Nature and Humans
The mental and emotional benefits of being in nature and naturalness are proven by environmental psychology. Being in nature reduces stress, blood pressure, muscle tension, heart rate, improves our mood and enhances our attention. We feel energized, function better, recover faster from illness. Do you know that even our self-esteem is higher?
We don’t want to think about a scenario when we would be deprived from the natural environment. Biophilic design, an upcoming trend, has been around since the ancient civilizations. Incorporating elements and experiences of nature into our built environment is vital for our health and well-being.
Using organic elements in the interior does not mean we have to sacrifice style. On the contrary. Natural materials, patterns, colors and textures are easy to incorporate into any design.
Get inspiration from going into nature
Different seasons offer different impressions of the great outdoors. Let yourself be immersed in the breathtaking details and the uncountable varieties nature shows in colors, textures, shapes. Take photos from unexpected angles to have fresh perspectives. Focus on tiny details (like the inside of a flower chalice) that show the magnificence of creation.
Then stop. Close your eyes, breathe, listen. Let your emotions swirl to the surface and give them to Gaia. Disconnect from the outside world, lose track of time. Meditate. Ground yourself. Experience what it’s like to be hugged by Our Mother, Nature.
Credit: iStock Database
There are many ways to bring nature into your space:
Bring in plants and flowers
Thanks to their aromatherapeutic magic, plants and flowers improve the smell and naturally filter and humidify the air. The aloe vera, the spider plant and the rubber plant can clean the air, even of toxic compounds. The snake plant can be placed in the bedroom, because it releases oxygen at night. English ivy purifies up to 94% of airborne mold particles. (Careful: it’s poisonous!)
Plants and flowers help us relax and be in a better mood. They can reduce feelings of stress, anxiety, pain, helping us with concentration, memory, productivity, and connecting better with others.
Always choose healthy, vibrant plants, with leaves growing upward. Get rid of dead plants immediately. Avoid thorny and fake plants. Silk flowers can look real, but flowers that are ALIVE are the best choice when you want to generate good energy flow.
Whether you are enjoying living in a small space or you want to spruce up a large boring wall in an office, a vertical garden- a panel of green that pops with texture, vibrancy and freshness- is an amazing solution.
If you just want a small patch of fun texture around, grow some wheatgrass. Start growing your own herbs. On the other hand, having a tree planted inside (orange or lemon are fantastic) is a real statement.
Always consider your children, your pets, and anyone in the household with allergies when you pick plants or flowers to bring in.
Feng Shui hint: There are specific plants that can enhance certain areas of your life. Bamboo, the all-time favorite will balance the Five Elements and bring good luck. Citrus trees are great for Health and Wealth. Placed in Health, Wealth, Fame, the money tree will bring you results. For the success of a new business, put the jade plant near the entrance. A graceful orchid in the Relationship corner is the best to attract love or deepen friendships.
Have a pet
Animals naturally move the energies around us. They give us joy, keep us company, comfort us, help us make friends, make us feel safe and loved, lower our stress level, in addition, detect an illness in our body.
Feng Shui hint: A fish-tank with fish circulating constantly activates healthy flow in your life.
Use natural materials
Natural materials are always trendy, look fantastic and make interiors inviting. We’re becoming more and more conscious about eco-friendly solutions, we want safety for our physical, mental and emotional health.
It’s incredibly easy to mix these materials, that are usually of better quality anyway. When choosing natural, most people decide on having wood, bamboo or cork floors. In green building, reclaimed wood is not a trend, but a necessity. Artisan-crafted wooden furniture pieces can be treasured highlights of your décor. (But have you ever considered a bathtub made from gorgeous wood?)
Rattan and wicker furniture are less heavy, visually as well.
Mixing metals is big in 2020. Copper and brass have a warm feel. Stay with 2-3 types of metals for one room.
Natural stones bring timeless elegance, vary widely in texture and color. Not to mention how long they last, and how little care they need. A handmade stone sink will stand out in your bathroom. Clusters of pebbles are unusual for the base of the shower. Brick is popular as a backdrop. If you want the rustic look, leave it unpainted. Painting it emphasizes the set patterning and gives a sophisticated flair to your interior.
Step away from the usual and surprise yourself! Travertine, a gorgeous stone with various patterns and colors is amazing for bathroom walls. Or with a simple décor, the natural beauty of the veins of marble can stand out. Just as agate’s banding can become a focal point.
When picking fabrics for covers for furniture, drapes, bed sheets, pillow covers, cotton is the light, inexpensive and super durable choice. Add a rich feel with silk or a touch of comfort with wool.
Credit: T. Davies, Unsplash Database
Leather picture frames are easy chic.
Let sunlight play on a collection of colored glass vases on the windowsill.
Experiment with the exotic: a lamp made from banana fiber, grass-cloth wallcovering, handwoven baskets from palm leaves, a jute rug, a coconut fiber wool sofa.
Feather accessories, gemstone knobs, shells are fun ways to upgrade your style.
Feng Shui hint: Familiarize yourself with the theory and practical application of the Five Elements and their cycles. Balancing Water, Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal in your space will ensure harmony in your life.
Indulge in natural patterns
Rhythms of forms, patterns in nature- waves, ripples, spirals- have been the object of numerous studies. Some regularities repeat at different scales: they are called fractals. They prove to us the beauty and sacredness of creation on all levels. Probably that’s why they can significantly reduce stress in us. No wonder fractals provide a drainless well of inspiration for interior design and architecture.
Floral prints were emphasized greatly in 2019. From sweet roses to botanical motifs or a more tropical look, the more striking, the better in 2020. Nature-inspired wallpaper is significant. You may imitate patterns/ lines of grass/ leaves with using certain sponging or wall-painting techniques.
