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Dopamine Decor

Now why didn’t I come up with this???

If EVER there was a phrase that so perfectly sums up my interior design style, this is IT! DOPAMINE DECOR!

Architectural Digest explained it best here back in July & I’m just swinging from my OTT jewel coloured chandelier as I write;

“Vibrant colours, bold patterns, eclectic prints, tactile textures, an unmissable vibe that is riddled with nostalgia. This is dopamine decor in a nutshell.”

Dopamine is the feel good hormone, the happy hormone, it enables us to feel pleasure, it’s a GOOD, GOOD thing! And your interiors should of course be linked to this!

Now, my own mantra (it’s been on my website for years FYI ) has always been that every single room in your home should make you smile when you walk in to it…annnnd, I’m here to give you some quick tips on how you can get that #dopaminedecor fix, without having to head down a dingy alleyway or get your dodgy mate to browse the dark web. A purveyor of non illicit mood enhancers if you will…

Dopamine Decor is all about choosing colours, fabrics, pieces of furniture & accessories that create joy within YOU. It doesn’t matter that the floral topped nest of side tables left to you by Aunt Agnes doesn’t “GO” with the aesthetic from your sleeker than sleek Chloe Sofa from Dompaka (link here for visual purposes…it is beautiful isn’t it?

I don’t actually have a nest of side tables or an Aunt Agnes but here’s something to give you the gist… also gorge…and can you see how they actually DO work together?

Or the fact that your fierce love for shouty green 60s era Lettuce Ware requires a full on display cabinet in your calming, Farrow & Ball Ammonite soaked living room. Again, a wondrous vivid green looks incredible next to this shade…who knew?

In fact, THESE EXACT FACTS are what the vibe is all about. And if you’re down for Dopamine Decor, when you put these things together, your heart will tell you that actually, they work beautifully. Mix up your styles, mix up your eras, create the perfect blend of you.

Put polka dot cushions on a Damask patterned sofa, if you love animals, put them EVERYWHERE, use pink, red, turquoise & orange, together. Have mismatched photo frames, buy those 1980s gilt & glass coffee tables…BUT here’s the thing…there’s a bit of a knack to make it work.

You need to have a starting point, an overarching colour scheme or theme, a couple of pieces of furniture that are focal points or some artwork that you adore for example.

From there, begin layering up & see what works & what doesn’t - despite saying it’s all about what makes you smile, you don’t want your living room to end up looking like a storage facility for the local Oxfam & a mantelpiece of tiny frog knickknacks has probably still had its day but that’s not to say little accents of frog (if that’s your thing) dotted around the room isn’t a goer!

An easy way to get that rush of Dopamine is a gallery wall. Obviously, photos depicting happy times shared with those we love are going to hit the buzzer for that. We’re all guilty these days of just keeping images on our phones - take some time to go back through those pics, choose your faves & start planning them out on a feature wall or hallway. Super traditional but still super effective is doing this in your stairwell…evoking fond memories every morning should set you up for a better day! Unless you hate your family & have no friends you like that much to want to see their faces every day of course so top tip here is to swap pics for art that you love! Go wild with the frames, have each image framed in one of your favourite colours - stick to 3 shades for some level of tie in, use leopard print wallpaper to customise them yourself or go on the hunt for vintage gold or pewter styles. I’d always recommend using a professional framer to mount them - most art & photography looks more striking when mounted within a frame & again this will give an underlying sense of uniformity within the beautiful chaos! If you’d rather keep original & mismatched frames because they give you all the feels then why not paint the said wall in a delicious colour that you adore? You’ll get a double whammy with this one! I recently proposed this for one of my clients who had pieces of artwork all over the house but we grouped them together with one focal point piece & painted the wall a glorious deep teal that made the colours of each piece really pop. Check out my Instagram page to see it, social links are on my homepage.

I think the point about this kind of interior style is that you can be less restrained, less restricted and it’s also achievable through smaller interior pieces like cushions, throws & accessories. No-one’s saying you have to paint your walls neon pink with a graffiti mural added for good measure! Altho if you do, please send pics. Try putting two of the patterns & textures you love together & see how it makes you feel. Who’d have thought a monochrome oversized cushion would work so well on a mid century modern canary yellow corduroy sofa….it really does though…

On the flip side & there’s always a flip side….if matching muted taupes & cooling greys make you happy, you do you babe….I would argue that kind of interior makes you feel calm, centred, peaceful & relaxed rather than making you beam from ear to ear & feel so full of joy you could burst…but maybe inside you’re really dancing your socks off?

Each to their own of course, but give me a heavy duty chunk of exhilarating dopamine over a chill out vibe any day!


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