The 5 Best Colours To ‘Dopamine Dress’ Your Home

·4 min read

Colour means a lot more to us than literal chromatic shifts across the light spectrum. As humans, we associate different colours with different moods – in the West, red means anger or danger, and deep purple means royalty. Meanwhile in China, red means prosperity and in Thailand, Brazil and Italy, purple is associated with mourning. The meanings of colour change across the world but its ability to shape our mood and the way we move through the world is universal.

So it's no wonder that people are both subconsciously and deliberately using the psychological impact of colour to bring calm, contentment and joy at the moment. In the world of fashion this has been dubbed 'dopamine dressing' but it doesn't need to be reserved for outfits. You can apply the same logic of dopamine dressing to your home.

Bernay Laity, a colour consultant and applied colour psychologist with Philip Martyn, tells R29 that she has noticed certain colours which she associates with uplifting and soothing our moods becoming increasingly popular in interiors recently. Various outlets have promoted brighter, bolder palettes but people are actually seeking "softer, muted colours. In particular: violet, a pale grey green and a pale light grey blue, and also a warm orange pink."

At first glance, dopamine dressing seems to suggest going for bolder colours as many of us associate bright colours with happiness. Laity suggests however that setting softer, more soothing colours in contrast to brighter accents is a way to lift your mood without overwhelming the space.

So if you are seeking to breathe new life into a space, reinvigorate your home or just bring a touch of calm and happiness to your surroundings, we've pulled together the shades that Laity and Valspar, together with colour psychology expert Justine Fox, have selected as a baseline to elevate your mood. Whether you're going for a complete room overhaul or a couple of accessories, these shades all work beautifully in concert to gently enliven a space, and provide a perfect backdrop to bolder, brighter shades.

<strong>Violet</strong><br><br>Violet shades, particularly at the lighter end of the spectrum (think lilac and lavender), are emerging everywhere. It's a playful and joyful colour to embrace without being too overwhelming. "Violet is helpful for introspection," adds Laity.<br><br><strong>Dulux</strong> Dulux Paint Mixing Easycare Washable & Tough Matt, $, available at <a href="https://www.dulux.co.uk/en/products/dulux-paint-mixing-easycare-washable-tough-matt/cccId_1854797" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Dulux" class="link ">Dulux</a><br><br><strong>British Colour Standard</strong> Boxed Set of 6 Recycled Glass Tumblers - Violet, $, available at <a href="https://www.trouva.com/products/british-colour-standard-boxed-set-of-6-recycled-glass-tumblers-violet" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Trouva" class="link ">Trouva</a><br><br><strong>Botanique Workshop</strong> Mixed Dried Bunch Palm Spear And Gyp In Purple With Natural Poppy Heads, $, available at <a href="https://www.trouva.com/products/botanique-workshop-mixed-dried-bunch-palm-spear-and-gyp-in-purple-with-natural-poppy-heads" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Trouva" class="link ">Trouva</a><br><br><strong>The Poster Club</strong> Purple Poppies, $, available at <a href="https://www.made.com/the-poster-club-purple-poppies-print-by-madelen-mollard-50-x-70cm" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Made" class="link ">Made</a><br><br><strong>MAZA</strong> Bebe Candle Purple, $, available at <a href="https://glassette.com/products/320946-bebe-candle-purple?_pos=2&_sid=42f444067&_ss=r" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Glassette" class="link ">Glassette</a><br><br><strong>The Alpaca Co</strong> The Alpaca Co. Houndstooth Throw, $, available at <a href="https://www.notonthehighstreet.com/babialpaca/product/the-alpaca-co-houndstooth-throw" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Not On The High Street" class="link ">Not On The High Street</a><br><br><strong>Dibor</strong> Set Of Four Purple Embossed Wine Glasses, $, available at <a href="https://www.notonthehighstreet.com/dibor/product/set-of-four-purple-embossed-wine-glasses" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Not On The High Street" class="link ">Not On The High Street</a>
Violet

Violet shades, particularly at the lighter end of the spectrum (think lilac and lavender), are emerging everywhere. It's a playful and joyful colour to embrace without being too overwhelming. "Violet is helpful for introspection," adds Laity.

