Six cost-effective and easy ways to bring the outdoors into the home

Nature can lift our spirits, and spending time outside is undoubtedly beneficial to our well-being.

Victoria Harrison, designer and interiors expert, insists it doesn’t, and says it’s easy to take design inspiration from the natural world, through what’s known as “bio-design” – weaving nature into the home’s environment by maximizing natural light, maximizing outdoor views, The use of natural colours, textures and patterns in interior spaces.

Harrison, who wrote the book Rebuild your home To explain how to bring nature into your home, he says, “Living in contact with nature can help make us happier and healthier.”

She adds that spending time outside has been shown to improve our well-being and can also bring these benefits indoors.

“Rebuilding your home simply means living in tune with the seasons, noticing small changes outside your window and bringing elements of this into your home.

“This can be done easily and inexpensively with a few small décor updates – from decorating with natural colors and materials to bringing in seasonal fragrances and enhancing natural lighting, there are a range of ways to rebuild a living space and invite nature into it.”

Harrison shares six quick ideas to help create a brutal home…

Use a natural color palette

“The natural world has the best color combinations, and using colors inspired by nature can help you feel the benefits of a wild landscape, even when you’re indoors.

“Choose colors that reflect the landscape just outside your window for the most impact. In a coastal area, this might mean shades of gray, white, silver, and blue. While in woodland or inland areas, you can use warm neutrals, deep greens, and soft creams to reflect the colors outside.” .

Try using the same color palette throughout your home for a cohesive effect, notes Harrison, but vary the percentages of each color in each room for variety.

“For example, with a coastal color palette of blue and white with touches of silver and sand, you can use more light tones in the rooms you use in the morning, adding darker shades as accents. Then, you can tip the balance in the rooms you use in the evening. , with a higher proportion of darker tones, with only small touches of muted shades.”

Create a natural room fragrance

Smell is an often overlooked element of home decor, but home fragrance can have a huge impact on the way your home feels. Harrison suggests a quick and fun way to bring the seasonal scent into your home is to make a stovetop diffuser.

“To do this, simply chop up some seasonal fruits, herbs and spices, add them to a pot of water and bring to a gentle boil.

“Let it simmer to bring out the fragrance. In the spring and summer, use fresh scents like lemon, mint, and rosemary for a fresh fragrance. In the cooler months, choose warm herbs like cinnamon, ginger, and anise for a comforting layer of scent.”

Make your view green

Studies have shown that even seeing nature can have a powerful effect on how we feel. Consider the windows in your home as picture frames, and think about what you frame as you walk around the room.

“If your windows look out onto a garden,” she says, “bring pots of plants and greenery to the outside of the window as much as possible, and try to see your garden as an extension of your home, rather than as two separate spaces.”

“If you don’t have a garden, add window boxes to the outside of your window frames and fill them with pollinator-friendly plants, to bring the color and wildlife closer to you.

“You can also frame your perspective by placing indoor plants next to windows or doors, to create a mantle of greenery around your window. This will help blur the boundaries between indoors and outdoors.”

Some houseplants can also remove toxins from the air, which helps reduce indoor air pollution and keep your home healthy, so layer them for fresh greenery.

reflect the sun

Attracting more natural light into your home is another way to bring the outside in. Placing furniture close to windows and maintaining window sills can increase any available light source.

You can also reflect light by using lighter paint colors near windows and light sources.

Placing mirrors or mirrored furniture opposite the windows can bounce more natural light into the room, while reflective cell phones close to a light source capture natural light and scatter it throughout the room. Try a series of faceted glass drops or a rotating brass disc near a window, to catch the sun’s refracting, casting playful reflections and patterns.

Celebrate wild shapes

“There are no straight lines in nature; from the arch of a tree branch to the meandering riverbed, nature has a way of softening and curving any hard edges,” says Harrison.

“Bringing these organic curves and soft shapes into your home is a quick and easy way to create an association with the outdoors. Choose furniture with curved edges and add round mirrors or rugs and round pillows. Look for furniture with a wobble or “live” edge (which means the edge is left as naturally found). , not planned and straightened) and celebrated with artefacts.”

Choose natural materials

Reducing the use of plastic and man-made materials in your home, and using natural fibers and materials instead, can help rebuild your interior space and create a healthy home environment. “Studies have shown that some natural materials, such as wood, can improve human health and well-being by lowering blood pressure and stress levels, so bring a piece of wood furniture or wood décor items for a happy and healthy home,” Harrison adds.

“In addition to wood, other natural materials such as rattan, wicker or bamboo will also help connect your home with the natural world outside. When it comes to textiles, look for wool, jute, sisal, seagrass or linen, all of which will bring a beautiful layer of natural texture and color.” to your home.”

Rebuild your house (Quadrille/PA)

Rebuild Your Home by Victoria Harrison Posted by Quadrille, now available.

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