Bring Outdoors In

7 Ways to Bring the Outdoors Inside Your Home

Finding ways to reconnect with nature within our living spaces is good for our homes, minds, and bodies. Incorporating elements that bring the outdoors in can significantly enhance the ambiance and livability of your home.  From strategic use of wallpaper and plant placement to harnessing natural light and integrating indoor-outdoor living, here are effective strategies to create a harmonious and rejuvenating indoor environment inspired by nature. Wallpaper that Mimics Natural Elements Wallpaper is a versatile tool for transforming interior spaces. Choosing designs that mimic natural elements can instantly evoke a sense of the outdoors—and it’s not the wallpaper your grandmother used to use. Your choices are vast, from sticker paper to easy-to-apply (and remove) wallpaper.  One of my favorite textures is grasscloth, which you can find in peel-and-stick or wallpaper. It’s a versatile option that adds texture and depth to your walls.   Grasscloth is best used in dry spaces with low traffic, such as bedrooms, living rooms, dining rooms, and studies. It can also be used in powder rooms, dens, or home offices. However, grasscloth is delicate and porous, so it should be avoided in areas with high humidity, like bathrooms, or high-traffic areas, like hallways. If you don’t want to go with grasscloth, consider wallpapers with botanical prints, serene landscapes, or textures like stone and wood grains. These designs add visual interest and create a calming atmosphere reminiscent of natural environments.  A more modern way to use wallpaper is to “drench” the room, which means applying it wall-to-wall rather than on a feature wall. You can also paint the millwork a natural tone to blend in with the wallpaper for an added “wow” experience.  Any of these options will make your home feel like an extension of an outdoor oasis. Harnessing the Power of Plants Plants are nature’s decor, bringing life, color, and oxygen into our homes. Strategically placing houseplants throughout your space can refresh the air and create a vibrant indoor garden atmosphere.  My favorite plant to bring indoors is a ZZ plant—or Zamioculcas zamiifolia. Place a ZZ plant in bright, indirect light. If your windows face south, east, or west, avoid placing the plant in direct sun because the leaves can easily burn or scorch. In north-facing homes, you can put it almost anywhere. It will thrive indoors, clean the air, and add a fun texture.  If a ZZ plant isn’t your jam, consider large leafy plants like fiddle leaf figs or palms to add height and drama, while trailing plants such as pothos or spider plants can soften corners and shelves. Succulents and cacti thrive in sunny windowsills, bringing a touch of desert charm indoors.  Incorporating plants enhances aesthetic appeal and promotes well-being by reducing stress and boosting mood. Choosing Calming Color Palettes Color palettes inspired by nature’s hues can transform your home into a serene retreat.  Light-colored walls, such as cream or white, can be used as a backdrop in the home, providing a canvas to bring the outdoors in. Earth tones like warm browns, soft greens, and sandy neutrals evoke a sense of grounding and tranquility. Blue shades reminiscent of the sky and ocean promote relaxation, while sunny yellows and oranges add warmth and energy.  Integrate these colors into your walls, furniture, and decor to create a cohesive, soothing environment that mirrors the natural world outside your windows. Maximizing Natural Light with Well-Placed Windows Natural light is aesthetically pleasing and essential for our health and well-being. Maximize the natural light entering your home by strategically placing windows to capture sunlight throughout the day.  Consider installing larger windows or adding skylights to flood rooms with natural daylight, reducing the need for artificial lighting and enhancing the connection to outdoor vistas. Sheer curtains or blinds can filter light gently, creating a soft ambiance while maintaining privacy. Lighting that Follows Circadian Rhythms Lighting design is crucial in mimicking natural daylight indoors, supporting our circadian rhythms, and promoting a healthy sleep-wake cycle. Invest in lighting fixtures with adjustable color temperatures that mimic sunrise and sunset’s warm hues. Programmable smart lighting systems allow you to automate light intensity and color throughout the day, syncing with your body’s natural rhythms.  This holistic approach to lighting enhances comfort and improves productivity and overall well-being. Integrating Indoor-Outdoor Living Spaces Extend your living space beyond four walls by seamlessly integrating indoor and outdoor areas. Sliding glass or folding patio doors can blur the boundaries between your interior and exterior spaces, creating a cohesive flow and enhancing natural ventilation.  Consider extending your living area onto a patio or balcony with comfortable outdoor furniture, potted plants, and ambient lighting.  During spring and summer, open doors and windows to invite fresh air and natural sounds indoors, fostering a connection with nature. Using Window Curtains Use window curtains strategically to create a sense of continuity between indoor and outdoor spaces. Floor-to-ceiling curtains in lightweight fabrics like linen or sheer materials can frame windows and doorways, creating a seamless transition between indoor comfort and outdoor views. Shades in natural materials work great in less formal areas, like sun porches, all-season rooms, and even some kitchens. Use shades made of  bamboo, jute, rattan, or natural grasses Opt for curtain designs that complement your interior decor while allowing natural light to filter through, enhancing the sense of openness and connection with nature. Bring the Outdoors In You can create a sanctuary that embraces the beauty and tranquility of the natural world if you bring the outdoors in.  Whether through wallpaper that evokes outdoor landscapes, lush greenery that purifies the air, or lighting that mirrors natural daylight, each element contributes to a harmonious indoor environment that promotes well-being and serenity.  Embrace the opportunity to bring the outdoors in and transform your living space into a retreat that rejuvenates mind and body.