Take a walk in the great outdoors; it’s amazing to hear the birds chirp and to watch the flowers bloom. There is something about being outside that is exciting and intoxicating at the same time. It’s just a beautiful place to be in many ways. In many places, the days can start being grey in the fall. As I mentioned before, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) affects a number of people worldwide as days become shorter and darker. When you’re stuck indoors in the winter, staying in your home can lead to cabin fever, increase your chances of getting sick, and even depress some people.
Let’s face it, our bodies weren’t meant to stay indoors all the time. Scientific research has shown green spaces like parks and forests, as opposed to beaches or deserts seems to provide the most benefit. Being close to nature can be good for us. It can help our health, both physical and mental, and be so good for emotional well-being. You can reduce your stress levels and heart rate in nature, and as a result, reduce your blood pressure. Bringing the outdoors into your home is definitely something that can help. If you are looking for ways to bring the outdoors in, then here are some things to think about.
Fill your home with house plants
Most of us add houseplants to our home especially during the cold winter months. This may seem like the most obvious way to bring nature indoors, but it cannot be overdone. Put plants in every room of the house. Just make sure you pick the appropriate plants depending on how much light is available. Know the water and nutrient requirements for that plant and meet them. See Houseplants for the Classroom & Homes with Children and How to Have Healthy Winter Houseplants for a discussion of choosing the right plants for your home and how to care for them.
I’m intrigued by Bonsai trees like those at Love My Bonsai. I’ve never tried growing one but it is on my wish list. Most winters I buy a red anthurium. In the past I have also purchased seasonal plants like a little evergreen bush and poinsettias in December. In January or February I often buy a calla lily, African violets, peace lilies, begonia, and/or cyclamens. I need more life in my home due to the weather. Even if you choose just a green plant that can live in low light, greenery makes a difference. I also find that I need to buy more fresh flowers in the winter.
Now I know people who do not have a green thumb and have killed every plant they bring home. If that is your problem, I suggest you buy a quality green faux plant such as a hanging basket and a potted succulent on a shelf. I’m not talking about Dollar Tree flowers but a more realistic faux plant. Even if you are successful at growing plants, don’t be afraid to add a few faux ones in the mix. Just remember to keep it dusted.
Add a wall mural
Last spring I hosted a giveaway with Photowall. It is amazing how beautiful rooms look with a mural of nature on an accent wall.
Tie eucalyptus to the shower head
As I mentioned before, buy a bunch of eucalyptus, tie the stems together with a rubber band or natural twine and tie them to the shower head. Ideally, you’ll want to tie them toward the back of the shower head so they’re not directly in the water’s flow. Some people even point them to the side or have them balance directly on top of the shower head instead of tying. It depends on what kind of shower head you’re working with. Not only is eucalyptus pretty but it’s also fragrant. It can help clear your head when you have a cold too.
Use natural materials
Plenty of modern homes use materials that are manufactured and are inorganic. Even if you love a modern clean design, you still want to add warmth and coziness. To hit the mark, make sure there are lots of natural materials in every room in the house. When you are buying furniture, remember to look for natural materials such as wood and woven natural elements. Choosing materials like wood, slate, or stone can work well in the home and also be durable and sustainable options. If you’re looking for something a little different, then bamboo or rattan are options as well to create comfort and warmth in the home.
A dead tree or branches are great additions, and it’s easy to purchase wooden furniture online at the click of a button. Rich wood colors and raw natural edges are beautiful and not to mention unique. Make an accent wall of reclaimed wood. Add a wooden shelf with a natural edge. Remember, too, that wood and plants absorb CO2 and can help reduce carbon emissions.
Natural fabrics and fibers are a great way to keep things real. Add a jute rug or chunky knitted wool throw to your space. When picking a fabric/fiber, make sure to choose earthy tones inspired by nature. Don’t forget about marble and stone either. Marble is an excellent addition because it’s fresh and warm at the same time, which is hard to pull off. If you’re thinking of natural fiber rugs, check out One King Lane‘s guide.
I like the bedroom below; I found it on Pinterest. It has a mix of textures with reclaimed wood, a tree branch, tree stump tables, and soft linens on the bed.
Display stones, shells, and minerals
Through my life, I’ve collected shells and rocks from places I visited. You can buy displays for your collection in all sizes and shapes. The simplest display for small rocks or shells is a glass container with a lid.
