Find out how you can bring the outside inside, with these simple home interior ideas
You’re probably already aware of the benefits of being outdoors in the fresh air, and the positive effects that being surrounded by nature can have on mental health
But it’s not always possible to get outdoors, especially in times of bad weather. And if you don’t have a garden, you might think that your opportunities to spend time outside are limited.
So it’s no surprise that there is increased interest in making our home interiors reflect the great outdoors. Even if you don’t have the luxury of a big garden, there are many ways that you can make your home a calming and refreshing space to enjoy.
Here are six simple ways to bring a sense of the outdoors inside your home:
Choose the right space
The first step is to choose which room you are going to use for your project. And if you have a room which opens up onto a garden, this might be an obvious choice.
Choosing a room that faces South will give you maximum natural lights in the afternoon and evening. North facing rooms will generally be darker and cooler.
Another choice might be to pick a room that you spend a lot of time in, like your bedroom or living room.
Bring natural light into the room
Natural light is good for your mood, so a room that gets plenty of natural light is sure to make you feel wonderful.
You could look at installing something like Infinity fixed flat glass rooflights, which will give your room much more natural light and a lovely airy feel. You’ll really see a difference, especially in the winter months when natural light is at a premium.
You could also try replacing your heavy curtains with lighter fabrics or sheer voile curtains. This will increase the light that passes through your windows, and make it feel much brighter. You can always put up blackout roller blinds if you want the room darker to sleep in.
Take a look outside
‘Borrowed landscape’ is a concept in garden design, which uses the landscape beyond the bounds of the garden as part of the design.
You can use this concept when you’re designing your indoor space as well.
Take a look through your window and see if there are any improvements that will make the room a more relaxing space. Clear away the bins or old play sets, trim back the hedge or plant up some pots to display within view of your window.
And if you can’t improve it, then a sheer voile curtain at the window will help disguise the view without making your room feel darker.
Make use of natural fabrics and materials
Filling your room with natural fabrics and materials will help to give a sense of the outdoors. Materials like wicker and rattan will work well, together with fabrics like heavy linens and floaty silks.
And don’t forget to search out complementary accessories like rugs, cushions, baskets and lampshades to complete the look.
You can also use elements like sea shells, jars of beach sand, pebbles and pieces of wood to bring the outdoors in. If you don’t have them at hand, try using prints, photographs or paintings.
Bring plants into your living space
Filling your room with plants is the obvious way to bring the outdoors inside. Houseplants like peace lilies (Spathiphyllum wallisii), spider plants (Chlorophytum comosum) and Swiss cheese plants (Monstera deliciosa) are easy to keep and will make your space looks softer and more natural.
Try hanging ceramic pots from the ceiling, installing floating shelves to create a living wall, or fill an odd corner with a large plant. You can use plant stands to add height without making the floor space feel overfilled.
And if you like the idea of growing your own fruit and vegetables, why not add a herb garden to a windowsill? It’ll be simple to care for, and give you fresh herbs throughout the winter months.
Use scent and sound to bring the outdoors in
As well as using visual cues and natural fabrics to bring a touch of nature to your indoor space, don’t forget to use your other senses as well.
Scents like woody incense or fresh flowers will help to make your room feel more natural, or you could try using scented candles to invoke the fresh scent of the sea.
Luxury spas often use relaxing natural sounds like rainfall, the sea or a babbling brook to help make you feel more in tune with nature. You could do the same at home to make your room a relaxing space.