Particularly when you’re spending extended periods of time at home, it can be important to feel as connected to nature as possible.
Exposure to nature is proven to boost our overall wellbeing and happiness, and regardless of whether you live in an urban or regional setting, increasing the number of natural elements in your home will always have positive impacts on the overall atmosphere.
So how do you actually bring the outside in?
The most obvious way to bring the outdoors in is to invest in a range of living greenery for inside your home. For Interior Designer, Darren Palmer, plants are in nearly every room that he designs.
“That is one of the best and easiest ways to bring a natural connection from outside to inside,” says Darren. “It could be something as big as a Rafus Palm or a Ficus, or something as small as a succulent in a votive. Even small pops of green are a great way to add extra detail and nuance to bedside tables and consoles.”
Not only do plants help bring the feeling of nature indoors, but they have a proven positive effect on your mental health. Research demonstrates that viewing plants can reduce stress and is scientifically pleasing to the human eye.
Flowers are another way to bring nature into your home, and they don’t have to be a weekly purchase. Orchids, for example, are a semi-permanent installation of flora — if tended to carefully, they will reflower every year.
If you are able to refresh your floral arrangements regularly, Darren recommends opting for fresh cut flowers en masse to make a statement.
Ensure to choose flowers that reflect the mood in your home as one size doesn’t fit all. “There’s no point buying a bunch of roses if you have an ultra contemporary house,” notes Darren.
The general rule of thumb is to match your floral choices to the type of interior you have.
“Link the mood, structure and colour of the flowers back to what you intend the room to feel like.”
What about if you’re building a new home?
There are a few different considerations for those looking to blend indoor and outdoor spaces, with the most obvious being alfresco living. Open plan spaces with alfresco dining will help you feel closer to your backyard.
Not only that, this type of design will naturally increase the amount of natural light in your home. “You don’t realise how important natural light is until you don’t have it,” stresses Darren.“You literally want to flood your home with natural light.”
Do this in the home design phase by looking for every opportunity to remove barriers between your home’s interior and the light that hits the exterior of the building. This can be achieved through clever home design that takes into account your block, geography and surrounding environment.
When you’re designing a new home, you can also take ‘bringing the outside in’ literally and echo the same materials in the interior of your home as you do the exterior. An example is the stone fireplace from the Freshwater Display Home in Sydney’s Northern Beaches.
“Where possible, you want to look for opportunities to tie the outside palette to the inside,” says Darren.
Made from the same material used for the home’s façade, this fireplace makes an incredible statement in the living space, adding architectural interest and connecting the home’s interior to the exterior.
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