Dulux Dulux Paint Mixing Easycare Washable & Tough Matt, $, available at Dulux

British Colour Standard Boxed Set of 6 Recycled Glass Tumblers - Violet, $, available at Trouva

Botanique Workshop Mixed Dried Bunch Palm Spear And Gyp In Purple With Natural Poppy Heads, $, available at Trouva

The Poster Club Purple Poppies, $, available at Made

MAZA Bebe Candle Purple, $, available at Glassette

The Alpaca Co The Alpaca Co. Houndstooth Throw, $, available at Not On The High Street

Dibor Set Of Four Purple Embossed Wine Glasses, $, available at Not On The High Street
<strong>Orange Pink</strong><br><br>The warmth of orange pink shades (from blushing peach to warm terracotta) is a bit of a contrast to the cooler, grey toned colours in this list and thus brings some much-needed warmth. As Laity puts it: "This colour gives this feeling of comfort and safety and having enough."<br><br><strong>Lick</strong> Red 03 Matt, $, available at <a href="https://www.lick.com/uk/product/red-03-matt-paint" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Lick" class="link ">Lick</a><br><br><strong>Rosendahl</strong> Arne Jacobsen City Hall Table Clock Pale Orange, $, available at <a href="https://www.trouva.com/products/rosendahl-arne-jacobsen-city-hall-table-clock-pale-orange" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Trouva" class="link ">Trouva</a><br><br><strong>BrushedEarthHome</strong> Matte Textured Medium Daisy Vase for Dried Flowers | 9 Colours Available | Boho | Faux Terracotta | Hand Painted Glass, $, available at <a href="https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/968638481/matte-textured-medium-daisy-vase-for?gpla=1&gao=1&&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=shopping_uk_en_gb_d-home_and_living-other&utm_custom1=_k_CjwKCAiA24SPBhB0EiwAjBgkhuE7ebsGbl7b-cUz63ys6R36vGWI5clPCo7XBiLI6ec3NW-T1lzwnxoCgTcQAvD_BwE_k_&utm_content=go_12581722544_122567157511_507889692958_pla-303628061739_c__968638481engb_468103701&utm_custom2=12581722544&gclid=CjwKCAiA24SPBhB0EiwAjBgkhuE7ebsGbl7b-cUz63ys6R36vGWI5clPCo7XBiLI6ec3NW-T1lzwnxoCgTcQAvD_BwE" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Etsy" class="link ">Etsy</a><br><br><strong>MBT Studio</strong> Plain Apricot Orange Cushion, $, available at <a href="https://www.notonthehighstreet.com/mbtstudio/product/plain-apricot-orange-cushion" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Not On The High Street" class="link ">Not On The High Street</a><br><br><strong>Lisa Angel</strong> Terracotta Arch Candlestick Holder, $, available at <a href="https://www.notonthehighstreet.com/lisaangeljewellery/product/terracotta-arch-candlestick-holder" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Not On The High Street" class="link ">Not On The High Street</a>
Orange Pink

The warmth of orange pink shades (from blushing peach to warm terracotta) is a bit of a contrast to the cooler, grey toned colours in this list and thus brings some much-needed warmth. As Laity puts it: "This colour gives this feeling of comfort and safety and having enough."

