We’re Calling It: Summer’s Big Design Trend Is Dopamine Decor

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Sometimes you walk into a room and you can just feel your energy shift. Whether that’s a cafe coated in pastels, a friend’s art-filled abode, or, on the flip side, a fluorescent doctor’s office, our surroundings have a direct impact on our mood. This is the thought behind popular trends like the Marie Kondo method (it has to spark joy!) as well as the more recent social media–fueled “dopamine decor.”

The concept came out of the pandemic, as people sought an escape from doom-scrolling through punchy colors, funky silhouettes, and maximalist prints. Suddenly, blobby candles, wavy mirrors, flower-shaped pillows, and jewel-toned sofas—essentially, anything that ignites a smile—took over our feeds. 

The trend is showing no sign of slowing down in 2023—6 million people and counting have used the hashtag #DopamineDecor on TikTok. So as temperatures rise, so can our spirits. It’s the perfect time to inject a little joy (and a lot of color) into our spaces. Not sure where to start? Check out these dopamine decor items from Walmart. The best part? They’re all under $200.

Something Curvy

Setting a groovy mood with their shapely silhouettes and sunset shades, this set of three unscented  pillar candles is the perfect small accent if you aren’t ready for a full dopamine dose quite yet.

Better Homes & Gardens Unscented Pillar Candles, 3-Pack, Walmart

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Something Bright

Keep a neutral sofa or chair feeling lively with vibrant, interchangeable accessories, like this ombré velvet throw that can stand up to spills (it’s machine washable!).

Mainstays Ombre Velvet Plush Throw, Walmart

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Something Patterned

What’s cheerier than a patterned pillow? A 3D-patterned pillow. The playful tassels and fuzzy trellis motif on this one are calling for funky-shaped friends (think: flower or sphere shapes).

Better Homes & Gardens Tufted Trellis Decorative Throw Square Pillow, Walmart

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Something Shiny

A gold bar cart is the ideal warm-weather accessory—glowing in the sunlight and acting as a shiny stage for your icy beverage of choice. Just imagine it at dinner parties on the deck or poolside—lockable casters make it a breeze to relocate.

Better Homes & Gardens Fitzgerald Bar Cart, Walmart

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Something Floaty

The weather is warming up, but on the hottest days, you need to stay cool and protected. Keep the sunlight sans sunburn with sheer marigold drapes.

Better Homes & Gardens Solid Fringe 84u0022Single Panel, Walmart

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Something Warm and Fuzzy

Statement seating is a hallmark of dopamine decor—all the better when it feels like a cloud. This pillowy faux sherpa chair will meld effortlessly with any decor you already have on hand.

Pillow Lounge Chair Faux Sherpa Cream, Walmart

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Something Creative 

Art for your floors has taken over Instagram and TikTok feeds, from squiggly rainbow rugs to snake-embossed styles. This one is just like having a (super-durable) prized piece underfoot.

nuLOOM Tatyana Moroccan Shag Area Rug, Walmart

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Something Transportive

Joy doesn’t just come from aesthetics—it’s an all-around sensory experience. This iridescent fragrance warmer disperses enchanting scents like papaya and citrus or coconut palm and plumeria (sold separately) without taking up much space (it’s just 3.5 inches in diameter).

Mainstay Full Size Iridescent Wax Melt Fragrance Warmer, Walmart

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Something Striped

The ideal vessel for citrusy big-batch drinks—or seasonal floral arrangements—this stoneware pitcher provides the perfect hit of color for your table.

Wanda June Home Vintage Stripe Pitcher, Walmart

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Shagun Khare


Shagun Khare is an interior design writer who works on stories about unique spaces—from tiny homes to tasteful hotel renovations and more. She lives in Brooklyn.