Dopamine Decorating: The Secret to a Feel-Good Home

by Carlisle Homes


If you spend much time on Instagram or TikTok, you’ll know that dopamine décor is one of the year’s biggest trends, and it’s just the thing for bringing feel-good vibes to your home.

Bright, playful and fun – meet dopamine decorating, the maximalist style that’s all about creating a home that brings you joy. Whether it’s flooding a room with your favourite colour, pairing clashing patterns, or introducing quirky, vintage pieces that bring a smile to your face, it’s the no-rules aesthetic that fills your home with personality, and tells your story.

Here’s how to bring the maximalist style to life.


Joyful colours

No dopamine decorating journey is complete without a bold injection of colour. Embrace the colour-drenching trend by running a warm, earth-drawn hue, such as terracotta, dusty blue or soft green, right from your floors and ceiling to a key furniture piece, such as the sofa or armchair.

Or embrace the idea of contrasts, with an accent wall in a look-at-me shade such as pink or yellow, paired with a console table or mirror frame in forest green or oceanic blue.

Prefer a more low-key approach? Keep your walls and floors neutral, and add pops of bright colour in an accent chair, floor rug, scatter cushions, artwork or kitchen benchtop appliances.


A trend that’s taken social media by storm in 2023, dopamine decorating is all about filling your home with colours, patterns and decorative pieces that bring you joy – the bolder and brighter the better.

Clashing combos

Don’t be afraid to combine contrasting colours if they’re the ones you love, be it navy and black, red and pink, or blue and green – it’s all part of expressing your personal style in a carefree and confident way. You might, for example, pair seafoam carpet with olive-green linens in a bedroom, or a bold red sofa with a rug featuring notes of orange and pink in a living area.

Our top tip for success? Break up blocks of clashing colour with sections of white or a neutral to prevent visual overload.


Playful touches

A tulip-shaped side table, chunky, pastel picture frames, scatter cushions shaped like sunflowers… add one or two (or more!) of these to a room scheme, be it a living area, bedroom or study, and you’ll bring in an instant sense of fun.


Go big with texture

Satisfy all your senses at once with top-to-toe texture. Line the walls in a grasscloth wallpaper, add a woven jute rug underfoot, and introduce a tactile, leather-covered sofa topped with sumptuous velvet scatter cushions to create a space that feels just as inviting and intriguing as it looks.


With this look, go big when it comes to pattern and texture – think over-scaled wallpaper prints and super-chunky throws. Combine them with retro touches like ‘70s-inspired rattan furniture to create those nostalgic feels.

Playful patterns

Wallpaper adds instant joy to a space, and with the dopamine décor trend, the bigger and bolder the pattern, the better. And it works a treat in practically every room of the home. Create an eye-catching feature wall in a bedroom with a bold and bright geometric pattern behind the bed, add whimsy to a child’s bedroom or study nook with a fun, animal-themed paper print, or try jazzing up a plain wall of joinery by lining the walls behind the shelves with an oversized botanical print.

The practical parts of your home can benefit from a bold hit of pattern. Consider adding a playful, under-the-sea print to the walls of your powder room, or make doing the washing more enjoyable with a feature wall in the laundry lined with a fun retro wallpaper or colourful, patterned tiles.


Vintage touches

Since the intent of dopamine decorating is to create spaces that make you feel good, it’s only natural to include furniture, accessories and prints that spark happy childhood memories. Think upcycled family heirlooms, retro kitchen appliances, vintage artworks and artefacts, and fabrics and wallpaper inspired by those in your childhood home, all designed to lift your mood and tell your story.

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Interested to see how the latest trends work in a real-home setting? Make a time to visit one (or more) of our 77 beautiful display homes, located right across Melbourne, where our talented interior designer team has brought the best contemporary home trends to life.


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