There’s a reason they call it ‘the great outdoors’, because it truly is miraculous, stunning, and sublime. According to One Green Planet, “Ecotherapy, a form of therapy that uses nature as a tool, is gaining prominence amongst the mental health community. A study performed by researchers at the University of Essex found that taking a walk in nature lowered the depression scores in 71 percent of participants.” The same study suggests even the simple act of looking at images of nature can lower stress levels.
Why not bring some of that inspiration and relaxation that you’ve gleaned in your time with nature into your home? Here are 10 ideas to help bring nature inspired décor out of the woods and into your home.
Just Add Water
Think about some of the sights and sounds from your last visit to the spa. Odds are there was a water feature present somewhere. Even simply rushing water as one of the many soothing sounds to help visitors relax. For bigger budgets you could install a slate wall fountain into your home, to give the feel of an indoor waterfall. More modest budgets could benefit from a tabletop fountain feature.
Bring in Natural Wood
Something as simple as bringing in natural or unfinished wood items to your home can give a natural feel to the space. Smaller rooms can be opened up by adding in mirrors with a wooden trim. Consider exposed wooden beams to warm up your loft space. Add in natural, unfinished furniture, or reclaimed items to your living space. Reclaimed furniture can be made of items previously used in barns, or old houses, and are available in design and antique shops. Do it yourself reclamations can be found on Pinterest to help you turn that old canoe paddle into a coat hook or that old door into a coffee table, and more.
Branch Out Into Tree-Based Accents
Looking for some accents? Collect (and properly clean) driftwood or branches to place on your coffee table, end tables, or to showcase on your mantle, or hang on your walls. Consider adding twinkle lights to your wall hanging wooden décor during the holiday season, or every day because, why not?
Flex Your Green Thumb
Bringing plants into your home has many benefits beyond aesthetics. Interior plants are reduce overall carbon dioxide levels, reduce pollution levels and airborne dust. They clean the air by absorbing toxins, all while producing oxygen. An herb garden in a kitchen window can add delicious scents and sights into your home and meals. Aren’t great with plants? Low care plants like cacti and succulents are easy to care for. Don’t forget to add plants into your washroom to make every bath feel like a day at the spa. Opt for plants that do well in humid environments and need little light for your bathroom. Natural Living Ideas suggests plants like Aloe Vera, Bamboo, Boston Ferns, Chinese Evergreens, Dracaena (or Dragon) plants, Ivy, Orchids, or Peace Lilies. If plants aren’t going to work with your bathroom, consider a plant patterned shower curtain, or some nature inspired towels instead.
Outdoor Items Inside
There is no hard and fast rule that items that are normally displayed outside need to remain outside. Put up wind chimes by a window so you can still enjoy their soothing din whenever the window is open. If you relax outdoors by curling up with a great book on a hammock whenever you camp, there’s no reason why you can’t create an indoor reading nook with a hammock.
Bringing The Beach Home
If you’re not lucky enough to live on the edge of the beach, bring items that remind you of beach life indoors. If you collect sea glass when you’re on vacation, consider displaying it prominently in a jar. Same goes for seashells. Haven’t been to the beach in a while? You can also purchase these items at many crafting or home décor retailers.
Consider adding some rattan furniture to your sunroom or enclosed porch to give off a beachy feel. If the beach isn’t your ‘happy place’ consider displaying pinecones or rocks instead.
Outdoor Inspired Prints
Whether it’s a photo you snapped yourself, or a famous photo or print, consider filling your home with nature inspired photography and artwork. It can remind you of a favourite moment with nature or of a place on your ‘someday’ bucket list. Consider adding throw pillows, tapestries, and even furniture that has prints inspired by nature to your home.
Bring Fresh Nature Into Your Home Weekly
Fresh, seasonal flowers brighten up any room. Subscribe to a flower delivery service or mix things up by stopping at the fruit market during your weekly shopping. This is a great way to support local businesses as well as keep your home on theme for the season. Flowers aren’t your thing? Seasonal fruit, whether it’s local or imported, on your kitchen or living room table scream outdoors. Apples, oranges, lemons, and limes can make your place look and smell great. Plus, you’ll end up enjoying more fruit!
Let There Be Light
Opening the windows and switching to sheer or light coloured (and fabric) curtains will help let more light into your home. Natural linen and cotton curtains are your best bet to give a crisp, fresh outdoor feel. If your windows aren’t letting enough light into your home consider replacing them with ones that will capture as much light as possible.
Sweet Outdoor Scents
Never underestimate the power of the right scented candle! Blog Very Well Mind says, “Studies have shown that aromatherapy does indeed have an affect on brainwaves and can alter behavior. Not all scents are created equal, nor do they affect human physiology and behavior in the same ways.” To plan your scents for the feel you want in particular rooms consider what each scent is known for, and what you like best. Rosemary is often connected with feelings of contentment and has been noted to improve both performance and mood – so perfect for an office. Lavender is known for it’s calming effects, so placing it in a bedroom, bathroom, or sitting room, where you’ll want to unwind is a safe bet. Peppermint is said to increase memory and alertness, so consider it for your kitchen, office, or space where you want to be social or need a pick-me-up.