Often, when people think of modern or contemporary home design, they think of clean, white surfaces, typically with a bit of an artificial look. There’s no denying that it’s a strong component of many looks, but to boil it down to that minimalist impression alone is wrong. Even a modern home can benefit from a healthy dose of the natural world. Here, we’re going to look at ways to bring it into your home to enhance the feelings of serenity, brightness, and connectedness that it gives.
Take inspiration with your colours
First of all, let’s start with the choice that is at the heart of the aesthetic of just about every room in the home. We are talking about the colour scheme, of course. There are plenty of colours that make us think of mother nature as soon as we see them, from the warm browns of soil to the sage greens of a field beneath a pale summer light. Take a look at some of the most popular natural colour schemes and think about which of them best suit your room. You can contrast light and gentle nature colours with more bold and striking decor pieces, as well, so you don’t have to worry about the room looking overly placid.
Bring in a dash of green
When we think of the natural world, then our thoughts tend to go towards greenery, first of all. We human beings are quite naturally drawn to plant-life. It can have a meditative effect on us, making us feel more connected to the world, and helping us relax. There are a host of emotional health benefits to improving the living space with an indoor plant. There are plenty of plants that are easy to care for, like the spider plant, as well. As such, you don’t need to be worried about whether or not your choice of a plant might die. Choose something that’s simple and low maintenance, and make sure that it’s given a place of some prominence so that it can act as a natural focal point.
Use furniture that incorporates natural materials
Natural building materials such as stone, granite, and wood are already quite popular in modern homes. They tend to add a bit of lifelike texture to rooms that might otherwise feel a little bare. Out of the examples named above, they tend to be pretty great choices for furniture and things like countertops, too, since they are long-lasting once they have the right finish applied to them. For instance, in the kitchen, a finished granite countertop is a popular choice because it doesn’t stain or burn easily once it has a decent finish on it. If your home is feeling somewhat too lifeless and minimalist, consider swapping out overly-modern furniture for more of a wood texture, instead.
Keep it underfoot
If you want to make sure that your home benefits from the comforting feelings of natural materials, then you should make sure it’s right there at the base and the core of the room. In most cases, this is going to be your flooring. Smooth and clean flooring has been in fashion in contemporary design for some time now, and wood flooring is already pretty popular. Aside from bringing a certain feeling of luxury and a great aesthetic, it’s also a really popular practical choice. It’s much easier to care for carpet, lasts longer than things like vinyl, and can even add a bit of value to the property, overall.
Surround yourself with it
If you prefer a floor that’s a little brighter or more neutral than an earthy wooden tone, there’s nothing wrong with that. However, you may still need to choose something that can contrast it to make sure the home doesn’t look a little too clean and overly white. To that end, you should look at some of the cladding options that are available for your wall. Cladding is simple to install since it’s simply added on top of the walls, instead of having to knock them down or replace them. As well as plenty of great faux wood and stone options, there is also real natural stone cladding, which effectively installs stone tiles onto the wall easily and without too much expense.
Use textiles to soften things up
When talking about the natural world, it’s easy to get stuck thinking about the harder and sturdier materials such as types of woods and stones. However, if you feel like your room is feeling a little too solid and could use a touch of softness, then it’s important to remember that there are plenty of fabrics and textiles derived entirely from the natural world, as well. Natural rugs, throw blankets, pillows and other soft furnishings can work excellently for introducing a touch of tactile comfort and warmth to a room that is in desperate need of it. Soft furnishings tend to be a little understated, which can be perfect if you think your room only needs a light touch in the right direction.
Let the light look in
There are few parts of the natural world that feel as good as the sun shining down on your face. If you feel like your home is a little too dark and closed off feeling, then it might be because you’re not doing enough to usher natural light in. First of all, start with the windows, opting for lighter treatments such as blinds that can be fully retracted instead of heavy and cloying curtains. You can help the light travel much more effectively around the room with the right placement of reflective surfaces, as well. A mirror opposite your main window can do a lot to bounce the light around, making the room feel much brighter as a result.
Open the home up
If you have the budget and inclination for a major renovation, then one of the best ways to incorporate elements of the outdoors with your indoors is to blur the lines between them. If you have liveable garden space such as decking or a patio, then opening up a wall to reduce the boundary between it and the interior of the home can do a lot to make the transition from inside and outside feel a lot more seamless. Making use of patio doors also allows for a lot more light inside and you can place potted plants on the exterior side of the windows to make sure that your home feels a lot greener, too.
What about water?
Water features might primarily be thought of as an exterior feature and, if you have small children or pets, you might not want to make running water too easily accessible or it could lead to quite a mess. However, there are some interior water features that are great at incorporating the zen sound of running water indoors. This sound has a naturally calming effect and, even better, works great for offering your home a feeling of privacy and comfort thanks to its sound-proofing abilities. Water features are notoriously expensive to maintain over the long-run so be sure that this is an investment that you want to make before you go inquiring about any prices.
You don’t need to go overboard and live in a treehouse to experience the benefits of feeling closer to the natural world. With the tips above, you can manage it a lot more easily, finding the balance between the man-made and everything beyond that.1