Joy Decorating Is Trending, But Southerners Know No Other Way

Welcome to the party.

Southern style has always been a joyful thing. Whether decorating a dream house or painting a groovy beach bungalow, dressing for the Kentucky Derby or Sunday brunch, or never dreaming about leaving the house without our signature red lip, Southerners know what we love. And what do we love? Whatever makes us happy. Now, our sister site, My Domaine reports that joy dressing and joy decorating are the latest design trends. To that we say, welcome to the party!

According to My Domaine, "Joy dressing is just what it sounds like: wearing clothes that spark happiness." That could be wearing all the colors of the rainbow at once, donning so-called clashing patterns, or piling on pastels. It may be on trend now, but Southerners have been doing this since forever. If anyone doubts that, we have two words for you: Lilly Pulitzer. The color-loving designer may be based in Palm Beach, but her brightly colored clothing has been a staple in the wardrobes of Southern fashionistas since the mid-1950s. Southerners love her jewel-toned colors, bright pastels, and bold patterns, because it appeals to our natural love of dressing however we darn well feel.

Mountain House Wood Panel Living room with stone fireplace
Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Lizzie Cullen Cox

For further proof of Southerners' love of wearing whatever makes us happy, we have two more words for you: Dolly Parton. The singer, songwriter, philanthropist, and entrepreneur, is loud and proud in her fashion choices. "I'm flashy, and I'm flamboyant. Had I not been a girl, I definitely would have been a drag queen," the Tennessee-born star told Elle. That love of exuberance and joyful dressing is something that Southerners have long taken to heart—and it's not just clothing but extends into an entire design aesthetic.

So-called "joy decorating" takes that trend out of the closet and into every other part of the home. According to My Domaine, it's "characterized by bold color, fun prints, and a touch of maximalism," and throws a little dose of "happiness and a sense of joie de vivre" into a space. Like with clothing, Southerners have been decorating to their hearts' desires since, well, forever.

These days, Southerners with an eye for design happily combine exuberant hues and vibrant patterns, put antique linens on a contemporary bed, add natural touches to modern metallics, paint pastels and neon tones next to each other, combine modern-meets-bohemian vibes, infuse Birmingham chic with California cool, put family heirlooms alongside alma mater banners, and unabashedly use more throw pillows than anyone has a right to. That's because there are no rules in joy decorating, just whatever makes you happy. So, when it comes to expressing joy through design, Southerners have it down to an art form.

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