Neuroscience for Designers? Sounds like an oxymoron doesn’t it? Let me explain…a couple of nights ago, my friend June and I were laughing about her experience with me as her…

Neuroscience for Designers? Sounds like an oxymoron doesn’t it? Let me explain…a couple of nights ago, my friend June and I were laughing about her experience with me as her decorator. It started with our initial consultation where we discussed her design preferences, blah, blah, blah. Honestly, it was like pulling teeth. When explaining to me what she wanted her language was not very descriptive. It was curt and straight to the point.  She didn’t want to spend a lot of money and wanted something comfortable, but not fussy. UNDERSTOOD. When it came to discussing design styles, even when I showed her pictures, I lost her interest fast. At that point, I think crickets had begun to chirp.

Are you familiar with the “left brain, right brain” theory?  Studies suggests that two different sides of the brain are responsible for different manners of thinking. We all have the ability to use both sides, but our personalities tend to favor one more than the other.
Here’s a little visual:

I’m sure you have categorized me as a “right-brain thinker,” but actually I’m pretty balanced. Well, I am based on the quiz results below.

Right Brain/ Left Brain Quiz
The higher of these two numbers below indicates which side of your brain has dominance in your life. Realising your right brain/left brain tendancy will help you interact with and to understand others.
Left Brain Dominance: 16(16)
Right Brain Dominance: 16(16)

While my former profession in the Finance/Accounting industry trained me to be a left brain thinker, my creative right brain thinking happens effortlessly. June, on the other hand, is is a self-professed “left-brain thinker.”

On our first shopping trip she accused me of trying to drive her crazy when I asked which vase she liked better. She shoved a check in my hand and almost ran over my foot as she sped out of the parking lot.  Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating just a little.

This story does have a happy ending. She loved the end result and we’re still very good friends, more like sisters. I would love to post her picture, but she’d probably have a fit. She’s already going to fuss about me using her real name, oh well…See below for the before and after. Click here for more photos and details about this project.


Do you consider yourself to be a left or right brain thinker? Have you ever had to work with someone who functioned opposite to you?

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No Comments

  • Tonia of Chic Modern Vintage
    September 9, 2010 12:20 pm

    I'm a bit of both.

  • Capella Kincheloe Interior Design
    September 9, 2010 12:34 pm

    I think its important for designers to be balanced – just like you! Obviously that works beautifully.

  • I'm a right brained thinker{interior designer}, married to a total lefty{an account manager}… it's difficult to say the least 🙂

  • How fun! I got the same results half and half! But I feel like I am more of a right brainer!

  • Love this! I am absolutely right but with enough left to run a business. Though the boyfriend is a total left and thinks my obsession with the "best vase" is nuts! LOL Love the after space, another job well done!

  • I am more left and wish I was more right! I am not creative at all… @caramelglam

  • Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality
    September 9, 2010 1:53 pm

    Fun quiz, Erika! I was split right down the middle. I do think I function more right-brained every day though.

  • Jade @ Flip Flops + Pearls Design
    September 9, 2010 1:58 pm

    I think designers are all a great balance…you have to be! That is one of the reasons I think I made the perfect career choice…a little business with creativity thrown in!

  • I'm definitely 50/50. I don't know if its the Gemini in me or what but for my entire life I've always been equally artistic and analytical. I think that's why Interior Design draws me in so much, it's a great mix of both!

  • Thanks for posting this. I have some discussions something like yours with my friends who have no interest or idea what I'm saying when I talk about my design ideas and plans. I'm a total right brain and relish in it.

  • Chic Chocolate
    September 9, 2010 3:08 pm

    I definitely fall into both categories pretty evenly. The company I work for gave us this test a few years ago or some similar. I'm a "finance guru" by day, but I'm equally creative as a makeup artist, etc…

  • The Frugal Hostess
    September 9, 2010 3:42 pm

    I got the same score as you did – exactly even. I think that's why my mostly-creative business hasn't gone bankrupt yet?

  • THIS IS JUNE, the one Erika referenced in her blog. Since Erika decided to actually name me by my real name I decided to write. First, let me say that I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE the talents of my friend and very much appreciate them and her. She is extremely gifted and very good at what she does. However, my recollection of the said events are slightly different from what she has written. LOL.

    Admittedly, we do bump heads whenever she does a decorating job for me. However in the end it has all been well worth the effort. I am a very analytical, process-oriented individual. So NO, I don't care what color the vase is!…I just want it to look fabulous when she (not me) pulls all the pieces together. And she always does. 🙂 Luv ya, E!

  • Tina Steele Lindsey
    September 9, 2010 4:53 pm

    We had the same indenticle score Erika, I knew we were kindred spirits.
    Lovely job on the space.

    My favorite part of your post: At that point, I think crickets had begun to chirp.

  • Ludmila {}
    September 9, 2010 8:23 pm

    I thought I'm left brained, but looks like I'm balanced (16-16). The new look of the room is so chic!

  • Stephanie Sabbe
    September 9, 2010 8:28 pm

    WOW! Great before and after. I am 100% right!! I do not even balance my checkbook. And by the way, your guest post on Camilla's blog was too cute! Your kids are adorable and I am so impressed with what you can get done with all 3!

  • Lissa @ After Adornment
    September 9, 2010 9:23 pm

    This is a great post!!!
    I took the quiz and am surprised by my 16/16 also. I would categorize myself more as right brained, but the quiz says balanced! My husband is 100% left…so there is a challenge in itself.

  • I'm totally right-brained and a complete scatter-brain when it comes to any kind of organization. I wish I was more balanced like you. It would make my life a whole lot easier. ;o)

  • Right brain for sure! And I don't think I'm switching anytime soon 😉

  • Great job converting this room. Very warm and peaceful space.


  • I can so relate to this! This was great! Awesome before and after too!

  • I, too, am balanced. A friend once said that I was one of the few people she knew who had both the left and right sides of my brain wired, something like that. It drives my husband and children nuts when I spend hours "contemplating beige".
    Paula ~ Mise en scène

  • I'm a left handed person, and a righ brain thinker – I love to draw, read and paint and usd to play the violin for years….. 🙂 My husabnd is the same way which is a blessing and it bugs sometimes! lol

  • It came back 16/16!…Wow, I thought for sure it would be right brained. Love the balance though.


  • Claire Watkins, ASID allied
    September 13, 2010 10:38 pm

    Haven't taken the quiz yet, but I'm pretty sure I'm split down the middle. Some times my halves fight each other. Designers are by definition analytical creatives, right! But to the more important point, How Happy IS YOUR CLIENT! I swear a little paint, a fresh piece of furniture and a few good accessories go miles (in the right hands, of course)! Makeover looks awesome, no wonder she is still your friend =)

  • I am both,half right and half left thinker :),balance though. I'm pretty sure your room is certainly inspirational! It's beautiful!
    You truly transformed your space. It's gorgeous
    You have done such a great job!thanks for sharing.

  • I have the same results as you. I'm in good company!

  • I’m loving the end results — the color scheme & that couch just feels so comfy. Beautiful job. I took that test and as I figured my right brain dominance is more than my left.


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