With winter finally behind us, I think I can confidently say that most of us are looking forward to the summer months.
The longer days, the sun finally making more than just the occasional appearance, the temperatures finally rising – there’s little not to like about any of that. One of the most enjoyable things we can do to our homes at this time of year is to let the outdoors influence how we decorate indoors.
With the trend for more organic materials rising in popularity with each year, it’s little wonder that many of us like the idea of being inspired by the Great Outdoors when decorating inside our homes. The connection is a primal one – we feel good when we breathe in fresh air, take in a beautiful view or walk along a nature trail. Natural touches in the home ground a design, breathe new life into it and make it appear less cold and fussy. Items either directly from or simply inspired by the natural world make a home more inviting, add texture and colour and create a warm and inviting space and one that we feel we can breathe easier in.
So if you are looking forward to bringing the outdoors in this year and are in need of some suggestions, I’ve rounded up a few ideas to create a welcoming environment this spring.
While house plants fell out of favour for a few decades after the 1970’s, they are back with a bang and I have to admit, I’m a huge fan. Whether you choose one large tree as a statement piece, hang a planter from the ceiling or nestle a few leafy specimens along a windowsill, creating a small urban jungle is a great way to bring nature indoors. They clean and purify the air in our homes naturally, bring colour and life into a space and connect us to the outside world.
If you fear plants may perish under your care, then why not simply purchase a few blooms instead? While flowers don’t last nearly as long as plants do, they do bring with them colour and life and will make any room instantly appear more pulled together. In fact, research has shown that flowers actually increase happiness so perhaps it’s worth the extra few pennies in our weekly shop. Consider bunching similar varieties together or go wild with an assortment but be sure to always include some greenery as filler for a well-pulled together display.
Pale and unfinished wood finishes
I’ve always felt every room needs at least one nice wood piece in it to ground a scheme and with Scandinavian design so popular at the moment, the unfussy pale finishes as well as rustic and salvaged wood seem to be gaining in popularity over their darker/stained rivals. Consider bringing these finishes into your home by way of furniture as well as accessories. Wood also warms up a space – the natural grain adds movement and texture, its colour is earthy and natural and it never feels particularly cold to the touch.
One of the biggest trends of the year is marble. While it’s perfect for rolling pastry, you don’t have to necessarily fork out to cover your kitchen worktops in this material but you can bring it into your home in other small ways. The natural textures and grains in marble and other stone finishes create a beautiful backdrop to other colours and its smooth cool finish creates a wonderful contrast to other natural materials in the home.
Feathers, shells and branches
There’s something wonderful about going on a little nature hunt – there’s a sense of nostalgia in finding pretty things in nature to take home with us and there’s no reason not to display these newfound treasures in the home. Consider grouping items together on a shelf or under a glass cloche or using box frames to hang them on the walls.
Faux fur, hides and leather
Touchable textures are perfect in any space. They have the tendency to create a feeling of cosiness and warmth and while the temperatures outside may still be a little on the chilly side, it’s a great opportunity to bring these items into our homes. Drape faux furs or hides over chairs for a relaxed invitation to sit and stay a while. Leather furniture only gets better with age, developing a natural patina and a softness unlike anything else.
So those are just a few ways to add a touch of nature to your home this spring! What’s your favourite way to bring the outdoors in?
Kimberly Duran is an award-winning interior design blogger who chronicles her decorating journey in her blog, Swoon Worthy. Her style is unashamedly eclectic, bohemian and glamorous and when she's not helplessly drooling over design websites and adding things to the imaginary 'shopping basket' in her head, she likes to get messy tackling DIY projects, stalking eBay for bargains, taking Instagram pictures of her cats and investing time in her ongoing love affair with gold spray paint.
Image sources: Swoon Worthy