City and country mice alike, we all feel the need to have some sort of connection with the nature that lies beyond our home’s windows. Here are 10 ways to include some elements, taken straight from nature’s playbook, into your home decor.
Let’s start with an easy one shall we? Potted plants and fresh blooms are a must in any room – wait in EVERY room – all the time, all year round. A jolt a chlorophylle and a beautiful sight of greenery is all a forgotten corner in a living room or an empty shelf in a kitchen needs. Dare to incorporate a plant with large leaves or even a small tree in front of a vast window.
2. Natural fibres
Cotton, linen, sisal, jute, silk, alpaca, wool, flax, mohair, angora, hemp and of course cashmere, all of these natural fibres add texture, softness and warmth to a room’s decor. Add to that their health’s benefits by being easy to care for, hypoallergenic, and without any toxic emanations and the choice is crystal clear.
On a personal note: Don’t fret the disheveled look of some natural fibres, it isn’t sloppy but just casual and pretty. And that’s all I have to say about that.
As I wrote the title down, I immediately felt like it needed some explanations. Large ribs, horns, or animal skulls are all very architectural elements to use in a decor… in the right context of course. Inlaid carved bones are also a favorite of mine, especially on Moorish style desks & Cyprus bone inlay mirrors. Man-made resin versions of these elements are readily available to purchase without the consideration of any hunting expedition. There, everyone is happy!
Let’s keep going in the animal kingdom department with actual animal representation. Fur or hide rugs & faux fur safari pillows are a great way to integrate the warmth and comfort of animals into your decor. But go beyond that and think of sheep wool for example, ceramic Foo or Staffordshire dogs, large scale paintings of hares or cockatoos and why not a metal cast lizard of some sort…
5. Sticks and stones
They may break my bones but mostly they sure do excite me! The mix of materials between the warmth of wooden surfaces and the coolness of slate or marble is high on my “to be coveted” list. When it comes to your own home’s renovations, invest in noble materials for surfaces that are immovable like floors, counters and islands and save on furnishings by finding vintage options that combine both quality and design flair.
Wood needs its own category as it has been the most popular material for home furnishing since the dawn of time. Carved, rough, panelled, lacquered, or painted wood is the most versatile of materials, adapting to our ever changing tastes. As in nature, dare to mix wood essences in one room even if their grain and tone differs.
She sells sea shells by the seashore… try that 7 times while you think about the beauty of shells in a decor. In a beach house or in an urban dwelling, seashells are more than welcome in small doses or large swoosh. For a more discreet integration, think of mother of pearl inlaid picture frames or table lamps.
Coral, coral, coral, Oh how I love coral! Its vibrant colours, rough to the touch texture, and intricate shapes are a breath of fresh seaside air and a touch of whimsy in an otherwise neutral decor. These days I am crushing over anything coral including drawer knobs, centrepieces, jewelry trees, and even coral trimmed embroiled bedding.
Concrete is a natural material right? Of course it is as it is composed of water, crushed rocks and sand mixed with cement as its glue. To serve my current purposes we will not get into the ramifications of what constitutes a natural material and if whether there are such material that are more or less natural than others. Let’s just say that concrete tiles are a current favourite of mine because of their Old World weathered look and their muted colours. Solid as a rock, literally, they are very thick and resistant to time and life in general, making them a great option for high traffic areas.
On a personal note: We used concrete tiles as a backsplash in our kitchen and it proved to be gorgeous but also an installation challenge because of their super heavy weight. Make sure that you purchase a glue that is quick drying and made to support heavier loads.
10. Outdoor rooms
If all else fails, take it outside! I absolutely adore outdoor rooms no matter if you live in a somewhat nordic climate or a sun bathed eternal summer paradise. Dare to bring out some of the colours from the inside of your home through the use of printed fabrics & outdoor rugs. Bathe the space in soft light with suspended lanterns of wall sconces and let nature take over the space with plants in pots, vines on walls or trees creating an intimate space.
photographer Ricardo Labougle for Revista AD