5 Ways to Use Natural Elements in Your Home
We hear time and time again that the Scandinavians belong to the happiest nations, and they are renowned for their sense of design and style. So what’s the trick? Speaking as a Swede, I can say that one major factor in their happiness is their consistent connection to nature.
“Biophilia” refers to our innate need to connect with nature. It has shown that including elements from nature indoors makes us happier, more creative and even more productive, Biophilic Design puts this into practice. So how you can you do this in your own home, without needing a designer or big budget? Read on for five practical, easy steps.
Embrace the greenery beyond
Look at the space you have to play with. What windows are available, what’s the view? Try to position furniture so you face or sit next to a view. Try to take the focus away from the TV or computer, instead creating an active relationship to your space. Place interesting items, colors and shapes near a window to draw your eye towards the greenery beyond. If you lack a view, you can create one by hanging planters and bird feeders outside the window.
Fill your space with plants
Whether or not you have windows with a view, greenery inside is available for everyone! Once you get over the fear of potentially killing your plants, they’re a joy to look after. Choose plants that purify the air, particularly for bedrooms and home offices. This will help calm the mind and give you clarity. Peace lilies and spider plants are great options. You can even create a whole feature wall with plants of different heights, if you place them on suspended shelves. Not only does this give you better air quality, it also creates interest in your home styling, and your eye adjusts to noticing finer details.
Let in the light
Don’t underestimate the importance of natural sunlight for our moods, so try to maximise any daylight available. Light colors reflect light, darker colors absorb it. Surfaces with a very slight sheen can subtly reflect light around the room. Strategically placed mirrors bounce light to darker areas. Sheer curtains diffuse light, allowing it to travel further. If one end of the space is light, a stylish sliding glass door instead of a normal door lets light through to more deprived areas.
Use natural materials
Texture and touch help us connect and feel grounded, so use natural materials as much as possible. Cotton, wool, wood and even manipulated tactile materials like porcelain and concrete heighten our sensual awareness. Think textured rugs, cosy throws, tactile tableware, feature vases, warm inviting furniture in natural forms and materials, aged reclaimed wood banisters, natural wood flooring and more.
Naturally inspired motifs
Our wellbeing increases if we recognise sights from nature, and that includes inside our homes. This can be taken literally or symbolically, with similar effects. Bring natural patterns into your home or work space, by showing the grain of wood in your table or flooring, hanging art that alludes to nature directly or indirectly, and displaying decorative items with natural forms and patterns. For example, simple line drawing designs inspired by nature are a contemporary and stylish way to ground the thoughts, reducing the mind’s clutter.
With these 5 simple steps, you can connect to nature in your home or office, for the wellbeing of yourself and those around you.