Lick Red 03 Matt, $, available at Lick

Rosendahl Arne Jacobsen City Hall Table Clock Pale Orange, $, available at Trouva

BrushedEarthHome Matte Textured Medium Daisy Vase for Dried Flowers | 9 Colours Available | Boho | Faux Terracotta | Hand Painted Glass, $, available at Etsy

MBT Studio Plain Apricot Orange Cushion, $, available at Not On The High Street

Lisa Angel Terracotta Arch Candlestick Holder, $, available at Not On The High Street
<strong>Grey Green</strong><br><br>Green is the colour of nature and carries with it a sense of new beginning. In its more grey tone, Laity says: "Green is more peaceful, more relaxing and restorative."<br><br><strong>Maia</strong> Maia Stonewashed Throw Green-Grey, $, available at <a href="https://www.trouva.com/products/vivaraise-maia-stonewashed-throw-green-grey" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Trouva" class="link ">Trouva</a><br><br><strong>Farrow & Ball</strong> Green Smoke, $, available at <a href="https://www.farrow-ball.com/en-gb/paint-colours/green-smoke?sku=5051836127473&region=GB&gclid=CjwKCAiA24SPBhB0EiwAjBgkhhbdBnYcHT_iPQcbtbIhjTCy-XSiZlxbQMoNx3Tc4xrSRDTaEzarEhoCDAwQAvD_BwE" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Farrow & Ball" class="link ">Farrow & Ball</a><br><br><strong>Wade Ceramics</strong> Sage Green Gluggle Jug, $, available at <a href="https://www.trouva.com/products/wade-ceramics-sage-green-gluggle-jug" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Trouva" class="link ">Trouva</a><br><br><strong>Made</strong> Chaise End Click Clack Sofa Bed, Alpine Green Fabric, $, available at <a href="https://www.made.com/stefan-chaise-end-click-clack-sofa-bed-alpine-green" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Made" class="link ">Made</a><br><br><strong>The Sette</strong> Gingham Tablecloth, $, available at <a href="https://glassette.com/products/682223-green-gingham-tablecloth?_pos=57&_sid=1d0bb87b3&_ss=r" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Glassette" class="link ">Glassette</a>
Grey Green

Green is the colour of nature and carries with it a sense of new beginning. In its more grey tone, Laity says: "Green is more peaceful, more relaxing and restorative."

Maia Maia Stonewashed Throw Green-Grey, $, available at Trouva

Farrow & Ball Green Smoke, $, available at Farrow & Ball

Wade Ceramics Sage Green Gluggle Jug, $, available at Trouva

Made Chaise End Click Clack Sofa Bed, Alpine Green Fabric, $, available at Made

The Sette Gingham Tablecloth, $, available at Glassette
<strong>Soft Yellow</strong><br><br>Like the warmth of orange pink, there's a sunniness and lightness to yellow. By choosing a softer tone you can evoke the happiness of the brighter shade without overwhelming, and complement the other shades beautifully.<br><br><strong>Valspar</strong> Valspar Simplicity Wall & ceiling Matt Emulsion, 2.5L Soft Focus R129A, $, available at <a href="https://www.diy.com/departments/valspar-simplicity-wall-ceiling-matt-emulsion-2-5l/R129A/5055018186838_BQ.prd?colour_name=Soft+Focus&hex_code=fedc97" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:B&Q" class="link ">B&Q</a><br><br><strong>Hay</strong> W S Candle Holder Soft Yellow, $, available at <a href="https://www.trouva.com/products/hay-w-s-candle-holder-soft-yellow" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Trouva" class="link ">Trouva</a><br><br><strong>&klevering</strong> Yellow Round Braid Mirror, $, available at <a href="https://www.trouva.com/products/andklevering-yellow-round-braid-mirror-1" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Trouva" class="link ">Trouva</a><br><br><strong>Made</strong> Autumn In The Canyon, $, available at <a href="https://www.made.com/autumn-in-the-canyon-framed-print-by-jetty-home-70-x-100cm-1" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Made" class="link ">Made</a><br><br><strong>ELDORADO THE STUDIO</strong> Ruffle Cushion, $, available at <a href="https://glassette.com/products/853989-pale-yellow-ruffle-cushion?_pos=24&_sid=a082b89ce&_ss=r" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Glassette" class="link ">Glassette</a><br><br><strong>Linda Bloomfield</strong> Handmade Short Mug, $, available at <a href="https://www.notonthehighstreet.com/lindabloomfield/product/handmade-short-mug" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Not On The High Street" class="link ">Not On The High Street</a><br><br><strong>Footstools And More</strong> Camden Piped Drum Stool, $, available at <a href="https://www.notonthehighstreet.com/footstoolsandmore/product/camden-piped-drum-stool" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Not On The High Street" class="link ">Not On The High Street</a>
Soft Yellow

