Welcome nature into your home

Beth Cochrane Beth Cochrane
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Living in the city can be hard sometimes. At points we all yearn for the great outdoors; for the rolling fields and greenery that comes with a forest view. So why not try to bring it into your home? Whether living in the city centre or out in the most rural countryside, it's always nice to bring nature into your dwelling. So refresh your home and breathe in that fresh air.

There are so many ways to make your home feel more in tune with nature. Whether it's something as simple as adding floral patterns to your designs or choosing to build you own oak furniture, there is always an option to suit your home. Or you can use a more innovative design: for example, use eclectic hanging baskets in and around your house or paint a few walls with a wonderfully expansive mural. 

Bring in the beams

Bringing wood furniture into your home can be one of the easiest ways to make the space feel more nature orientated. And wood furniture can come in all shapes and sizes, from beds (shown above), to shelves, chairs, coffee tables and so much more. So no matter what room you'd like to bring nature into, wooden furniture could be a valid option for you.

In country homes or, if you're lucky, converted barns, there may already be wood beams stretching across the length of your ceiling. This is a really wonderful feature to have in your home as it comes as part of the package. The wooden bed in the above image is a great example of natural furniture as it's unconditioned wood with a truly authentic forest feel to it—you can lie back and really imagine yourself immersed in the forest! 

Nature's lights

Natural light is one of the most obvious ways to bring nature, quite literally, into your home. Draw back the curtains and let the sunshine spill through the window panes—it could well be the easiest, most simple way of letting nature into your home. Of course there are many ways to do this: through the classic windows to glass doors and skylights.

Here, in this example, the designer has foregone any glass to shield the house from the outdoors. Instead, they have opted for a wonderful bamboo screen, gently swaying in the breeze as it hangs from the doorway. This is definitely a bold design move, and perhaps not one that every kitchen would suit. But it gets the creative juices flowing; don't always rely on the most obvious of options. Explore all avenues before settling on one. 

Fabulous in floral

Floral patterns can give any room a sense of freshness and rejuvenation. It's a fair comment to say they don't work perfectly in any setting, but if you think floral will match with your designs then it should be encouraged. In country homes or rustic cottages floral patterns work particularly well, but don't be afraid to branch out when living in the city too.

Floral wallpaper often works beautifully as the décor for a feature wall, particularly in a bedroom or living room. As in the above example, floral patterns can also be incorporated into the design of the curtains or blinds; a small touch of nature that goes a long way. Or you can use your imagination and get a little creative. For example, the paper wall figure of the stag's head being covered in blossom is an endearing and quite charming detail.

Larger than life

Wall murals are definitely not the first design idea I would think of when decorating my home. Perhaps you would consider one for in the children's room but never really entertained the idea for the grown up spaces. However,  take a moment to reconsider this: wall murals can be really beautiful and intricate paintings, not so different from hanging interesting art on the wall.

This photo shows an absolutely stunning example of a wall mural, with blues and green and wood tones draping around one another, swirling into an interpretation of what nature could be. Murals are a wonderful place where you can explore your own image of nature, whether it deals with floral patterns or forest views. Definitely make sure you know exactly what you're doing when painting your mural—do a few practise paintings beforehand. A mistake on the wall is difficult to re-paint. 

Stony features

Feature walls are always a great way to divide the space up a little in your home. They bring a focal point to a room, giving it a sense of well-thought out design. Stone feature walls, or indeed wood panelled feature walls, can be great ways of bringing nature easily into your home. In this kitchen, in the image above, for example has a charmingly rustic feature wall along the back of the kitchen units. This makes it almost feel you are cooking somewhere in the great outdoors, having found your own personal nook which offers some safe shelter.

Stone feature walls don't have to be limited to the kitchen, though. They can be used in almost any room, from the living room, to bedroom, to bathroom. Another common feature wall in fashion right now is the exposed brick wall, which is great for a more industrial, rather than natural, vibe. 

Slide into nature

Glass sliding doors allow a huge amount of natural light into your kitchen, conservatory or dining space. As we've shown, above, natural light is one of the best and easiest ways to let nature into your home so they're already a wonderful choice. 

They also allow easy escape into the real nature of your back garden—almost blending indoors with out. Being able to sit at your kitchen table in the morning, cereal spoon in hand and look straight out onto the natural vista of your green garden is a truly lovely experience, allowing you to feel you are dining al fresco whilst in the warmth of your home. And with just one easy, sliding motion you can take your mug of coffee out into the garden and perhaps a little stroll around the shrubs before continuing with the day. 

How have you welcomed nature indoors? Let us know in the comments, below.
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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