The unspoiled majesty of the great outdoors has been captivating urban dwellers for hundreds of years. The drab greys and browns of city living can feel quite suffocating and at home there is little respite, what with clinical, ‘modern’ designs very much the order of the day. What if I were to tell you however, that it was possible to bring the beauty, warmth and space of the outdoors into your home? Just think of the positive effects it could have on your sense of well-being, having a refuge from the hustle and bustle of the rat race that evokes the calming hush of the great outdoors.
Here we’ll be examining ten outdoors influenced decorative tips that will (with very little effort) help transform your house into a home.
Colours – The colour scheme of your home is the first and most obvious thing that can be changed to bring about a more ‘outdoorsy’ aesthetic. The colours you’re going to want to aim for are colours that reflect the sky, earth, water and trees so blues, browns and (especially) greens. Darker reds can also work quite well, offering a nice contrast against whites and lighter blues. Also try experimenting with more natural fabrics and materials.
Views – Unless you live in a busy city centre, there is really something to be said for allowing the views from your windows to speak for themselves. If there are any bushes or trees blocking the sunlight and scenery from your windows, consider clearing them. This is especially recommended if you have a back garden.
Natural light – Not only is natural light completely free it can also make your home warmer and feel larger and more vibrant. Accentuate the natural light in your home by replacing heavy curtains with thinner, lighter fabrics and make sure that during the day, all of your curtains are open so that as much light as possible can get it. You could also leave your windows open to allow some fresh air into your home (if you live in an area free of smog that is).
The ‘other’ senses – Our sense of smell is perhaps the sense we most take for granted when we’re attempting to create a pleasant atmosphere in our homes. To really bring the smells of the outdoors in, try burning some pine scented incense or using floral potpourri to lend a woody vibe to your living room. The sounds of nature can also prove incredibly relaxing, especially in the bedroom. Ambient sounds of rain, wind and water can really help you drift off to sleep at night and there are numerous free sound banks on the internet that would do the trick.
Think natural – By implementing natural elements into your décor you’ll be able to subtly introduce a natural elegance into your home without spending a fortune. Pinecones, rocks and sea shells are just a selection of natural elements that you could incorporate into your décor simply by placing them on your mantel piece or coffee table. You could even introduce these natural elements into the décor in a less organic manner (with photography perhaps?).
Flooring – Though carpets can admittedly be more comfortable underfoot, softer reclaimed woods can be just as gentle and will really give your home a more rustic vibe. Using natural woods instead of man-made materials should give your flooring a look that is at once both modern and vintage. The best of both worlds.
Eco Friendly – Swapping out all of your conventional materials (towels, bedding etc) with eco-friendly variants might not make your home ‘appear’ any more natural but you will almost certainly feel closer to nature as a result.
Design – Now this is getting a little more elaborate, but if you’re really committed to bringing the natural world into your home and you are interested in unconventional interior design, try looking to nature for inspiration by including natural elements in your homes design. For example, instead of having you staircase made from generic wood, think about maybe having them carved from stone. The imperfections in the stone and the design will really look striking.
Sustainable living – It is quite possible to live sustainably by growing our own foods at home and doing so indoors will also have an obvious aesthetic benefit. A conservatory especially could double as a green house where you might grow vegetables, fruits and herbs.
Patio – A patio is (by its very nature) a sort of ‘mid-point- between the indoors and the outdoors so adding one to your property is obviously recommended if you truly want your indoors to feel like a natural extension of your surroundings. Urban dwellers meanwhile could use the patio as a garden in which to relax by surrounding themselves with flowers and lush greenery. It would also (of course) be a perfect place for a BBQ, and what else but a BBQ can really better reflect the coalescence of the indoors and the outdoors?
With a helpful blend of the above ideas, you can transform your home or any home for that matter into a peaceful and tranquil place, using nature, to escape from the everyday monotonous rat race that we have built into.
Alex works and writes for internaldoors – one of the UK’s leading suppliers of external and internal doors. Alex writes about interior design, DIY and everything door related!