Natural is Best - Bringing Nature into the Home

Adele Shotton-Pugh | Posted

Okay, for this blog I'm going to need you to find your inner hippy for a moment. No no, wait – not bra burning – put it back on! That was close. I was thinking more Zen, more meditation, more ‘finding your inner chi’. So, close your eyes (not yet, after you've read this part) and imagine a place where you feel your most relaxed, calm, healthy and at peace. Where is that place, what does it look, feel and smell like? (Okay, now close them). Done? Good. Come back now, please.

Chances are this place is somewhere in nature; an isolated beach, a babbling brook, a sunlit woodland opening, a scenic mountain range… am I close? Nature makes us feel better; less stressed, alive, healthier, more in the moment and aware of the beauty around us. However, for most of us escaping to such places isn't as accessible as we’d like, and lying face down on a grass verge in a busy city centre sniffing the fresh cut lawn just isn't the same. Trust me. What we can do though, is bring nature into our homes. Making the places we live more natural, airy, beautiful and calming can have a massive impact on our stress and health levels, and here are a few ways to do just that…

Pot Plants

Everyone loves a pot plant. Not only do they add colour and life to your interior, they actually have massive health benefits too. They are natural air filters that can remove harmful chemicals added to the air by paints, varnishes and cleaning chemicals. I'm sure there’s a few reading with concerned guilt ridden faces, who have proclaimed RIP to their leafy friends one too many times.

So here are 2 plants that I (as a self-proclaimed mass murderer of flowery things), have managed to nurture successfully. Spider plant: You can’t kill them. You just can’t. And in return they will remove formaldehyde and carbon monoxide from the air in your home. Aloe Vera: Also clears formaldehyde and benzene, and as an extra bonus contain aloe gel that helps heal and sooth cuts and burns, as well as looking exotic.

Flower Pots on Stairs

Kitchen Herb Gardens

These look great on the kitchen window sill and provide you with a range of fresh herbs while you’re cooking up a storm. There are many types to choose from, depending on what you require for the size of the kitchen and where you are on the chef scale of ‘Pot Noodle’ to ‘Beef Bourguignon’.

Kitchen Herb Gardens

Fresh Herbs in the Kitchen

Living Walls

These are becoming more and more popular. Is it art? Is it an air filter? It’s both. Without taking up any counter surface space this installation cleans the air and enriches it with oxygen, as well as adding a stunning feature to your room which, if designed correctly, can enhance and complement the existing colour scheme of the space and create a wonderful aroma. One step further is the development of ‘living furniture’, for example moss tables, that will grow and change while you own them.

Living wall containing green leaves and plants

Moss Tables

Natural fibres

Wicker, rattan, hemp, cork, wood, bamboo... all these materials are natural. As long as they are not painted and varnished they won’t contain the VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds) that have been associated with headaches, nausea, irritation to eyes and asthma, making them healthier alternative for your and the environment. They create a warm, neutral, calm setting for your home, reminiscent and sandy beaches and woodland trails. Natural fibres used throughout a living room Wooden Interiors

Natural colours

The use of greens reminds us of the earth and foliage, yellows invoke feeling of sunshiny warmth and brightness, blues emulate the sky and the sea, and neutral tones such tans, whites and beiges feel clean and fresh. These can be applied to walls, furniture coverings, curtains and rugs. If you are looking for something with more interest, there are a variety of wall coverings with natural themes; a forest scene or a sand dune boarder removing you from the stresses, strains, hustle and bustle of the city, while in the comfort of your own front room.

Natural colours used in a modern dining room

Natural interior design in a modern living space
Tree effect wall art Bedroom forest artwork

Fauna and Flora

Even if the material isn't natural, there are an abundance of furniture pieces, light features, fabric designs and decorative objects that have been inspired by the beauty of the world outside. From the elegance of a bird’s feather, the variety and colour of exotic animals, to the delicacy of blooming flowers, we are able to surround ourselves with objects mirroring the magnificence of the landscape.
Flower lamp shade Insect wallart
Bird themed wallpaper and upholstered chair Flower petal chair design

Bring the outdoors, indoors. Literally.

Pebbles, shells, sand, wood, grass… all these things that you can collect on those days you make a break for the country can be beautifully adapted to work in your home, acting as tactile reminders of the world that exists outside. And if this idea feels somewhat cluttered for your taste, there is a vast array of furniture now available that is created from these objects in a more considered way; log tables, branch lamps, drift wood artwork.
Table made from sticks and branches Tree branch coffee tables
Lamps made from tree branches Driftwood art

Placement of Electrical Equipment

As well as bringing nature in, consider what unnatural objects you could remove. Each piece of electronic wizardry that we own carries an electromagnetic field, although research is still being conducted into the effect of these, they are not looking too healthy. Therefore, try and remove them from bedrooms where you spend concentrated amounts of time, and replace with natural decor.

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