How to incorporate nature into your interiors
There could be a nature documentary on the television; you might have an assortment of pets big and small and a back garden full of local wildlife, but you may well feel your space is still lacking in natural elements. Fear not: there are various ways to bring the outside in and we’re here to share them all with you. Whether you prefer the months associated with jumpers, hot chocolate and fireworks, or festivals, sun and ice cream – our styling tips are sure to inspire. Join us as we unpick each season, sharing some of our favourite pieces along the way.
The season of fresh starts, longer days and warmer weather. Animals coming out of hibernation. Crossing off resolutions made earlier in the year. Walking more. Taking up new hobbies. Eating slightly less chocolate.
Our interiors are filled with bunches of flowers and lighter, fresher colours. Azure pieces the shade of the sea and sky; green cushions and ornaments as a nod to leaves, trees and plants, and yellow home accessories reminiscent of a ray of sun.
Celebrate this season of colour and life by potting plants and arranging flowers (real or faux) in beautiful vases, jugs and planters. We’ve fully explored how to style faux flowers, so can vouch that they’re extremely low maintenance and incredibly realistic – ideal if you want blooms that will last for years. There are so many different kinds, dramatic roses, exotic orchids and vivid tulips, ready and waiting to liken your home to a jungle, garden or forest. And a jungle isn’t a jungle without animals…
Most birds (the migratory ones, at least) travel northwards in spring to find food and shelter. If the birds in your garden – whose squawks wake you in the morning – that you’ve grown so accustomed to, have vanished at what feels like the blink of an eye, don’t fret. They’ll be back before you know it. In the meantime, go all out and turn your home into an aviary with bird-themed textiles, ornaments and tableware.
It’s time for holidays: weekends on the coast, destinations that take many layovers to reach and heavily researched (or spur-of-the-moment) city breaks that allow you to take full advantage of the balmy weather June, July and August bring. If you’re wanting to pay homage to these pleasant months, there are various things you can try from an interiors perspective. A sea theme is one of them. Think octopuses, lots of them, swimming around your scheme; neat displays of faux corals; ceramic shells resting on tables and shelves. These tributes to marine life are zeniths of the traditional English beach house, the kind that isn’t complete until piles of driftwood, fishing nets and nautical memorabilia atop every surface.
If you love the ocean but would rather leave its occupants underwater, there are subtler ways to imbue your scheme with a taste of the sea. Blue tones never go out of style and they lend a calming twist to everything from glassware to ceramics and fabrics to furnishings. Picture a crisp white tablecloth paired with hand-swirled plates; freshly applied coats of pale periwinkle or midnight blue paint; a turquoise throw draped over a bed.
Even if you live in the heart of a city, and have very little outside space, there’s likely to be nature nearby: a seagull scavenging for scraps, winged insects traversing through the sky, a well-tended, colour-packed window box. But it’s hard to go too heavy with the nature theme. A bamboo or rattan floor lantern will add an artful touch to your surroundings as well as keeping them beautifully lit. Or, consider further blurring the lines between inside and out by serving food on leaf-shaped tableware at your next outdoor dinner party.
Autumn is all about celebrating the transitional beauty found in nature, evoked by the altering of the seasons, before inevitably hunkering down for winter. This calls for wrapping yourself in thick, woollen layers and cocooning your home in cosy, tactile fabrics in jewel shades evocative of the landscape. Who isn’t appreciative of how the leaves on the trees outside turn green, amber, red and – eventually – russet? Who wouldn’t want to bottle each of these hues, capturing each one before it changes? This could explain why our ochre, burnt and blood orange velvet cushions prove popular at this time of the year. Faux fur textiles are also an ideal way to incorporate that all-important natural element and introduce texture; plus, in the absence of a cosy pet, they’re something (albeit, less fidgety) to stroke.
If you’re borrowing your decorating cues from a woodland, you could embellish your interiors with other forest treasure. What could be more evocative than large scale nuts, fruits and leaves? A beady-eyed critter or two? A series of botanical illustrations brightening a bare wall?
Another material that perfectly captures the dappled colours of autumn is tortoiseshell, faux of course. A skilfully executed collage of rich browns, tans and oranges, it has such timeless appeal and looks particularly sublime drenched in candlelight. Naturally, when the weather turns and the gloves come out, we instinctively want to make our homes as comforting as possible. This is when the candles make an appearance, in addition to blankets and other accessories that play to the relaxed lighting and autumnal colour palette.
Quintessential combinations of red and green. Mulled wine and mince pies. Bejewelled firs and potted spruces. The possibility of snow. Fairy lights at every turn. It’s an exciting time of the year and, understandably, most of us want to bring this excitement home.
In winter, our ideal home would be a chalet; somewhere with beams, an open fire burning bright, the comforting aroma of pine needles, textiles bearing hand-stitched folk patterns and sprawling views of mountains that look as if they’re coated in icing sugar. It’s not hard to recreate the aesthetic of a chalet (minus the panoramic, snow-capped vista). Aside from the tree, poinsettias and mistletoe, look to the golden robin, or some form of gold accessory, if you wish to feature decorations that nod to nature whilst encapsulating plenty of festive cheer. Create table centrepieces from winter flowers and decorations. Choose your accessories carefully: textiles in berry red and emerald green, artwork depicting the natural world in all its glory and essentials crafted from natural materials, such as wood and rattan.
Looking forward to your favourite time of year? Or have you switched allegiances after being reminded of what each has to offer? Either way, hopefully, you’re feeling motivated and ready to pick up a paint brush, have a clear out or plan how your interiors are going to look next season.