USING natural colors and materials throughout our home can help us feel more connected to nature, says interior expert Victoria Harrison.
Harrison, who wrote the book Rewild Your Home on how to bring nature into your home, says, “Living in connection with nature can help us be happier and healthier. Spending time outdoors has been proven to improve our well-being and these benefits can also be brought indoors.”
Harrison shares five quick ideas to help create a wilder home…
Use a natural color palette
“Natural world has the best color combinations and, using nature-inspired colors can help you feel the benefits of a wild landscape, even when you’re indoors. Choose colors that reflect the landscape directly outside your window for maximum impact. In a coastal area, that might mean cool grays, whites, silvers, and blues. In a wooded area or inland, you can use warm neutrals, deep greens and soft creams to reflect the colors outside.”
Try to use the same color palette throughout your home for a consistent effect, Harrison notes, but vary the percentages of each color in each room for more variety. “For example, with a coastal color palette of blues and whites with accents of silver and sand, you can use more lighter tones in the rooms you use in the morning, adding the darker shades like accents. Then you can flip the scales in rooms you use in the evening, with a higher percentage of darker tones, bringing just small accents of lighter shades.”
Create a natural home fragrance
Scent is an often overlooked part of home decor, but home fragrance can have a big effect on how your home makes you feel. Harrison suggests that a quick and fun way to bring a flavor of the season into your home is to make potpourri on the stovetop. “To do this, simply chop up some seasonal fruits, herbs and spices, add them to a pot of water and gently bring to a boil. Simmer to release the fragrance. In spring and summer, use refreshing flavors like lemon, mint and rosemary for an uplifting burst of fragrance.During the cooler months, choose warming herbs like cinnamon, ginger and star anise for a comforting layer of fragrance.
Green your view
Studies have shown that even a view of nature can have a powerful effect on how we feel. Think of the windows in your home as frames and think about what they frame as you walk through the room.
“If your windows face a garden, bring flower pots and greenery right up to the outside of the window whenever possible,” she says, “and try to think of your garden as an extension of your house, rather than as two separate spaces.
“If you don’t have a garden, add planters to the outside of your window frames and fill them with pollinator-friendly plants, to bring color and wildlife closer together. You can also frame your view by placing plants next to windows or doors, to create a mantle of greenery around your window. This will help blur the boundary between indoors and outdoors.”
reflect the sun
Bringing more natural light into your home is another way to bring the outdoors in. Positioning furniture near windows and keeping window sills clear can maximize any available light source. You can also reflect light by using light paint colors near windows and light sources.
Placing mirrors or mirrored furniture in front of windows can also reflect more natural light into a room, while reflective mobiles near a light source will catch natural light and spread it throughout a room. Try a chain of faceted glass droplets or a mobile of brass discs near a window, to catch and refract the sun, and cast playful highlights and patterns.
Choose natural materials
Reducing the use of artificial plastics and materials in your home, and using natural fibers and materials instead, can help rejuvenate your interior space and create a healthy home environment. “Studies have shown that certain natural materials, such as wood, can improve the health and well-being by lowering blood pressure and stress levels, so bring wooden furniture or decorative wooden items for a happy and healthy home,” adds Harrison.
“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, which bring a beautiful layer of texture and natural color to your home.”