Returning home after a long day should be far from a chore; it should be a refuge that invites you to unwind and recover. Not to mention, your space ought to contribute to—not detract from—your well-being. That's why you should always incorporate mood-boosting design elements that can foster happiness within your home.

Our environments have a direct impact on our , so surrounding yourself with beauty that also uplifts your mood makes perfect sense. To understand more about dopamine decorating, we've consulted experts across the interior design industry for their advice on creating an uplifting home. Their advice promises to help you cultivate a more optimistic space in simple ways that won't break the bank. Your happier home awaits!

Focus on lighting.

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Eric Piasecki

Lighting can dramatically alter a room's ambiance—and poor lighting can lead to a dismal space. While maximizing natural light is ideal, sometimes you don't have total control over how much certain rooms get. Olga Alexeeva, creative director at the London-based design firm , emphasizes the importance of her clients carefully selecting the right lighting fixtures for each room to enhance the space and achieve that desirable glow.

"Creating a welcoming and relaxing atmosphere in your home is essential for unwinding after a busy day at work," says Olga Alexeeva. "To achieve this, it's important to pay attention to the lighting and use appropriate fixtures. Wall sconces, as well as unique table and floor lamps, can create an intimate and soothing ambiance."

Remember, choosing light bulbs with the perfect color temperature for each room is as crucial as selecting the right fixtures. Additionally, invest in a selection of taper candles to scatter throughout your home, adding an extra layer of warm, ambient light.

Christopher Spitzmiller Smith Medium Table Lamp

Christopher Spitzmiller Smith Medium Table Lamp

Reach for invigorating paint shades.

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Annie Schlechter

Color has a direct impact on our , particularly when used in the interiors of our homes. With that in mind, the spectrum of options is vast, from watery blues and leafy greens often associated with serenity to rich reds and punchy oranges that are thought to uplift a space. Ruth Mottershead, creative director at , notes that if you're looking to infuse your home with positivity, there is one happy shade that consistently stands out.

"Our homes are a place where we want to surround ourselves with joy, colors and patterns that make us happy," says Mottershead. "Yellow is a wonderful shade that provides positivity to a space whether used all over, on all four walls and the ceiling, or as a color highlight, it makes us feel uplifted, happy, energized and invited."Mottershead further adds that dark shades shouldn't be overlooked as you can create more intimate interiors with "intense cocooning colors." This can include anything from sumptuous teals and deep greens (Mottershead recommends Little Greene's or ) to delicious chocolate browns and even inky blacks.

Get artistic with plants.

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Becky Luigart-Stayner

Much like color, plants also have positive effects on our emotional, mental, and physical well-being. Adding a simple, low-light or pet-friendly plant can immediately brighten a dark corner of your living room and bring a sense of the outdoors inside. Increasingly, plant enthusiasts are taking it a step further by merging horticulture and design to create stunning displays that resemble works of art. Experts at explain that these creative endeavors transcend the traditional concept of indoor gardening, adding a touch of artistic expression to our living spaces.

"The fusion of horticulture and design has never been more exciting. Plant lovers are turning their living spaces into living art galleries, where every plant and arrangement is carefully curated to create a harmonious and aesthetically pleasing environment. These creative endeavors go beyond the traditional concept of gardening and bring a touch of artistic expression to our homes, fostering a unique and visually stunning connection with nature," says Puneet Sabharwal, CEO and co-founder of Horti.

While you don't need to try to make a vertical wall garden or meticulously crafted terrariums immediately, start introducing plants that complement your home's decor and add interest to the space. Soon enough, you may find yourself with a thriving—and stunning conservatory in your own home.

White Bird of Paradise

White Bird of Paradise

Break out the paint brush.

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Annie Schlechter
It's remarkable what a fresh coat of paint can do for a room (and your mood). A simple addition of color can transform its entire appearance and enhance the existing furnishings. However, opting for a new—and potentially bold—paint color can be quite the commitment.Mottershead recommends exploring smaller ways to introduce a pop of color into your space. She says, "If you don’t wish to include bold color on all four walls, consider adding a burst of energy-boosting color on baseboards, a window frame or door; a single color highlight can lift the mood of the entire room."

Turn to textiles.

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Read McKendree
The role textiles play in design is undeniable. Whether a pair of airy curtains or a ditsy floral fabric dressing sofas, textile contribute to both the visual and tactile appeal of a room. They also serve as a clever way to introduce depth and warmth in an unexpected way. "Incorporating soft finishes can add a cozy feel to your space," says Alexeeva. "Consider using curtains, throws, and decorative cushions to enhance the comfort and warmth of your home."She cautions that you should only add enough to make it feel cozy and personal, not crammed: "Too much clutter can make a space feel busy and messy, so be mindful of the amount of decorative items you use."

Embrace the mixing of prints and patterns to infuse your space with personality and color, whether it's by pairing throw pillows or introducing a vintage Persian rug. Upholstering select pieces throughout your home can also elevate the look, adding a sense of luxury and comfort.

vintage Vintage Persian Malayer Rug

vintage Vintage Persian Malayer Rug

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Sarah DiMarco
Associate Editor
Sarah DiMarco (she/her) is the associate editor at VERANDA, covering all things design, architecture, art, gardens, jewelry, travel, wine and spirits. She also manages social media for the brand.