The sight of rich, vibrant colours on a woodland walk, the feel of a woven wicker basket full of harvest fruit, the aroma of fresh rainfall – among other things, these sensory experiences are what bring us joy through the cooler months. So, this year, bridge the gap between out and in by embracing nature’s offerings in your home!
Read on to discover the key elements of nature-inspired home decor and our simple ways to bring the outdoors in:
What is nature home decor?
A decor scheme inspired by the natural world is all about three things: tactile textures, organic shapes and earthy colours.
Textures and materials take centre stage in this scheme and should be as close to their raw, natural state as possible. Blend the smoothness of 100% cotton and the raised slubs of pure linen with undyed wool in the form of blankets, bedspreads, cushions and upholstery.
Combine these with woven furnishings such as wicker, jute, cork, seagrass, rattan and rush, as well as warm-coloured wood and textured terracotta ceramics.
Where possible, consider the environmental element of the materials you choose – opt for recycled glass, organic fabric, eco-friendly paint, vegetable leather and reclaimed wood.
Intersperse these finds with a few artisanal pieces, such as textured ornaments, sustainable candles and soft accessories. No two hand-crafted objects are ever exactly the same, and that’s the beauty of them. Items found in nature are rarely symmetrical, so there’s no need for the furnishings in this scheme to be either.
Bring in homeware that makes a feature of perfectly imperfect forms, with organic shapes such as hand-shaped plates, uneven lines and knotty wood grains.
What colours are best for a nature-inspired decor scheme?
As a starting point for an outdoorsy scheme, pick colours you might see when out and about to use on your walks. Consider the mood you want to create – grassy greens and light blues will make a space feel fresh and airy, while earthy taupes, rusts and browns can be used to create an enveloping feel in rooms where comfiness is key, like living rooms and bedrooms.
Add character and drama with deeper earthy colours – think forest pine and moss greens, russet and burnt oranges, parchment creams and a hint of warm, spice red. A beige base is the perfect neutral canvas for this gorgeous palette of autumnal hues.
Seven ways to bring nature into your home decor
Fill your home with real and faux foliage
It’s no surprise plants are one of the most common ways to bring the outside into your home – not only are they proven to improve your mood, but they’ll work with any decorating style you can think of. Get a mix of sizes, from mini succulents to supersized Swiss cheese plants, for a varied display. Add a jungle of humidity-friendly plants in a bathroom to give it a spa feel, and don’t forget dried and faux options, like wreaths and bouquets. Get inspired by browsing some of our favourite places to buy houseplants.
Add contrast with outdoor materials
You might not expect to see concrete and stone indoors, but using materials inside that you’d usually find on a patio is a subtle way to link your outside space to your interior. It also makes for a pleasing contrast of textures when paired with plush textiles. Create a feature fireplace with terracotta tiles (a hue that’s as warming as the fire itself) or punctuate your existing décor with concrete and terrazzo plant pots, ornaments and side tables.
Frame your view with lightweight curtains
How you showcase the view out of your window is just as important as what you put into a room. Rather than covering up with heavy blinds and curtains, use light, sheer fabrics to give you versatile options throughout the day.
A barely there voile, breezy linen curtain or a blind with sheer panels will give you privacy while still allowing you to see outside, and can be layered up with thicker curtains for snug evenings.
While the big, blousy flowers of summer don’t stick around for long, your home can still be in bloom all year with an injection of dramatic florals. Fill a big expanse of floor with a large statement rug, wallpaper a feature wall behind a sofa, bed or bath for a room with real flower power, or introduce the same look on a smaller scale with cushions, bedding and other textiles in painterly prints.
Try country living with ditsy motifs
For outside-in décor with longevity, you can’t go wrong with classic countryside motifs. This look suits all seasons – in winter, it’ll give your home the feel of a cosy country cottage (we can already imagine the roaring log fire). The prints and patterns that define this style are all about celebrating the best of the British springtime, from ditsy bees to wildflowers. Style it with whitewashed furniture, rustic wood and timeless fabrics like cotton and linen.
Get a holiday vibe with tropical prints
Nature doesn’t just mean muted forests and neutral earth tones – add a tropical vibe with zingy shades of hot pinks and lime greens, or moodier hues of rich navy blues, rust oranges and emerald. Matched with natural materials, like rattan and bamboo, and sleek black and gold accents, it’ll create a super sophisticated scheme reminiscent of a high-end hotel in a far-flung location.
Finish the look with organic shapes
The natural world is full of unique shapes and forms that can be incorporated into your décor to complete an outdoor-inspired room. This can be done by foraging for discarded natural objects and materials to use for DIY projects, or looking out for high-street homeware designs that resemble pebbles, branches, shells and more – think vases and ornaments, sculptural lamps and abstract prints.