A fresh arrangement of flowers on the dining room table, maybe the odd assortment of seashells in the bathroom; these are typical of the extent many would allow nature into their homes in years past. But interior design is turning a new leaf (pardon the pun). Nowadays, there is a growing trend among homeowners to include more natural elements into their living spaces.
We see it in bedroom set design, we see it in the materials that are being chosen for furniture, but especially we are seeing more natural touches with the modern rustic movement that is all the rage right now. Chemical- and artificial-weary consumers are also looking for more interaction with nature, and that means including more of it in their homes — in some subtle and surprisingly major ways.
Nature has impacted the interior design world in a big way, leading to several interior design trends that we hope will stick around. In this article, we will go over some of our favorite ways to incorporate natural design elements in the home.
So, What Counts as Natural?
The term “natural” can include a broad spectrum of materials. While materials such as clay tile, metal, and lumber are materials derived from nature, the aim of this article is to feature natural materials that have been minimally modified before they are introduced as interior decorative features. So, the following recommendations will be items that are highly reminiscent of their natural states, such as plants, certain wood items, and other elements.
Give Life to Neutral, Earthy Color Palettes
Design with neutral colors is hot. But it can also fall flat when taken to the extreme. If you are planning a color palette with several earth tones, be sure to include plenty of natural elements as well. In many instances, plants, bamboo shoots, or even a smartly placed stack of logs will form the core and focus of your design project. They might even become the most intriguing elements of your interior decor. Having a neutral palette allows more natural elements to jump out and become the stars of the show.
One of the great things about using natural elements in your decor is that there is no expectation of attaining perfection — nature is perfectly imperfect. The knots in the wood grain or the variations in a marble countertop are features that will keep your decor from appearing stale and boring.
Bring a Miniature Version of the Outdoors Inside
Better Homes & Gardens has a great writeup on how to make your own indoor terrarium. A menagerie of terrariums small glass vases can create a miniature oasis within your home. You can use these to display air plants, mosses, flowers, or even select houseplants. Whether you choose to place this in the living room or on a kitchen island, the effect can be astounding. Plus, you have a lot of leverage in mixing and matching various flowers and plants.
Another stylish option is to have a glass vase on the mantel over the fireplace to feature select cuttings from in-season plants. For springtime, why not include some apple blossom twigs, or even some berry-laden fir twigs during wintertime?
Root Your Spaces in Great Design
Assembling small houseplants in the corner of a bedroom or living space is a great way to introduce an organic splash and to reflect your love and admiration of nature. Of course, you don’t want things to appear too orderly, so mixing up the size and even the materials of the pots.
If you are adding plants to your dining table, make sure to use succulents, air plants, or short-stem flowers so family and guests aren’t having to constantly adjust to making eye contact with everyone at the table; what you want are conversational pieces, not conversation-blockers.
Simple Additions that Can Create Grand Results
There are plenty of natural materials that can be used to enhance your home with a bit of natural flairs, such as seashells, organic cotton, and bamboo. Some natural design favorites include:
- Wicker furniture — At the crossroads of natural, sustainable materials, and styles, we can proudly state that wicker furniture is back!
- Stone materials — Stone has always been one of the most stylish ways to accent candles, fountains, tabletops, and even side tables.
- Branch picture frames — If you’ve lived in your home long enough, chances are you have some picture frames boxed up in the attic. Give these a new life by reframing these with found twigs, or even bamboo. It may just give a new meaning to “family tree.”
- Glass and green leaves — Who says you have to display the whole plant? For an intriguingly natural centerpiece, tuck fresh leaves of varying striations into glass vases half-filled with fresh water.
If you’re looking for unique, accent pieces that are made of natural materials, check out the wide range from 1StopBedrooms company.
In addition to these tips, you may also want to check out the Natural Moms’ Blog, where they explore uses for natural materials in decorating the home. And visit a few furniture websites to find exactly what you need.
Disclosure – I have teenagers who constantly need something and a husband who thinks items like race cars and boats are toys. So, throughout the blog you will find affiliate links that enable me to buy a bottle or two or three of wine to keep my sanity intact.