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Nature Inspired

As we edge ever closer to warmer weather, the temptation to skip a days work and head to the nearest park where I can kick off my shoes and romp barefoot, at one with nature is steadily increasing. To resist the temptation and keep my job, today I’m going to take a look how the summertime park feeling can be brought into the home.

From manicured green lawns to tall waving beach reeds, grasses have a sensuous summertime attitude that many find highly attractive. Fortunately, a growing trend toward decorating with natural materials like grasses, leaves and reeds means that nature’s bounty is nearly as plentiful indoors as out. To keep things simple- and my mind from wandering off out of the window- let’s have a look at the dos and don’ts of natural design.

DO paper walls with grass-cloth in rooms where you want a natural look and tranquil atmosphere. The intricate texture lends depth and warmth to ordinary walls.

DO look for bedspreads and eyelet curtains with suitable designs such as bamboo or reed motifs to create a holistic theme that is balanced and matching throughout.

DO consider natural fibre weaves as an alternative to carpeting. Sea-grass, sisal, and rush really are in high demand right now. Materials vary widely in terms of durability and stain resistance, so be sure to ask about their strengths and limitations before purchasing.

DON’T choose sisal carpeting for playrooms, as the coarse texture is uncomfortable to crawl or play on and can cause a nasty knee scrape on a toddler or young child. A wool or synthetic carpet that imitates the look of sisal is a better choice in this case.

DON’T install sea-grass on stairs unless the grain runs parallel to the tread — it will be too slippery otherwise.

DO look for woven style lamps, screens or other items you could include in your scheme.

DON’T go overboard and remember to retain some structure to your design- making your home look like a beach hut or a seafront bar in Goa will result in stifled laughs when you have visitors. I know it’s fairly warm at the minute but imagine the space in a very British winter- exactly.

DO accept the natural variations in colour and texture inherent in woven materials as attractive features. Grasses, like any harvested material, are subject to all sorts of uncertainties, such as bad weather and poor harvesting conditions; the resulting randomness enhances the natural beauty of the goods.

DO choose rattan or woven furniture to underscore the tropical or global feeling popular in today’s modern spaces.

DON’T assume that grass-cloth comes only in natural colours. Modern dyes produce a nearly unlimited palette, suiting a variety of contemporary rooms.

DON’T be afraid to mix up your material palette. Man made or modern materials create interesting contrasts to natural materials.

DO enjoy! This is a scheme that will definitely reward all of your hard effort by providing a welcoming and relaxing setting for you and your family to chill out in.

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