Simple Ways to Bring Nature into Your Home
The obvious way to bring nature indoors is, of course, to include plant life. Potted plants in particular bring that “outdoor” feel to any room, as well as adding the therapeutic effect of all those green tones. Plants in full bloom would naturally add even more colour therapy to your living space.
But what about options other than foliage? One of the more popular ways of bringing nature into the home is through art. Artwork depicting plant life brings in the same kind of colour that real plants do, and can make your room feel unique and interesting. They also require less effort! For example, forest scenes, and nature scenes of all kinds can be very successful. Bear in mind, that what the art is painted or printed on can be just as important as the picture itself. For example, scenes painted on natural material such as birch wood or natural silks will have a different feeling than those simply painted on a canvas or piece of hardboard.
When interior design clients express an interest in bringing nature into their homes, their designers tend to think of using natural materials such as: stone tiles, water and glass. Glass? Even though it doesn’t occur as a substance in nature, many maintain that its effect is close enough to water to contribute to a nature-themed living space.
Water can also be an effective decorating tool; shopping in nature stores one usually finds different kinds of small artistic-looking indoor fountains powered by an electrical pump which will bring water into the home and provide that wonderful relaxing sound.
Many decorators advocate the use of natural materials like wicker, and love putting wicker furniture inside the house. This has evolved from wicker just being used outside as garden or conservatory furniture.
Your choice of paint colour can also contribute to bringing nature into the home. Try to include colours that occur naturally, even if they feel like they are too over-powering initially. You should use deep, dark shades of forest greens and fiery reds sparingly across feature walls or as accessories as they will make your rooms appear smaller, but you can use more neutral beige tones that you would find in sand, pebbles and rocks on each wall to provide the back-drop to your whole room. Mid-earthy browns and even the brighter tones of certain vegetables, like bright red tomatoes and deep purple eggplants, can be combined to create a dramatic effect that would work well in a bedroom or large living room. If you aren’t sure, then experiment. If you don’t like the final effect, then paint over it.
Finally, of course, there are the decorative accessories of which we are all so fond. To truly bring the outdoors in, don’t just buy what is on offer at the shops. Go for walk and see what Mother Nature puts in your path. Could you burn your candles among a large bowl of pebbles that you found on the beach, or among pine-cones from your local fir tree? Could you even burn those pine-cones as kindling in your open fireplace? Could you turn that piece of drift-wood from the beach into a lamp, or use it as a centre-piece for tea-light candles on your dining table? Is there a pretty stone you can use as a paper-weight or door-stop?Just open your eyes and see what you notice. Mother Nature provides all kinds of unique shapes. Find an interesting piece, treat it with beeswax or varnish to preserve it, and display.
Remember to keep it simple and avoid symmetry. Think Nature! Don’t think in fussy straight lines; stagger items around your home and you will create a more natural ‘outdoor’ effect.
by Loretta Cotterell – www.lorettacotterell.co.uk