White is clean. White is fresh. White is pure simplicity. There is a reason that homes and apartments destined to be flipped to the next buyer are painted neutral tones like white—this is a shade that offends no one. No shade to those who love white, but does it bring joy?
Fortunately, white is also an opportunity.
Searching for joy
As we emerge from our COVID caves and attempt to rediscover what it means to be humans in society, there is a palpable search for joy and it’s manifesting as colourful expression. It started with dopamine dressing, a powerful fashion trend that incorporates bright colours and bold patterns to boost one’s mood. But why stop at clothing when there are so many white walls in the world? Dopamine decor can have an equally potent impact on your wellbeing and we 👏are 👏here 👏for 👏it 👏at Otto Studio.
From throwback psychedelics to organic bursts, adding colour to your walls can have a profound effect on your mood, bringing joy to your life every time you come home from an otherwise white and grey world. Imagine being hit with a jolt of delight every time you walk into a different room, or simply open your eyes in the morning. Incredible. Delightful. Joyful.
But why does it work?
The colour of joy
Researchers have spent countless hours studying the effects of colour on our brains, discovering that different shades can affect everything from mood to taste to human relationships. The explanation of why isn’t completely understood, but two hypotheses stand out:
- Our primate ancestors evolved in an environment where colours were indicators of nutrition, danger, wealth, lust, and more, so we ended up carrying the associated emotions into the future in our silly monkey brains.
- Our eyes and brains are better at perceiving certain colours, so our attention is more easily drawn to them, which can excite our emotions. Example: would a stop sign work as well if it were blue?
As modern culture developed, the delicate dance between colour and feeling grew more complex, eventually giving us property developers who want to paint everything ecru and a population starved for joy in their homes.
How to decorate with delight
Designer and writer Ingrid Fetell Lee talked to people about what brings them joy and identified ten aesthetic traits that define the feeling. You can use these traits as a recipe to bring more joy into your own home.
You can find energy, freedom, surprise, renewal, and round shapes in our Zander Schlacter collab collection. Then expand into abundance, harmony, transcendence, or magical mystery in your favourite room. Choose one for an accent wall, or combine them to build your own personal joy palace. Then expand your search for joy to furniture, floor coverings, throw pillows, and anywhere else in your place that could use a splash of colour, pattern, and shape.
Remember: white is a blank canvas. White is just the beginning. White is a foundation for joy in your home.