There is something quite calming about being surrounded by nature. With these clever touches, you can bring the natural world into your home so you can be near it every day
Do you love being in nature? In an ideal world, you would soak up the sun outside all day long, but sadly you spend most of the time inside and inevitably staring at a screen. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could bring the outdoors in? If you are a true city person, with a cozy (read: small) apartment in the middle of the concrete jungle, it is possible to enjoy the elements of nature in your home. Here we reveal tips and tricks that will help you bring the outside in.
Smells like the great outdoors
A really simple way to bring the concept of the outdoors in is to get there via the use of another one of your senses. “Just like making your house smell like freshly baked bread or cookies gives it that cosy and welcoming vibe, opting for fresh, green and leafy scents will subliminally connect your mind with the outdoors,” says Masters. So it’s time to get out products like the Private Collection Savage Garden home perfume with its heady blend of zesty lemon and herbaceous clary sage so that when you’re sitting inside, with just a few deep breaths you can transport yourself to a gorgeous garden somewhere outside.
Think outside the (flower)box
If you want to feel more connected with nature then bring nature into your home. Fresh flowers and plants, quite literally, bring life into any room. If you struggle to keep things alive then opt for plants that need very little upkeep and maintenance such as succulents or snake plants that are also called mother-in-law’s tongue thanks to their long pointy leaves.
If you are more green-fingered but don’t have a garden you can still grow and cultivate plants in even the smallest space. Window boxes take up very little room and make great options for growing strawberries, chard, tomatoes and herbs. And if you fancy something a bit bigger, dwarf lemon trees can thrive indoors as they respond well to the heat and humidity.
The colours of nature
It may sound obvious, but if you want to feel like you’re in nature then use the hues of nature to inspire your colour palette. “There’s something very magical about connecting the inside with the outside via colour,” says interior designer, Emma Masters. “If, for example, your living room backs onto your garden and is surrounded by greenery, painting your living room in a similar hue, subliminally links the two spaces together. Similarly, if your bedroom is on the upper floor of your home and you can see the sky and clouds from the windows then why not think about mimicking those shades in your room? I can guarantee it will feel very calming and restful, which is exactly how you want your home to feel.”
Go au naturel
“Biophilic design - where you design living spaces with nature at the heart of it - is really big right now and it has led the way for a huge trend of using natural materials such as rattan and bamboo,” says Masters. “They’re great materials to use on the front of cabinets and wardrobes as they provide privacy and hide things away but are far softer on the eye than conventional wood and bring a certain lightness to a room.”
Masters also recommends bringing natural fibres to the floor. “I love jute rugs. There is something earthy but also so sophisticated about them at the same time. They also feel great underfoot and if it’s an outdoorsy feel you’re looking for they add that sense of straw-meets-grassy texture to a room.”
Try indoor benches
While we’re not saying that chunky plastic patio furniture would work inside your home, you shouldn’t discount using outdoor furniture inside. “Small delicate wooden garden benches can work really well in hallways and are really comfortable to sit on,” says Masters. “And there’s always something quite wonderful about reframing something that is so ingrained in everyone’s minds to belonging in one space but using it in another.”
She goes on to say that with the right shape, you can even make a bench work in a kitchen or office space. “As long as it doesn’t overwhelm the space and feel too heavy or cumbersome then it’s a great way of bringing the sense of outside to the indoor.”
If you’re lucky enough to have a garden or balcony then Masters recommends thinking about it as one unified space. “Think about using the same flooring inside and out so there’s a seamless transition between the two. Also, tie in some key colours on both spaces. It might be that you buy planters in the same colour as your sofa or have an outdoor rug in the same shade as your wall colour. Anything that helps the eye flow from one space into the next.”
This article is part of our House of Wellbeing series to help make your home a haven of wellbeing. Articles packed with expert information and practical tips designed to equip you with everything you need to know to bring serenity, calm and joy into your home.