We’ve caught the seasonal bug with recent articles on interior design tips for the home, bedroom, and guest room for the summer. There’s just something about the season that brings out the best in everything, including design and decorating. You can thank the great outdoors for it all. The longer days, warmer temperatures, and greener scenery. It all combines to put you in a great mood. It makes sense that you want to usher the same feeling into of your home. Today, we help you accomplish this.
5 Tips to Breathing Outside Life into Your Interior Space
1. Let the Light Shine In
You’re right to want more of an outside influence on your interior design, especially when it applies to light. A recent article from Psychology Today states that artificial light pollution is an environmental hazard and you should be mindful of your dependency on it. On the contrary, natural light will help improve your mood and day to day performance while achieving the outdoor aesthetic you desire. Light-material sheer curtains allow more light in than heavy curtains and drapes. However, motorized blinds or shutters can provide you with even more control when you set them to follow the movement of the sun. For a more dramatic effect, you may also consider a large skylight installation, especially if you want that outdoors feel all year long.
2. Go Green
The more green you bring into your home the better. Plants and floral arrangements can make a space beautiful, but on their own they won’t create a feeling of being in the great outdoors. Only tall (to a room height max) trees can effectively accomplish this. Popular trees that thrive in an indoor environment include the fiddle leaf fig tree (ficus lyrata), the rubber tree (ficus elastic), and the norfolk pine (araucaria heterophylla). If you really want to tie this concept into your surrounding outdoor environment, choose plant, floral, and tree varieties that are natural to the ecology near your home. And while it may be obvious to suggest placing plants in your living room and hallways, also consider other spaces, including your bathroom and dining room.
Another way to invite green into your home is to install a living wall. Detailed in our recent article on sustainable trends in interior design, is the living wall concept. This impactful installation involves partial or complete coverage of a wall with greenery that includes a vegetative growth stimulator (such as soil) and may even include an integrated water delivery system depending upon how expansive the installation is. This is a big step, but will move you closer to the outdoor setting that you crave.
3. Natural Wood Floor and Wall Finishing / Trim
Natural (versus vinyl composites) hardwood floors have a look and feel that transport your senses to the outdoors. Wide-plank varieties work best, with fewer seams to downplay the manufactured look. North American species such as American or knotty walnut or white or red oak deliver a theme more common to your environment. Exotics such as Brazilian cherry or Hawaiian koa will allow you to bring your favorite outdoor vacation destination indoors.
Wall finishing in the same vein advances the concept further, wrapping your entire interior in nature’s finest. If wood wall finishing is more than you bargained for, then wood interior trim is your best alternative. Having the wood trim on your windows, ceiling, and floor-to-wall connectors match your hardwood floors will have a tremendous aesthetic impact.
4. Stone Installations
Stone on the floors, walls, and/or counters instantaneously puts you in a natural setting. The kitchen and your bathroom are prime candidates for natural stone installations. Anywhere water flows makes sense. Stone in standing showers and countertop sink design is popular in modern homes, but by incorporating the same on your walls and floors you commit to the theme.
For floors, slate or sandstone create the scene your seeking, while the latter (sandstone) is also superior for stand-up shower surfaces. If using stone for large walls in the living room or hall you may consider engineered veneers to keep the cost and installation effort to a minimum. With veneers you can match the stone surface and tone you prefer with greater ease. In the bathroom and kitchen, install complementary accents such as waterfall faucets to complete the look.
5. Natural Elements in Furnishing
You don’t need to use patio furniture to furnish with the outdoors in mind (please don’t). Reclaimed wood slabs or those sustainably harvested from dead or decaying trees can be used to design beautiful tables, desks, and bed headboards without environmental impact. No two harvested wood slabs are identical, so you’ll own a one of a kind piece. If you want to tone down the use of wood in your space then consider stone as an alternative for tabletops, desktops, and end tables. When it comes to your seating look for sofas and chairs with wood legs and trim as opposed to metal. Choose natural colors for upholstery, throws, and throw pillows.
Looking to bring the great outdoors into your Greater Vancouver area home? Contact our interior design centre at 604.986.2080 or complete the form found here.