Outdoors In: 9 Ways To Bring In Nature's Rejuvenating Qualities

Outdoors In: 9 Ways To Bring In Nature's Rejuvenating Qualities

Adrienne Breaux
Jan 18, 2015

For many of us, nature is an endless source of rejuvenation. A place of peace we can escape to when the horrors of the modern world get to be too overwhelming. A place that recharges us, alights are senses, ignites our imagination and gives us the energy to dive back in. Why wouldn't you try and emulate some of that majesty and wonder in your own home? Here are nine ways to try and bring some of the power and beauty of nature into your home this year.

1. Get representational with images

Is your favorite place in the world walking through a forest of tall and mighty red wood trees? Could you spend the rest of your life on the edge of the ocean? The images of those beautiful places — places you've been to before or only dreamed of and drooled over — are powerful, and placing them in your home will evoke their peace. Perhaps not as strongly as if you were in that natural spot, but still enough. The bigger you go with the image, the more power it'll have, as will an image of a place you've actually been to before, too. But don't just stop at photographs, bring in statues of birds, nests and other objects — all things to add to a more natural mood.

2. With plants, think "jungle"

While the effects of one plant are widely known and loved, if you really want to harness nature's calming power, you kind of want to go the opposite with plants: go jungle. Incorporate a lot of different types of leafy, wild plants in differing heights. Bring in a variety of leaf shapes and colors. Spread plants throughout your home, but focus on concentrating a lot of plant power in one particularly nice corner or nook so you can retreat to it when you need to slip into nature.

3. Include pops of sensory delights

Nature is a smorgasbord of delights for your eyes, nose, and hands. There are fresh and weird smells to sniff, beautiful colors to catch your attention and wonderful textures to run your fingers along as you walk on a path or through the woods. So transfer that same idea into your interiors. We'll go into more detail below, but really think about all the ways you can engage your senses in your home, and give yourself little moments of nature to make contact with as you move through your space. Even something as simple as a little pot of rosemary you can pause by to rub your hands on and smell can make you feel quite connected to nature.

4. Capture the exuberance of nature

Nature is bold! It's waves crashing into rocks. It's wind howling in branches. It's hidden pathways exploding into color from a field of wildflowers. So bring in that feeling of nature into your home by seeking to capture that same sort of exuberance. Let flower arrangements be colorful, tall and unruly. Paint a piece of furniture in your favorite flower's brightest hue. Let things hang. Layer.

5. Embrace nature's color palette

Want your home to feel more natural? Embrace and explore colors that remind you of nature the most (think about the kind of natural settings you love) and fold those into your home. From lovely natural wood colors, to grays and blues of sky and water to the colors that show up in flowers, nature has a lot of colors to choose from.

6. Explore textures

From the bark of a tree to the soft feel of grass underfoot to the sturdiness of a rock wall, nature is full of textures, and those textures can be explored in your home. From obvious textures like animal and faux animal furs and hides, to bringing rocks and gemstones to feel the heft of. To placing tree bark and other found natural objects in your vignettes. Give your senses something to grab a hold to so you can revisit nature's textures in your home anytime you'd like.

(Image credit: Rue Mag)

7. Mimic the moodiness before a storm

You know that simultaneously subdued but electric feeling you experience when you're waiting for a storm to roll in? How the landscape around changes from vibrant, sunny colors to moody, subtle hues? Mimic that same moodiness to capture a certain atmosphere of relaxation with a dramatic, muted color palette full of grays, light blues, and other stormy-to-you colors.

8. Create moments of recharge with smells and sounds

Fragrant plants and flowers (or candles and other potpourri that mimic natural plants and flowers) should be used generously throughout your space. But don't forget about sounds, too. Install bird feeders outside your windows so you can hear them tweet all day (though light sleepers who don't get a good night's rest in the first place should avoid placing feeders next to their bedroom since birds tend to chase the worm pretty early). Consider small water features like aquariums or small fountains.

9. Connect to your outdoor areas more visually

Obviously, as the photo above illustrates, if you live in a modern home with window walls that open up completely onto a wildly landscaped private courtyard, you probably don't have much trouble connecting to nature. But if that's not how you live, you might have to put more effort into it. Control your window views and place plants inside and out with the specific purpose of giving you a natural view from a window. Use window film to focus the view on lovely skies even, if that's all you have. It's not about obscuring signs of a city, just focusing in on the signs of nature, and then opening our homes a bit more.
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