and sculptures are well-suited for a business professional, whereas original artwork and a vintage Eero Saarinen womb chair will be the pieces that evoke success in a creatives home.

  • In-The-Know: On-trend, but pulled together in an effortlessly chic way. Splurge pieces that are known to be expensive, such as the on-trend Hermes blanket, are a perfect touch. One great resources for one-of-a-kind, splurge-worthy pieces is 1stDibs.


Business Professional Vibes


Cultivate "impressive" design through art:

  • Hang oversized art on the walls and light it with an art light. Hardwired is the preferred method, but they make plenty of art lights that you can plug right into the wall.

  • Layering art is a fun designer trick that makes it seem like you just have so much artwork that it's overflowing out of your home. Just be mindful of the mediums you are pairing together. One fail-safe method is to layer a charcoal sketch in front of a larger abstract piece, or even an oversized mirror above a credenza.

  • Hang art in unexpected places, like between windows on the moldings, or in the center of a built-in bookshelf, again, attached to the shelf itself. Command strips are great for this!


Sports Agent Vibes


  • Efficient: A three's space plan needs to be logical and practical. Consider how many people will use a space when deciding on furniture arrangements. A smaller family may not need a large sectional sofa, but perhaps they host often enough that they do need occasional chairs grouped throughout their space.

  • Pragmatic: Using a desk behind the sofa in place of a sofa table is a sophisticated way to create an office in a smaller space, like an apartment.

  • Successful: Make sure you pay attention to scale. Bigger is Better! Anything too small will feel ordinary, and that is the last thing a three wants to feel. This goes for furniture as well as art. Instead of decorating with a tree in a corner, consider using a pedestal with a sculpture or an urn.


One final tip when designing for a three: make sure that you get your mix right. On-trend pieces paired with classic furnishings or contemporary art over traditional furniture are two easy combinations that anyone can get right! Lastly, just make sure your basics are covered. Window treatments that begin just below the ceiling and rugs that are the appropriate size for the room and furniture arrangement are table stakes. Designing for a three can seem like a daunting task because they want it to feel perfect, but with a few basic tips and tricks, you can deliver a stellar result! Check out our previous posts on Enneagram ones and twos!


If you're ready to tackle your own space but aren't sure where to start, consider booking a free discovery call to learn how Tiger Oak can help!


xx - Natalie

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