Mother Nature is maybe the best interior designer of all. Her work is stunning — so much so that you want your house to replicate the feel of the great outdoors.
The good news is, you’re not the first one to draw design inspiration from landscapes, plants and animals. As such, there’s plenty of tried-and-true ways to do it in a way that pays homage without making your home look so outdoorsy that you feel like you’re, well, outside.
The following are just five of the many ways to do it. Find the one that speaks to your nature-loving side and see just how much a few earth-inspired elements can change the look and feel of your home.
Repaint Something a Nature-Inspired Color
One of the most basic ways to bring nature in is to draw colors from your favorite landscape and bring those hues into your design. An old piece of wood furniture is the perfect canvas: grab a paintbrush and slick a fresh coat of paint onto furniture you already own. You can also pick up a gently loved piece of used furniture at a yard sale, flea market or from an online marketplace.
As for the color you choose, that’s up to you. Green is an obvious nature-inspired choice, but everyone’s favorite outdoor environment is different. A beach lover might choose light blue, while a life-changing trip to the Grand Canyon could inspire you to choose the natural wonder’s iconic orangey red color.
Press and Frame Flowers
Whether they’re growing wild in fields or perfectly pruned in gardens, flowers are always beautiful – there’s no surprise why they’re so popular in design schemes the world over. You’ve probably seen rooms with floral pillows, duvet covers or curtains. Chances are, you’ve seen an area rug with a floral design, too.
That’s why we propose something outside of the box, and something you can create yourself. Take a walk in a nearby park or in your garden (or, you can visit your favorite florist – we won’t tell anyone). Pick a handful of flowers, bring them home and place them inside of a heavy book. Make sure there’s at least one page between the flowers before closing the book and leaving them to dry for two weeks.
All you have to do in the meantime is grab enough frames to hold each of dried flowers, as well as paper or fabric to place behind each as matting. Once the flowers are dry, place them on top of the matting paper, place that inside of a frame and create your own gallery wall. Voila: nature is permanently part of your décor.
Choose Natural Furniture
Of course, you don’t have to bring actual pieces of nature into your home to give it that natural feel. You can choose manmade pieces of furniture that are built from rugged, rustic materials. We’re not just talking about plain wood furniture, either: today’s designers draw lots of inspiration from the world around us, and, as such, have begun incorporated more raw materials into their builds.
A great example of this is furniture built from logs as opposed to more processed, perfected wood furniture. With log furniture, you can see the grains, knots and imperfections in the wood, which makes each piece so much more interesting and so much more of a design feature. A full set would immediately impart that rustic, outdoor feel on your space.
Create a Curio Cabinet
If you want your home to reflect the beauty of nature, then, chances are, you spend a lot of time outdoors. On your mountain treks, beach strolls and scuba diving expeditions, you’ve probably picked up a few of Mother Nature’s best souvenirs.
A small curio cabinet is all you need to put your finds on display. Rocks, shells, branches, sea glass… whatever it is you collect, you can slip into the small shelves of your cabinet. If your collection is larger than the capacity of a single cabinet, you can find coffee tables and kitchen tables with built-in compartments for all of your finds — and glass tops to keep everything safe.
Piece Together a Feather Bouquet
Again, you can probably come up with lots of simple ways to incorporate your love of animals into a nature-inspired room. From paintings, to animal-print upholstery, to faux fur throw pillows, there’s so much on the market that brings the wild into your living room.
Another creative and out-of-the-box option is to fill a clay pot with extra-large feathers. It’s that simple, but it can make a beautiful, rustic statement on any bookshelf, sofa table or dining room buffet cabinet.
How will you bring nature into your home? These are, again, only five of the countless ways you can do it. Let the element of nature you love the most inspire your choices – letting your heart guide you is a foolproof way to creating a design scheme that you love for years to come.