A breath of fresh air: The importance of bringing the outdoors in

5 February, 2017

Nature has long served as inspiration for interiors, popping up year after year on home décor trend reports. But bringing the outdoors in isn’t just a pretty fad – it also comes with bags of benefits.

It’s more important than ever to use green tones and natural landscapes in your home, as research continues to reveal how vital it is to get a daily dose of nature. NASA has proven indoor plants, natural fabrics and wooden furniture can help boost immunity and relaxation, while another study revealed that green or natural features can increase well-being by 15%.

Plus, nature-inspired interiors continue to climb in relevancy as we struggle to get outside as often as we need to. A report has found that people in developed countries spend 90% of their time indoors, while another highlighted that 75% of UK children spend less time outside than prison inmates.

So when you can’t get outside, featuring natural inspiration in your home can serve as the second best thing. To create that all-important connection to the outdoors, we’ve put together six ways you can use earthy elements in your home.

Planet-inspired palettes

Fill your home with colours inspired by the great outdoors – we’re talking greens, blues, browns and yellows, which all nod to nature in its various forms. If you want to keep in vogue, try using Pantone’s Colour of the Year 2017 – ‘Greenery’. The zesty shade is reminiscent of fresh spring foliage and can be either used in accessories or to coat feature walls.

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Utilise sunlight

Allow natural light to stream into your home with clever daylighting techniques. Not only will it bring a room to life, colours will be enhanced and it’ll create a brighter setting. Try out tricks such as replacing heavy drapery with more delicate fabrics. You can also maximise what light you do have with pale flooring and muted walls.

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Indoor greenery

What better way to bring the outdoors in than with some live plants dotted around your home? Controlling your home’s air quality is just one of their many benefits, while being in close proximity to living plants can also reduce stress and enhance creativity. Not to mention they can instantly lift a room and can add texture, colour and shape. What type of plant you choose will be dictated by your own personal style – go trendy with a terrarium, low maintenance with cacti or change things up with fresh bouquets every week.

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Natural sources

Indulge your nature-inspired theme further with fabrics and furniture. There’s plenty of natural sources you can work with, whether you’re a minimalism fan or colour enthusiast. Wood is an easy choice that injects warmth into its surrounding, plus is versatile in its application – you can choose from a number of finishes and use it for everything from flooring to photo frames. Other natural materials you could work into your home include cotton, wicker, rattan, cork and bamboo.

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The art of nature

If you have a blank wall that needs bringing to life, try featuring art which depicts the great outdoors – it can instantly add warmth and interest. Either create a gallery wall using multiple works of art or opt for a floor to ceiling wall mural.

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Natural flourishes

Give your finishing touches the green treatment, without compromising their style. Choose chintz flowers, tiny birds or delicate leaf patterns for your soft furnishings. Easy touches also include popping pine cones in a bowl, artfully arranging twigs in a vase or filling a basket with piles of freshly chopped logs, ready to throw on your fire. You can also touch other senses too, using sandalwood candles and floral potpourri to emulate natural scents.

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