Design by Nature


After months of being cooped up inside, this time of year often sees us desperate to reconnect with nature. We’re keenly searching for signs of growth, evidence that spring is truly here.

I’m so lucky living in Balerno. Beautiful countryside on my doorstep and a garden helps too. But what if your access to nature is less easy? Can you sense it within your home?

Did you know that we humans are hard-wired to connect with other living or natural things? We feel an improved sense of wellbeing when we do and it makes sense. Consider our evolutionary process and its ties to the great outdoors. It was the only home we knew.

An approach often seen in large, public spaces is ‘biophilic’ design. It uses an abundance of natural elements - plants, exposed brick, pebbles, natural wood etc, creating a relaxed ambience for occupants.

It’s a technique that’s easy to implement at home too, especially if you’re thinking about a spring update. Here are some ideas you might want to include.

Whether it’s a bowl, a basket, table mats or a rug, why not include a touch of wicker, seagrass, rattan or jute for some added rustic charm. Natural wood is ideal too. From furniture to knick-knacks, wood is your friend. How about a decorative piece of driftwood? Even that big pile of logs by your fireplace counts!

Use decorative pebbles in your candle holders, in a shallow bowl or around the tops of larger planters. Turn scenic holiday snaps into wall decor or seek out nature-inspired art. Anything depicting the living world will fit perfectly with your theme.

Who knew macrame would be such a huge trend again? It’s the perfect way to add a natural element - hanging planters, wall hangings or a simple cushion. What’s more natural than plain old cotton?

Another fabulous, fully sustainable, natural material which is making a big comeback is cork. Cork table mats, cork pinboards, cork cupboard doorknobs, cork kitchen accessories and more. Look out for beautiful smoked cork with it’s distinctive marbled pattern - gorgeous!

The take-away? You don’t have to redecorate your whole house (although if you are...hello seagrass wallpaper!) No, just a little natural element here and there and you’ll be amazed at the difference it makes.

What will you add first?

Written by Lynn McMurray

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