If you live in the UK, then you’ve probably spent many hours trying to create an indoor space that’s cosy and a relaxing space to ride out those long and dark winters. However, it’s also important to remember that it’s always possible to look too inward. You spent so much time trying to protect yourself from the elements, it was easy to overlook that nature can – and should – also play a role in the home. After several decades of rejecting nature, there’s been something of a return to the outdoors. We don’t belong independently from the outdoors — we should be a part of it.
So how can you ensure that your home has a touch of nature interspersed throughout? We take a look at a few tried and tested – and easy to enact – ways below.
Let There Be Light
It’s hard to feel any hint of nature if you’re forever sitting in a dark, artificially lit room. As such, one of the best ways to give your home a more natural feel is to allow more sunlight into your home. There are a bunch of ways you can do it, but begin by looking at your windows. If they’re old, then they’re likely blocking some of those light rays from entering your home. Keep your home spacious, and also adding carefully placed mirrors, will also help.
Feed the Senses
You’re not going to get too far with your home nature kick if all you can smell is the chemicals in the products you use, or your deodorant, or whatever else. A subtle but powerful way to give your home that light and airy vibe is to look at scent diffusers. You could have the smell of an ocean breeze, or spring garden, or any other smell you associate with the outdoors. It’s better to pay a little more for this type of product, since the cheaper ones usually do come across as a bit chemically. That’ll help during the winter, but when spring rolls around, let nature do its thing first-hand. There’s nothing like letting in that sweet spring air into your home on a sunny morning.
One simple way to bring more nature into your home is to simply…literally bring it into your home. Plants do oh so much for our home, and all they ask in return is a little bit of water. The more plants you have, the better it’ll be. If your current home feels a little too clinical, go crazy, and fill your home. There’s a woman in New York – hardly a natural powerhouse – that effectively turned her apartment into a mini rainforest by adding hundreds of plants. Be warned though, add a few and you’ll quickly get bitten by the bug, and want many more – not that there’s anything wrong with that!
In the Garden
Not enough people make the most of their garden. You’ve got a little patch of land just sitting, why not do something with it? One of the most enjoyable ways to use the space is to set up a vegetable patch. It’s much easier than people think to get underway, and is something that can, A. give your home bona fide nature credentials, and B. give you fresh vegetables to use in your meals! If you’ve got children, it makes for an awesome little family project, too. Plus, it’s an excuse to get up off the sofa and into the garden.
If you’re going to make your home more nature friendly, then you’ll want to make it friendly for animals, too. The UK is full of awesome wildlife that’ll pass through your garden from time to time. You can do your bit to entice them onto your property by making a few small additions. A water source, for example, will invite frogs and other thirsty creatures. To get all those beautiful British birds into your garden, buy a feeder and some great value wild bird food. You’ll still need to keep your eyes peeled if you want to see them, since it’s not in their interests to be on display, but you’ll get a little thrill when they do make an appearance.
Let’s think about the inside of your home. Instead of filling your property with objects from Ikea or wherever, why not add some natural touches? When you’re on your travels, you can pick out some of those lovely sea shells and rocks, and place them around your home. There are also a few easy to enact DIY jobs you can try your hand at, too. For example, a jar of sand may not sound all that exciting, but it’ll give your home a touch that no man made item could do. A decoration made from twigs and branches is another idea, too. During the winter, a pinecone will look lovely above the fireplace. Nature is beautiful, as we all know, so bring some of that beauty into your home!
In the Kitchen
Whether you have your own veg garden or you buy from a local market, it’s always a good idea to put them on display, rather than tucked away in a cupboard. In the process, you’ll be giving your home that country house feeling. For effect, it’s better to keep the veg intact, in all its glory, rather than cutting them down to regular size (we’re thinking about the shoots of carrots and the like).
Of course, you’re not going to let your home be taken over by nature. There are practical matters to think about here! However, even when it comes to this side of your home, it’s possible to incorporate nature. A stone worktop will give your home a natural feel, for instance. For your textiles, look to natural materials such as cotton and linen.
Humans once lived outside, then we were pushed indoors. Enjoy the best of both worlds by inviting some of that lost nature on to your property, and back into your life.