Most people don’t always have time to stop and smell the roses, as the saying goes. However, if you are planning on decorating a space in your home, you might want to do just that. There is more design inspiration in nature than you could ever imagine.
You would be surprised at how interior design can be taken to another level by taking the time to really look at nature—and by looking this means to do more than stopping and smelling the roses.
From the colors that you see to the textures you can feel, there are many things that nature can teach us about decorating. Here, you will discover ten ways you can draw inspiration from nature to enhance the interior design of your home.
1) Color Palettes By Season
The saying goes, “April showers bring May flowers,” and there is plenty of inspiration to be found in spring. After a gray winter, nature opens up the paint buckets and drops beautiful colors of pinks, blues, yellows, oranges, reds, and purples, ranging from dark, bold shades to more pastel hues.
Following spring, you benefit from the bright colors of summer. This includes radiant blue skies, bright green grasses and the yellow rays of the sun. Fall is, perhaps, the most colorful season of the year, bringing oranges, reds, yellows, and greens, (and that is just what is found in the leaves).
Finally, you can draw inspiration from winter. It is more than just drab and dreary gray and white. In fact, this monochromatic season can make for an elegant and clean-looking kitchen or bathroom color palette.
Take some inspiration from the four seasons – spring, summer, fall, and winter – to determine the color palette of your next design, or switch up your color palette to match your current season.
2) Nature Has Hues that are Tonal
When you go pick out paint colors for your next project, or even material to make window treatments, take a look out your windows first. There are more shades of each color than you could ever imagine.
Take, for instance, a green leaf. While many may think that a green leaf is just a green leaf, you need to take a closer look. Most leaves, and even flowers, have tonal changes that can enhance a space. A green leaf may be light around the edges but get darker toward the center.
You can take this inspiration directly into your home. Paint a wall dark on the bottom and lighter on the top, or vice versa, gradually shading much like the leaf. This is just another of the many ways that nature can teach us about decorating.
3) Nature is More than Green or Brown
When you think about nature, or natural elements in home design, most people think about green landscapes and brown natural wood tones. However, there is much more in nature than the colors brown and green, and more than flowers and foliage, too.
You can draw design inspiration from other natural elements, such as animals. Take, for instance, a butterfly. Not all butterflies are brightly colored, but many have intricate designs, featuring bold patterns and amazing colors. Consider designing a tile backsplash after the wings of a butterfly.
You could also take a look at the mountains across the plains. These dark gray formations with snow white peaks can provide you with an amazing color palette for your kitchen or bathroom. In addition, allow the textures of these objects to inspire the textures you choose for your home.
4) Look at Nature from a Different Perspective
Another way nature can teach us about decorating is by looking at it from a different perspective. When you walk down the sidewalk in your town, you may see the street lamps above you and then look down at the park bench last, for instance.
This time, look at it differently, as though you were an ant crawling on the ground. You would see the park bench first, being a much larger more prominent object, and the lamp last, being something smaller and less prominent.
You can apply this idea to your living room design. For example, opt for a larger piece of furniture, such as a couch or chaise lounge, and a smaller overhead light. Balance in design is all about varying sizes, so try varying heights, size and shapes in your design—it will add a depth that you never knew possible.
5) Nature has Elements that are in Motion
If you have ever looked out your window while sitting still inside, you will see something moving. Whether it is a tree branch blowing in the breeze or a bird flapping it’s wings in a hurry to reach its destination, something is moving.
Bring this concept into your home and learn from the natural movement found outdoors. This doesn’t mean that you need something that actually moves.
It does mean, however, that you want to keep the eye moving along the walls of your home. This is especially beneficial in a small space if you want it to seem larger. This can be done by hanging art on the walls from ceiling to floor, as well as hanging longer curtains. This allows the eye to keep moving, bringing the room to life.
6) Opposites Attract
Okay, so dessert landscapes with waterfalls aren’t exactly the best example of good opposites attracting, but there are areas of nature that although opposite, can really come together to make something truly amazing.
For instance, a rainbow, one of nature’s most magical elements, is made of several different colors that are on opposite ends of the color wheel. However, when they come together they make one of the most amazing visual elements in nature, ever.
Keeping the rainbow in mind, think about the colors that are opposite on the color wheel. For instance, yellow and purple make a great combination, as do orange and blue, and of course, red and green. These opposites attract and play off each other’s strengths when decorating a room.
7) Texture is an Important Element
It’s no secret that nature is three-dimensional. It was discovered long ago that Earth is not flat, which means that texture should definitely play an important role in your home décor. For instance, consider the roughness of a tree compared to the softness of the grass.
You can have a rough wood table in the kitchen, or even as a coffee table or end table in your living space, but you need to add a soft element to offset it. You can add soft, smooth placemats to the table or soft, fluffy throw pillows on the sofa.
You would not want to have a rough wood table with rough placemats, as this can make the space feel cold and unwelcoming. Paying attention to the complementing textures of nature is just another lesson we can learn from Mother Nature—after all, she is never wrong!
8) Different Shapes Can Be Eye-Catching
The next time you are outside, look around at the basic shapes you see. For instance, you could think of a tree trunk as a rectangle, a shrub as a circle, a pond as an oval, and the triangular shape of a pine tree. It is true that the Earth would be a completely different looking place if none of these shapes were the way they are. It would be boring, right?
Essentially, if you had a square pine tree and a triangle tree trunk, it would just look funny. Nature tells us that we need to pay attention to the shapes of things we put into a room. You want to have a few different pieces, such as a round coffee table and a square entertainment center. Or table top accessories such as square books and a round decorative vase.
However, you want some elements to be the same. If you opt for a round coffee table, you should incorporate another round element, such as round end tables or round throw pillows. This helps keep the room in perfect harmony, but the different shapes help add texture and depth to the room at the same time.
9) Changes in Nature Can Change Your Mood
There is an Old Wive’s tale that the gray, drab winter season creates an overall depressing feeling and mood that is known as the ‘winter blues.’ However, that is not all that the changes of nature tell you about your mood.
Think about how you feel on a bright sunny day compared to the way you feel when it’s cloudy and rainy. Chances are, on a bright sunny day you feel energetic and full of ambition, while on a cloudy, stormy day, you feel tired and moody.
When you are choosing a color palette for you home, think about the ways certain colors make you feel. While there are standards about the way certain colors make you think and feel, this is one instance it’s okay to choose your personal preferences. You want the colors around you that make you feel good.
10) The Link Between Nature and Emotions
Much like your sense of smell draws you back to a certain memory, certain places you have visited can do the same. For instance, if you and your family travelled to a camping site each year, and created amazing memories there, you could be drawn to decorate your home to reflect that space.
You might choose dark natural wood tones if it was a wooded area, or bright sunny skies if you were close to a beach. These elements in nature have touched your emotions, and attached themselves to your memory.
These are great ways to decorate your home. These natural elements have inspired good memories, creating happiness and being happy in your home is essential. You will be surprised at how amazingly well a design can come together if you just let your mind wander to past memories and the emotions those memories create.
There are many ways that designers – and you – can draw inspiration from nature to create an amazing space. From the different colors and textures, to the way a place makes you feel, there are plenty of ways to be inspired by nature to decorate your home.
Decoration inspiration doesn’t always have to come in the form of shades of green brown, nor does it have to be all about the natural wood tones. Sandy beaches, sunny skies, spring flowers – these are all things that nature teaches us about decorating.
Most importantly, let your imagination go wild. Look up. Look down. Look all around the world outside your doors, walls, and windows. Take time to do more than smell the roses, and you will be surprised at what amazing interior designs you can come up with.