Bringing the Outdoors In
by Kate Riley on January 7th, 2014
Everyone has an appreciation of the outdoors in some form or another, so bringing the outdoors in is a common request in home decorating. Nature has inspired interior design for centuries, and its effects are everywhere—from the motifs found in textiles and wallpaper to paint colors inspired by verdant blooms and scenic landscapes. Here are a few suggestions on how to bring the outdoors in by using organic materials and botanicals in your home’s décor.
Branches are an easy solution and can be found in your yard or at the park. Whether fresh or faux, branches are beautiful at any time of year. Forced cherry blossoms remind us in March that spring is on its way, turning leaves in fall showcase the warm colors of that favorite season, and white branches look festive as part of a holiday vignette.
Nature prints bring the outdoors in in an artistic way. Which scenes appeal to you most? Is it the snowcapped mountains or the ethereal blue of ocean waves? Framing pressed leaves is another way to display botanicals saved from a nature walk, and preserves them behind glass for years to come.
Shells remind us of summer vacations spent by the seashore. Bring that restful feeling indoors by using shells creatively in your décor. Insert tiny starfish or miniature shells insider planters, or use larger clam shells as planters for succulents. Shop for home décor that incorporates this appealing texture on pillows, or in larger sculptural form as decorative objects to be placed around the home.
And of course, the most obvious ways to bring the freshness and color of the outdoors inside is to fill vases and pitchers with in-season blooms. Clippings from the yard are free, but tulips in spring or summer hydrangeas are worth spending those few extra dollars for when they appear in the local markets and flower shops.
There are many other ways to bring the outdoors in beyond botanicals. Minerals and stone like agate or marble enhance the home with veining and unique patterns that only time can create. The animal kingdom is another resource for incorporating natural elements; consider sheepskin or cowhide rugs, buffalo horn accents, and safari-inspired prints from giraffe to leopard.