Bringing the Outdoors Inside
As autumn approaches, we can find ourselves simultaneously anticipating wearing cozy sweaters and snuggling in front of the fire while also grieving the loss of warm summer nights and the sensation of grass under our bare feet. Finding creative ways to bring nature inside can help with this transition while adding a comfortable feeling to your home. Decorating with the great outdoors is often inexpensive or free, so bringing it indoors makes sense on many levels. Let’s explore some practical ways to make this happen
1. Bring natural fibers, textures, and patterns into the mix.
Use materials that are all inspired by nature. Consider adding wicker or rattan furniture as accent pieces. Layer a jute rug in your dining or living room areas. Use hemp baskets to store blankets, magazines, or toys. These items soften the edges of a room and create a warm environment.
2. Use colors inspired by the outdoors.
Soft greens are reminiscent of the earth, grass, and plants. Gentle blues evoke memories of the water and sky and lazy days on the beach. Yellow infuses the freshness of flowers and the sun. If you prefer neutral walls, use these colors for furniture, blankets, or pillows.
3. Add houseplants as focal points or accents.
Hanging houseplants in the window remains a standard. Consider a display of small potted herbs or succulents on your kitchen window sill. Think outside the box and use plants as centerpieces or on shelves where they will receive light. Large plants like the light and leafy Norfolk Island pine or the unique cut foliage of a monstera fit nicely in a corner and make a bold statement. Don’t have a green thumb? Opt for botanical prints on your walls or pillows.
4. Display elements from nature.
Whether you have collections from vacation or items you’ve gathered from your own backyard, fill bowls or vases with pebbles, seashells, sand, or other found treasures. Antlers continue to be a popular form of wall art. An interesting twist of branches can display nicely on a shelf or a wall, or you can anchor it in a glass container of sand. If you don’t own such items, consider hanging images of beautiful scenery from your travels.
5. Invite the natural light through your windows.
Swap out those heavy draperies for a lighter material or sheers. Use natural bamboo shades that can be rolled up to coax in the sunshine. If privacy is not an issue, consider letting your windows bare in order to fully enjoy the view outdoors.
6. Use natural materials instead of man-made ones.
Wood, cork, or bamboo floors are soft and inviting underfoot. Oak beams draw the eye upward and can balance out larger spaces. A stone fireplace with an aged wooden mantel beam can be decorated seasonally to draw all the outdoor elements together.
7. Keep a daily dose of fruits and veggies on hand.
Decorating with citrus is increasingly popular, whether it is displayed in bowls, woven into wreaths, or grown on topiaries. Vegetables you intend to use, such as tomatoes or zucchini, might as well serve as decorations in the meantime and add a nice dash of color to your kitchen.
With minimal effort or expense, the outdoors can quickly be incorporated inside. Until spring rolls around again, and it always does, these ideas will help chase away the winter blues and remind us of the promise of summer.