Dopamine Decor
Interior
August 25, 2023

Dopamine Decor

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Dopamine Decor

Dopamine Décor is a “new design trend” that isn’t really about trends at all. It’s about using colors, patterns, textures, and accessories in our homes that give us a hit of good feelings whenever we’re around them. Since everyone has a different interpretation of what makes them feel good, dopamine décor is a unique and personal type of design.


What is Dopamine Décor?

When I first heard about dopamine décor, I thought it sounded silly and very trendy. After looking into it more, though, I realized that I’ve kind of always decorated for that…hit of dopamine. I haven’t necessarily been one to follow trends that closely or to deck my house all out in brand new things. Instead, I tend to pull layered looks together throughout our home using secondhand and vintage items. This alone creates a more interesting visual palette for me and brings me joy in every corner of our home.

What does dopamine décor mean for you, though? Since the things that bring us joy and evoke memories are so different for each of us, I thought it might be helpful to show you the ways I inject dopamine décor into our home and then you can tweak it to suit your needs!

One of my fave home decor items to boost dopamine? Disco balls!!

How to Add Dopamine Décor to Your Home

There are lots of things that make each of us happy in our daily lives, including those things with which we choose to surround ourselves. A few elements that I focus on when decorating our home, considering dopamine décor, are color, pattern, texture, sentimental items, as well as fun and unique pieces.

Dopamine Decorating with Color

This might be the category of Dopamine Décor that will be the most widely disputed and the most different for everyone. We’re still living in a time when a lot of folks enjoy a very neutral palette in their home…and that’s ok! Remember, we want our homes to make us feel good. It shouldn’t matter what anyone else thinks, feels, or believes about our house, if it makes us happy.

I enjoy having a lot of color in our home, although in the last year or so, I’ve really tapped into the understanding that I’m more drawn to a muted or “dirty” color palette than super bright and saturated colors, although, I love the look of those in other people’s spaces. Now that I’m leaning into the more muted colors, our house is making me feel even happier than it did before! That realization also makes shopping for our house easier because I know what will work and what won’t.

There aren’t any hard and fast rules for the colors that you will like most or that will give you that big dopamine hit, but one way I like to determine the colors that will work the best is to look at the clothes in my closet. Normally, what you’re drawn to in your wardrobe, you’ll enjoy seeing in your home. Now, just like anything, there will be some discrepancies. For me, I tend to wear some brighter pinks, but am starting to shy away from the brighter colors in our house. That doesn’t mean that pink isn’t still around, but it’s looking more muted these days. If I do have bright pink décor, it’s in small doses.

Dopamine Decorating with Pattern and Texture

Did you watch the shows Punky Brewster or Clarissa Explains it All when you were young? If not, do a quick Google search when you’re done here…you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about. The main characters on both those shows dressed in the most fun outfits, accessories included, that I could ever imagine; I wanted to emulate them so badly!! While I probably didn’t get to dress as cool as they did back in the day, I like to think my house is dressed like them now.

Not only do I like to decorate with color, but I’m all about adding pattern and texture into our home as well. I do this in lots of different ways including wallpaper, rugs, blankets, throw pillows, baskets, even houseplants! All these elements can include or complement the accent colors in our home, adding warmth, interest, and dimension.

Again, this is where your own personal taste will come into play. The patterns and textures will look a lot different in your home than in mine. You might also choose to not include throw pillows (I’m looking at you, men) or houseplants if you don’t have a green thumb. No matter the exact things you choose, though, the elements used will have a similar function in that hit of dopamine.

Dopamine Decorating with Sentimental Items

If you’ve followed me on social media for long, you know that I’ve lost both of my parents. I also don’t have any grandparents left either, so my collection of sentimental items has grown exponentially over the last few years. Instead of keeping everything stored away in a tote somewhere, I’ve been trying to incorporate some of those special pieces into our everyday décor.

Things that are sentimental to me in terms of mementos might be totally different from what is special to you, but a few of the items I have displayed around our home that remind me daily of family and happy memories are photographs, cookie jars and a big green frog I always remember my grandparents having displayed, some of my grandma’s Fenton bells, and even a whistle that belonged to my maternal grandpa (whom I never met). There are lots more items, but I think this gives you a good idea of where you can start to add a dose of dopamine to your home through family heirlooms.

This picture of my grandma gives me so much happiness every time I see it. She passed a way a couple of years ago and had dementia before that, so I feel like she’s been gone so long. This photograph of her looking youthful and happy fills me with joy.

Dopamine Decorating with Fun and Unique Pieces

Okay, this is probably where I shine the most. My favorite past time is shopping secondhand—whether that’s thrifting or hitting up garage or estate sales. The best part of buying previously loved items is that you will find pieces that likely no one else will have. I have never wanted my home to really look like anyone else’s. When you shop secondhand, the possibilities are endless for what you might discover. I like to go in with an idea of what I’m looking for (I always have a wish list), but also have an open and imaginative mind for how I can repurpose or give new life to pieces others might pass by.

Not only will you have a home unlike anyone else’s, but you will save a lot of money. I often get asked where I got something and people want me to be able to share a link with them, but most decorative items in our house are thrifted in some way! I love that feeling because then I know our home is truly unique—the ultimate dopamine hit.

The Magic of Dopamine Décor

What I really love about the idea of dopamine décor is that, while we do evolve in our lives, the ideas and elements that light us up inside and bring us our most happiness, often stay the same…at least for longer periods of time than a fleeting trend. What does that mean? You will more likely want to keep your decorating choices longer if you decorate for dopamine. The items you surround yourself with that evoke happiness will stand the test of time a lot longer than whatever is the hot topic being shared in magazines, around social media, and on whatever HGTV shows that are popular in the moment.

I know that my dopamine decor likely looks a lot different from yours, but I hope the tips I shared for how to decorate with it will help you find what items will add joy and happiness in your own home!

As much as I love the dopamine décor in my own house, I would love to see what brings you happiness! If you decide to share the decorations that bring you joy, put it in your Instagram stories and tag me so I can see! You can find me on Instagram at @hilaryprall.

love-hilary
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