A large rock suitable for nearly every home or office is a Himalayan Salt Lamp. They come in all sizes and price ranges. I’ve used one for over 20 years. Salt lamps are crystals carved from amber-colored rock salt, usually from the Himalayas, a mountain range that stretches across Pakistan, India, Bhutan, and Nepal. The salt chunks are chiseled out and a lightbulb is placed inside to give a warm, pink glow. Salt lamps are said to work in two ways: They attract allergens and pollutants from the air, and they are said to be “natural ionizers,” meaning they change the electrical charge of the circulating air. Salt lamps supposedly clean these particles from the air, purifying it of toxins and dust. As a result, manufacturers claim that salt lamps can raise energy levels, calm allergies, reduce asthma, and boost blood flow. I also love the look of the rock lamp and find it a soothing night light. You can choose a medium to large stone with a bulb placed in the bottom of the stone or multiple small stones in a basket. They are both attractive. I like the look of multiple lamps on a dinner table instead of candles.
A carved salt lamp is even more attractive. They are easy to maintain with new bulbs but be sure to use 15 watt bulbs not night light bulbs. Night light bulbs do not have the power to make the salt ionize the air.
Another beautiful way to add nature to the home is with the addition of a beautiful geode. I fell in love with geodes decades ago. My favorite is amethyst geodes.
Create using drift wood
Using driftwood for décor is a brilliant idea because it’s not only beautiful but also eco-friendly. This is another way to use reclaimed old wood. You can buy furniture and decorations made by artists or create something new and unique yourself. Driftwood items don’t always have to be thought of as coastal decor as they can look fantastically rustic. Below I absolutely love the floor lamp covered in drift wood.
For inexpensive projects, collect driftwood. You can make wall art with smaller pieces and furniture with large ones. Hang it on the wall, place it on shelves, add lights, paint, or even wrap with cord or wire.
Check out One Kindesign for 54 Nature Inspired Ideas for Infusing Driftwood in Your Home.
Open the windows
There are two reasons to open up the windows: light and air. During the day, the great outdoors is full of light and sunshine. Not only is it beautiful, but it has impacts on mental health too. Exposure to sunlight can boost your mood while reducing stresses and pressures. Therefore, it makes sense to draw the curtains or blinds and let the winter rays fill your house. In general terms, screens are better at controlling the amount of light in a room. Regarding air, the outside is usaully fresh and clean depending on your pollution idex. This is especially true during the autumn and wintertime. Sadly, the air inside can get stale and muggy and uncomfortable at times. Cracking a window replaces the old O2 with new oxygen and refreshes the entire property. If you live in an area with long periods of dark days, I suggest you invest in several full spectrum light bulbs to use during these times. Turn on the lights, crack a window, and take a deep breath.
Other ways to add light to a dark room are:
- Place mirrors near light sources. …
- Fairy lights, candles, and other ambient light sources. …
- Pick lighter color or transparent furniture. …
- Cover floors with large, bright area rug. …
- Embrace white walls. …
- Deep clean your windows.
Make a terrarium
A terrarium is an easy and fun way to bring the beauty of nature inside your home. Screw on the lid and this terrarium makes a great gift, too. Terrariums aren’t expensive and anyone can make them. And the best part is that you don’t need a green thumb to care for them. If you follow the instructions for making one it is virtually a self-care garden. They are perfect for children, your kitchen counter, and adding a bit of life to your coffee table. Get all the directions at Nellie Bellie.
What are your favorite examples of nature? For some, they may be the trees and flowers that bloom in the back garden. However, others may have been lucky enough to see glimpses of true beauty, such as a sunset over the Grand Canyon or Angkor Wat. Anyway, it isn’t about trying to make the inside décor as beautiful as the memory; it’s almost impossible. What is important is stimulating your brain and going back to the times when you were stunned by nature. Have a favorite shot from a vacation last summer? Frame it. A picture, painting or a photograph are three straight forward ways to do just that. Hang whatever you like, but make sure it invokes brightness and color. This is a fabulous collage corner of a trip to Africa.
Decorate with patterns
Your house should have lots of focal points and accessories. For instance, a sofa usually has cushions, as does a bed. Plus, a mattress uses sheets and a comforter, too. Don’t think of these as insignificant extras that are practical yet not stylish. In reality, they are potential hotspots for nature. The trick is to wrap them in patterns so that they scream ‘I’m with Mother Nature.’ Traditionally, flowery designs use outside elements such as plants and trees to add an element of natural beauty. Plus, they can incorporate vivid colors, too. Flowers use greens, reds and purples to stand out from the crowd; remember nature comes in all colors. Choose bright cheerful colors that coordinate with your home. Work with the same color intensity and don’t mix pastels with primary colors, or muted with vibrant jewel tones. I love the simple bed below. Start with a floral pattern, and all the elements and colors make me feel happy. It reminds me of a garden.
How would you like to bring the outdoors inside? I hope I’ve inspired you.
This is a collaborative post, but all opinions are my own.
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