Like the warmth of orange pink, there's a sunniness and lightness to yellow. By choosing a softer tone you can evoke the happiness of the brighter shade without overwhelming, and complement the other shades beautifully.

Valspar Valspar Simplicity Wall & ceiling Matt Emulsion, 2.5L Soft Focus R129A, $, available at B&Q

Hay W S Candle Holder Soft Yellow, $, available at Trouva

&klevering Yellow Round Braid Mirror, $, available at Trouva

Made Autumn In The Canyon, $, available at Made

ELDORADO THE STUDIO Ruffle Cushion, $, available at Glassette

Linda Bloomfield Handmade Short Mug, $, available at Not On The High Street

Footstools And More Camden Piped Drum Stool, $, available at Not On The High Street
<strong>Hazy Blue</strong><br><br>Hazy, light blues "calm the mind", says Laity. Unlike greener or more yellow blues, grey-toned blues have a very deliberately soothing effect, making a room a more comforting place to be in.<br><br><strong>Creatively Occupied</strong> Talvi Small Jug, $, available at <a href="https://www.notonthehighstreet.com/creativelyoccupied/product/talvi-small-jug" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Not On The High Street" class="link ">Not On The High Street</a><br><br><strong>The Little Greene Paint Company</strong> The Little Greene Paint Company Intelligent Matt Emulsion, Mid Blues, James (108), 2.5L, $, available at <a href="https://www.johnlewis.com/the-little-greene-paint-company-intelligent-matt-emulsion-mid-blues/james-108/p1492469" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:John Lewis" class="link ">John Lewis</a><br><br><strong>Victoria & Co</strong> Wedgewood Blue Velvet Cushion 50x50, $, available at <a href="https://www.trouva.com/products/victoria-and-co-wedgewood-blue-velvet-cushion-50x50" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Trouva" class="link ">Trouva</a><br><br><strong>Smithery</strong> Large Enamel Lampshade, $, available at <a href="https://www.trouva.com/products/smithery-large-enamel-lampshade" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Trouva" class="link ">Trouva</a><br><br><strong>Made</strong> Large Sofa Bed, Arctic Blue Velvet, $, available at <a href="https://www.made.com/kahlo-large-sofa-bed-arctic-blue-velvet-6" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Made" class="link ">Made</a><br><br><strong>The Campbell Collection</strong> Blue Riaz Rug, $, available at <a href="https://glassette.com/products/725526-blue-riaz-rug?_pos=10&_sid=91f9a1124&_ss=r" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Glassette" class="link ">Glassette</a>
Hazy Blue

Hazy, light blues "calm the mind", says Laity. Unlike greener or more yellow blues, grey-toned blues have a very deliberately soothing effect, making a room a more comforting place to be in.

Creatively Occupied Talvi Small Jug, $, available at Not On The High Street

The Little Greene Paint Company The Little Greene Paint Company Intelligent Matt Emulsion, Mid Blues, James (108), 2.5L, $, available at John Lewis

Victoria & Co Wedgewood Blue Velvet Cushion 50x50, $, available at Trouva

Smithery Large Enamel Lampshade, $, available at Trouva

Made Large Sofa Bed, Arctic Blue Velvet, $, available at Made

The Campbell Collection Blue Riaz Rug, $, available at Glassette

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