Landscapes with an open view suggest that possibilities are opening for us, but in a safe way. Create your own art!
You may want to add a touch of sensuality with animal prints.
A modern way to make your wall-space look more exciting: hexagon-shaped modular arts wall panels.
Credit: iStock Database
Feng Shui hint: Pick patterns wisely to support the Five Elements themes in your home by keeping the symbolism of the patterns in mind.
Apply natural colors
Using neutral colors, earth tones is a top interior design trend for next year. Whites, beige, yellows, greys, browns, clays, greens, taupe and black are very relaxing to get home to after a busy day. They are your go-to colors if you want a break from visual overload, but it doesn’t mean that they are boring.
Greens can vitalize softer colors. Dark greens hold healing power, because they give the feel of vibrant greenery.
Brown goes well with other colors, and it has a grounding effect. Hazelnut, a creamy shade of brown, and clay, with its casual elegance are serene.
Yellow cheers up the space.
(According some designers, navy blue is also a neutral color.)
Choose the lighter ones for a spacious and fresh feeling, and the darker ones for a more cozy and intimate feeling. They can be stable backdrop for bold patterns, colors and accents, some of which you may change from season to season. Neutrals highlight unique structural elements and exceptional details of furniture.
Make sure you apply eco paints, from biodegradable ingredients.
Feng Shui hint: Bringing in the colors of the rainbow infuses the place with energy.
Credit: iStock Database
Bringing in dimension is important when creating a comfy and inviting home. Set up your abode where going beyond the visual, exploring by touch is a significant part of the experience.
Embedding small stones into a plastered wall is a gorgeous and characteristic way of doing that. Let your inner artist shine!
Cork and grass-cloth covering on walls result in a contemporary, warm, and sound-absorbent effect. A natural stone wall as the focal point of a room can take your breath away.
As for natural-fiber floor coverings, sisal is the most versatile, seagrass is the most stain-resistant, jute is the softest.
You can achieve a rustic look by playing with wood finishes or types of wood. Or keep it to a minimum for a sleek, modern style.
Trying a more luxurious and sultry presence? How about reptile skin-imitating surfaces? Or the hottest craze for 2020: velvet?
A fun and super easy way to introduce texture is on pillows.
A fresh idea to play with a variety of surfaces is having different types of plants on a vertical garden/ greenery wall.
Feng Shui hint: Curved, wavy contours are in. Support the Water element with them.
Credit: iStock Database
Showcase your gemstones and crystals
Their eye-catching beauty lies in their imperfection. Just like in nature…Utilize glass or acrylic jars, shadow box style frames, display cases or cabinets.
Feng Shui hint: When items of a collection are displayed together, they are so much stronger visually. Do you have too much? Periodically switch the pieces that you feature.
Let your space bathe in natural light
Sunlight is healing. It boosts our energy and immune system, improves circulation, increases serotonin and endorphins, balances hormones, makes us more positive, energetic and productive.
Not only it cheers up a place, but in fact naturally disinfects, as it hinders the growth of toxic organisms.
You can do a lot to invite in more natural light:
• Clean your windows regularly
• Install bigger windows, that are also energy efficient
• Don’t block the windows with dark, heavy furniture
• Lighter wall colors, neutral floors and shiny surfaces will help optically
• Sheer, light curtains are useful
• Full-spectrum lights imitate natural light
Feng Shui hint: If a window is blocked, it can result in frustration and stagnation. Remove the block(s) (inside/ outside) to be able to see a hopeful future.
Credit: A. Castillo, Unsplash Database
Air and clean your space regularly
It’s crucial to air and clean regularly to improve the air quality indoors. Vacuum cleaning doesn’t let dust accumulate, so allergies, breathing problems won’t bother you.
You can use an air purifier, but there are ways to purify the air naturally:
• One plant for every 100 square feet is good
• Have good ventilation (vents, fans)
• Salt lamps take water vapor out of the air, so allergens are reduced (even when turned off!)
• Beeswax candles neutralize toxic particles and ionize the air
• Activated charcoal absorbs toxins
• Essential oils can kill bacteria, virus, fungus, mold (tea tree, cinnamon, thyme, clove, rosemary, for example)
Feng Shui hint: Instead of toxic household cleaners use natural and environmentally safe ones.
Enjoy natural aromatherapy
A cool new trend is to create a customized scent as a part of the interior design. How does it work? We breathe in a scent. The sensors in our noses send messages to our brains, so our nervous systems are affected, even our immune systems can be altered. Essential oils are extracts of plants, that have been used for thousands of years. More and more people turn to them for they are simple, yet effective remedies for body-mind-spirit.
You need to get 100% natural quality oils and diffuse or spritz them in your space. Various oils will provide you various benefits, just to mention a few:
• For stress relief: lemon, ylang-ylang, peppermint
• For energy increase: lemon, orange, peppermint
• For immune system boost: oregano, peppermint, lemon,
• For memory boost: basil, tangerine, rosemary
• For antibacterial effect: tea tree, lemon, cinnamon
• For better sleep: lavender, chamomile, bergamot
• For freshness: spearmint, peppermint, wintergreen
Feng Shui hint: Ditch toxic air fresheners.
Let nature sounds fill the air
Sounds of the rainforest, waterfalls, birdsongs, …etc. relax us and improve our mood. The best nature sounds are the ones that mimic the biorhythms of an ecosystem, for example a forest. You can incorporate these in your meditation practice.
Feng Shui hint: Metal wind chimes are effective in breaking down obstacles and attracting auspicious new energies into your life.
And give yourself a break from technology from time to time. Seriously.
“I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.” –John Burroughs“
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