Ever notice how surrounding yourself with bright color tends to enhance your mood? That concept is the driving force behind dopamine decor, an offshoot of the dopamine dressing trend (a term coined by fashion psychologist Dawnn Karen), where bold patterns and bright hues are brought into your home—not just your wardrobe. Since using colorful designs is Brittany Watson Jepsen’s signature style on The House That Lars Built, she’s the perfect authority to share tips from her recent office and guest bedroom home decor makeover!
Disclaimer: Please note that all information, content and material in this blog post is for informational purposes only and not intended to serve as a substitute for the consultation, diagnosis, and/or medical treatment of a qualified physician or healthcare provider.
What is Dopamine Decor?
Brittany: Who doesn’t need a little extra dopamine?! So that’s what I set out to do: transform my office and guest bedroom into spaces full of happiness and dopamine decor.
Both my office and our guest bedroom have been remodeled recently, but they both felt like they needed something extra. I wanted to add a little more whimsy to each spot, so here’s what I did:
How I Added Pattern to My Guest Bedroom
As far as the guest bedroom was concerned, there were already some lovely color blocks in the space. But it didn’t feel like quite enough. My gut kept telling me to add some pattern! Pattern play became the key to making the room into a dopamine decor central. It can be intimidating to mix patterns without it getting overwhelming, but it can be done. And when done successfully, it’s a dopamine feast for the eyes!
Balance scale and colors: It’s all about balancing scale and colors throughout the room. For instance, rather than having a bunch of patterns that are all roughly the same size, mix them up!
Add depth with variation: Make some patterns intricate, detailed and small, and others big and bold. The variation adds depth and makes for a really sumptuous experience.
Tumbling Block Duvet
To get the patterns rolling, I chose bruxamagica’s design Abstract Emerald Forest Cord Cube for both a duvet cover and matching pillow shams. That amazing pattern was like a revelation to me! The color and pattern were just perfect and added so much to the French feel. They also worked so well with the intricate illustrative details of the French-inspired wallpaper.
From there, I chose a more minimal sheet set in carabaradesigns’ design Retro Geometric Floral in Bright Red on Blue – Small for a subtle detail. The minimal sheets blended in beautifully with the bold tumbling block, but I also loved the additional visual interest from the sheets that came through in those small details.
Another super successful way I found to add in some pattern was through lampshades. I found a blue, vintage table lamp and lampshade and made it my own with some amazing Spoonflower fabrics. The Spoonflower designer muhlenkott makes replicas of old vintage fabrics. They were our go-to for those perfect graphic prints that feel perfectly retro.
I chose one of their amazing designs, Gingham Moderne 2a, for the lampshade. The pattern is a bold red and blue and it ended up being another perfect statement pattern for the room. In general, for the guest room I went with more graphic-inspired prints because of the intricate wallpaper and I loved the effect.
Another lighting DIY we added was a pendant lampshade using raccoongirl’s design Large Mahogany Awning Stripe Pattern Horizontal in Ladybird Red. That subtle and simultaneously bold stripe balanced out the red in the table lamp and sheet set beautifully.
I didn’t want the curtains to be too overwhelming, especially with so many other busy patterns going on, so I went with a subtle, tone on tone yellow houndstooth design, Houndstooth Pattern – Goldenrod and Dark Goldenrod Colors, by raccoongirl. They added a lovely, bright splash of color to the room and that houndstooth was the perfect size. For another pop of yellow, we threw in a matching lumbar pillow in the same houndstooth design.
How I Added a Sense of Play to My Office
My office was already a pretty bright spot, but as I previously mentioned, I felt like there was something yet to be done with it. That something was the full-blown dopamine decor experience, of course. I wanted people to come into the space and be immediately struck by how happy it felt. It’s amazing how touches of color and pattern can really transform a space and boost mood. So that’s what I did!
I already had an amazing color block calendar on the wall behind my desk, so I decided to compliment it with some splashes of color and pattern in other areas. I wanted to showcase our own Spoonflower design collection, too, and the windows were the perfect place to start.
I’ve been in love with Roman shades for a long time, but they are expensive, which has always deterred me from buying them or having them custom made in the past. This time, though, we decided to do them ourselves and I was thrilled with the way they turned out! I just loved the clean feel they added to the space. We used the big, bold yellow stripe design, Peach and Yellow Stripe 3″, from our thehousethatlarsbuilt collection and it complemented the colorful calendar and balanced out the other patterns perfectly. And the whimsical way the Roman shades gracefully folded up was just dreamy.
We couldn’t make this space complete without the addition of two lumbar pillows in our Retro Florals 4″ design, which showcased our retro floral print, and a marble throw pillow in our design Retro Rainbow Marble Large. They were so fun in the space and played beautifully with both the Roman shades and calendar. The overall feel was a total dopamine kick. Now, after finishing the office, I just bask in the happy glow of everything when I’m sitting at my desk.
Our Dopamine Decor Spoonflower Collection
For all your dopamine decor needs, we have a Dopamine Decor design collection just for you! It’s full of all the patterns we used for the guest bedroom and my office, plus some extras. Because who doesn’t need a few more options to choose from when it comes to dopamine decor?
Dopamine Decor Frequently Asked Questions
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