Bringing the Outdoors In

Spring has sprung here in Pennsylvania, and it’s left many of us longing to spend our days outside among the flowers, green grass, and blooming trees. Nature can help us feel calm, refreshed, and connected to the earth. If you can’t be outside as much as you’d like, or if you don’t have an outside space, you can still get that same feeling indoors. There are many ways to help bridge the gap between the great outdoors and indoors. Here are just a few:

Plants

Adding plants to your décor is a great way to bring nature inside.  Adding flowers will let you get a whiff of spring and some house plants even help purify the air. If you have a green thumb, the sky’s the limit! You can add plants to fun pots or unusual containers and experiment with placing them in different rooms of your home. If however, your plants flop over and die merely by being in your presence, then you can opt for some safer, hardier options. Succulents (cacti, aloe, etc) are fairly easy to care for and require little attention. If you fear you’ll even kill those (been there, done that), you could try a faux arrangement.

Here is an example of a live house plant. 

Here is an example of a live house plant. 

This is a wonderful silk arrangement. Best of all, it's impossible to kill! 

This is a wonderful silk arrangement. Best of all, it's impossible to kill! 

 

Animals

Bringing animals into your home definitely adds a sense of nature. Live animals such as birds, fish, and reptiles can make you feel like you’re part of the outdoors while sitting in your living room. Pets require time and attention though, so if you aren’t able to give them the proper care they deserve, you can just incorporate animal-like elements into your decor. Animal print is a fun and easy way to accomplish this. You can also consider wallpaper, works of art, sculpture and even clawfoot furnishings.

These metal bunnies add a touch of nature's whimsy indoors.

These metal bunnies add a touch of nature's whimsy indoors.

Food

Something as simple as having a bowl of fruit or vegetables in your home can help give it an organic feel. Artists have been inspired by this concept for thousands of years. Just think of all the still life paintings in museums showcasing bowls of produce. Fruit is beautiful and is often found decorating kitchen counters and tables, but don’t forget about your veggies.  Instead of hiding those gorgeous beets from the farmer’s market in your fridge, try using them as décor before turning them into dinner. Peppers are lovely also, and a great way to add pops of color.

Lemons add such a nice pop of color.

Lemons add such a nice pop of color.

Water

Few things are more soothing than the sound of water. Adding a water feature can really bring a sense of calm. Small fountains are a great way to do this. If that’s not an option for you, you could try a replica of water. Try framing a picture from a trip to the beach. You can almost smell that salt-kissed air! An ocean painting would also do the trick, or some cleverly displayed seashells and sea creatures. If salt water isn’t your thing, perhaps a picture of a lake would work for you.

You can almost feel the sand between your toes while gazing at this bowl of shells. 

You can almost feel the sand between your toes while gazing at this bowl of shells. 

Color

You can almost make a room fade into the outdoors with your use of color. Look out your windows and notice the natural colors around you. See that row of tulips in your windowbox? Try adding some throw pillows in the same colors. Do you like that tree that just bloomed? Try pulling shades of green indoors with baskets with ferns, dried pods, and other green accents. Be inspired by your view and before you know it, you’ll feel like you’re sitting outside… but without all the bugs.

 

 

Notice the subtle touches of green using striped candles and dried seed pods. 

Notice the subtle touches of green using striped candles and dried seed pods.