Bringing the Outdoors In

bringing-the-outdoors-inHumans have an innate connection with Mother Nature. At this time of year, when weather prevents us from getting outside as much as we might like, we can begin to fee like something is missing. Before you let the winter doldrums overtake you, consider the ways you can enhance your interior design using inspiration from nature. From wall paper and printed textiles, to floral arrangements and art work, there are a variety of creative ways to bring the beauty of the outdoors right into your living space.

Natural light. There are countless studies proving natural light is better for humans than artificial light sources. We are happier, more productive, and our interior spaces feel more clean, open, and attractive with a hefty dose of natural lighting. Make sure your home has ample windows. Consider using solar tubes or skylights in interior spaces so your home infused with natural light during the daylight hours.

House plants. One of the best methods for bringing the outdoors into your home is by doing it literally. Use house plants in every room you can. They are a wonderful way to fill an empty corner, or add visual interest to a blank space. Some of the most common house plants, such as Golden Pothos, Spider Plants, and Aloe Vera will also help to purify your indoor air, removing noxious chemicals like carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, and benzene. You can also use terrariums to create a mini-ecosystem in every room of your home.

Florals. When we say, “florals” don’t think of your grandma’s old wall paper patterns. We’re talking big, bold, and even funky. You can add dramatic splashes of color and pattern using floral wall paper or window treatments. If you prefer your flowers in smaller doses, look for pillow covers or a single piece of furniture that can add just the right amount of color and floral beauty without overpowering your space.

Maximize your view. If you have a large picture window, make the most of it. Landscape the space outside using plants and flowers that will provide visual interest year-round. Then, orient your furniture in a way that draws the eye so you always feel connected to the world outside. If you already have a home with amazing views, you can optimize window trim, and your interior decor, to play off the existing view outside.

Furniture and furnishings. As home builders and designers meet growing demands for eco-friendly homes, nature inspired furniture and furnishings abound. You can find amazing coffee tables made from tree stumps and roots. There are rugs that mimic the look of a mossy forest floor. You can even translate your favorite nature photo into a larger-than-life mural. For a more subtle approach, look for furnishings and textiles made from more subtle natural materials, such as reeds, grasses, and hemp.

Vases of flowers. Of course, the most traditional and simplest way to add a touch of nature to the interior of your home is to use seasonal floral arrangements. Large arrangements can adorn an entryway table or serve as your dining room centerpiece. Smaller arrangements of flowers can be added to side tables and bed stands. You can even use beautiful branchesas the focal point of a mantle or as a sculpture of sorts.

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10 Simple Ways to Make Your Home Warm and Inviting

10-simple-way-to-make-your-home-warm-and-inviting

Sometimes the simplest changes to a living space can have an immediately noticeable effect. With the holiday season right around the corner, we thought we would share some simple ways to warm up the rooms in your house. These 10 changes or additions will make your guests feel right at home.

  1. De-clutter the entryway. When you first step into your front door, what do you see? If your front entryway has become the catch-all for mail, bills, all-weather gear, and a pile of shoes, take the time to clear up the clutter. Use hooks, a hall tree, or an armoire if there’s room, to keep things organized.
  2. Make the fireplace a focal point. Whether you light the fire or not, fireplaces can take up a significant amount of wall space, which makes it worth your effort to make it an attractive focal point. Adding a large piece of art or a mirror above the mantle, and seasonal decor on the mantle shelf, will draw the eye. Arrange furniture so it faces the fireplace. If you never light the fire, use art, candles, or other accents where the fire would be so it isn’t such a dark hole.
  3. Mix-it-up. Purchasing a matching furniture set can seem good in theory, but it can often make a room look too formal or cold. Try mixing up your furniture and textiles a bit to make the space more interesting.
  4. Spruce up the paint. Living in our homes day to day can make us oblivious to the small signs of wear and tear. Take a fresh look at your paint and see if touch-ups or a re-do are in order. A fresh coat of paint works wonders.
  5. Freshen up the color. When was the last time your home or room was re-designed? Give it a quick overhaul on your own. Changes can be as simple as purchasing colorful new window panels or accent pillow shams that add a new dimension to your existing design.
  6. Go white. Do you have a room with dark walls? Consider changing them using a high-quality white paint. White reflects colors, so it can pack a powerful punch. Without changing any of your furnishings, you can end up with a more open and welcoming space.
  7. Add throw blankets. This time of year, throw blankets can add a little color and style, plus they provide a warm and cozy cover for guests when you are enjoying one another’s company on cold weekend days, and after your traditional holiday meals.
  8. Be yourself. Let your design and style reflect who you are, not what you admire or what you want your home to be. Make sure that your elegant or modern interior has a bit of personality and is an expression of your taste, and your family’s.
  9. Test the furniture. There is nothing worse than sitting down on hard, uncomfortable dining room chairs, or having to perch awkwardly on a low-backed modern chair. In order to avoid this experience for yourself and guests, thoroughly test furniture before you bring it home. It may be beautiful, or it can seem like a deal that’s too good to pass up, but if it isn’t comfortable once you get it home, you’ll be sorely disappointed.
  10. Just add Mother Nature. Use fresh cut flowers, branches, fruit and other living accents to tables, countertops and book cases. These bursts of seasonal color always add a warm and cheerful ambiance to any living space.