Nature is more than just a pretty thing to admire. Studies have shown that being outdoors can reduce anxiety, improve sleep, make you more alert and productive, and even increase your body's absorption of essential nutrients.
If you aren't able to climb a mountain every day, however, you're going to need other ways to get these mind- and mood-boosting benefits. Why don't you redecorate your home? Incorporating plant life and other natural, earth-based elements into your interior design can be a great way to bring life and energy into your space. It can even support your physical health with things like air purification and weather protection. Here are just a few ideas for harmonizing art and nature in your home design.
Let's start with the obvious. If you want to bring nature indoors, you're going to need some plants. Which plants should you choose? Well, that depends on what you're hoping to achieve within your space. Here are a few things that you might consider:
- Appearance. Cute succulents can add pops of color to a monochrome room. Long, spindly ivy can pair well with brick or wooden walls. Well-trimmed bonsai trees can bring sophistication as well as zen to your home office space.
- Air quality. You can toss that air purifier! Certain plant species have been shown to strip toxins from the air, including dracaenas, chrysanthemums, peace lilies and spider plants.
- Upkeep. Some plants like the shade. Others prefer the sun. Some need to be watered every day; others will shrivel if you water them more than once a month. Do your research about plant species and which will be most suitable for your home.
Ultimately, it's up to you to decide which plants will bring clean, positive energy into your living space.
You might be most familiar with bamboo as a snack food for pandas, but it can also make a beautiful, durable and long-lasting home material. The easiest way to decorate with bamboo is to bring furnishings and accessories into a preexisting space. For example, you might buy bamboo blinds for your windows, or you might decorate a room with bamboo chairs, tables, mirrors, coasters or picture frames. If you're renovating on a deeper level, you can use bamboo as a building material. Bamboo flooring is a type of hardwood that's known for both its craftsmanship and its eco-friendly sustainability. Bamboo wall paneling can be visually striking in addition to making you feel like you're in the middle of a rain forest.
3. Natural Stone
Natural stone has become a very trendy item for interior decorating. You'll be able to give your home a chic, stylish makeover while also increasing your property value for the future. Where can you use natural stone? The short answer is "everywhere," but if you're looking for some specific ideas, consider these:
Common types of natural stone for the home include quartz, marble, granite, soapstone, limestone and cuddapah. As for the type of natural stone to install, that depends on your budget, location and aesthetic preferences. For example, a white travertine wall can look lovely against a backdrop of green ivy, but it might not be the best choice for cold weather environments since it doesn't retain heat.
Natural light is often hailed as a decorator's dream, but did you know that it has many more benefits than just aesthetic? Sunlight can boost everything from memory and concentration to immune support and cardiovascular health. It produces serotonin in the brain, which is responsible for happy, mood-enhancing feelings, and this effect is the same whether you're sunbathing on the beach or just luxuriating in front of an open patio door. To create an oasis of natural light in your home, design around your windows. Use light, breezy curtains and surround the space with plants that will catch the sunshine on their dappled leaves. If possible, install skylights and other points of entry for more sun. If space is limited, use mirrors in strategic places to reflect the sun and make it seem like there's more than there really is.
5. Natural Elements
Last but certainly not least, there are many natural elements that you can incorporate into your home along with your new plants. Wood is a big one. You can install gorgeous hardwood floors; you can buy shelves, cabinets and dressers in beautifully finished or starkly rugged wood. Water is another natural element that's easy to bring into your home. Small fountains can be placed on desks and shelves, and not only will they offer gentle, relaxing sounds, but they can also attract positive energy if you're into feng shui. Other potential decorations can be made from clay, rock, crystal, wicker and more. The sky is the limit when it comes to bringing the outdoors into your living space. Don't be afraid to experiment with different types of decor when turning your home into an all-natural sanctuary!