Nature has been a significant inspiration for top interior designers and amateur DIYers alike for years. With nature playing such an important role in how we live our lives and interact with the world around us, it makes sense to try and implement some of its beauty, benefits, and unpredictability into your home.
This isn’t something reserved for palatial estates with luxurious greenery though, nor is it exclusive to your outdoor spaces in smaller homes. Apartments can also let nature shine through in their design.
There’s a wealth of unique ideas out there, from seasonal trends to little boosts for neglected spaces. In this article, we’ll look at some of the best ways you can let nature into your home and take the lead in designing your apartment this summer.
Houseplants, houseplants, houseplants!
A flurry of bright, luscious houseplants is an obvious way to bring nature into your home, but by no means one you should ignore.
If possible, you should look to incorporate houseplants of all shapes and sizes into every room in the house. From larger, more exotic decorations in living spaces to cute little cacti in the bathroom, houseplants are a simple way to let guests know you’re in touch with the natural world (and remind yourself of this fact).
However, you should always be mindful and the types of plants you choose to bring into your, taking into account needs such as:
- Need for natural light
- Watering requirements
- Potential hazards for your children and pets
- Growth cycles
Amibus has a wonderful houseplant guide for beginners looking to make sure their investments aren’t withering away within a week.
With apartment life often being quite stuffy and restrictive, houseplants are also a brilliant way to bring some much-needed health benefits into the home. Household greenery can have a remarkable impact on cleaning and purifying your air. A perfect addition to big-city homes with little airflow.
Focus on natural light
A good helping of natural light in your living spaces is one of the most important parts of making a home feel welcoming.
As we touched upon before, big-city apartments aren’t always designed with occupant wellbeing in mind. It’s well researched how impactful natural light, or a lack of it, can be on an individual’s mental health, so finding alternatives to keeping your lamps on 24/7 is important.
On summer days try and fill your apartment with an energizing warmth, the same kind that keeps you cozy through those short winter afternoons.
If you’re strapped for windows to let that light in, some small additions can help lead it through your apartment. Mirrors and shiny objects can reflect that light into the spaces you light to read, relax or even work. Opting for lighter colors on your furniture, lampshades and curtains invites the light and its warmth into your home, giving you a natural tropical glow.
There are many ways to incorporate light without installing a skylight. Make use of what you have and rethink how you live in your space.
Ditch IKEA for natural furniture
Don’t get us wrong, there’s nothing wrong with making your first apartment more liveable through convenient, cheap, flat-pack furniture. When you’re a young adult trying to make it alone in the world, it’s important not to immediately great the bank.
However, if you’re at the point where you’re ready to design your own apartment and make things more… you, then it might be time to look at alternatives.
Namely, natural furniture.
Wood is a brilliant natural alternative to plastic furniture that immediately makes your home feel more natural, welcoming and mature. When it’s the Scandi vibe or a more contemporary Japandi look, wood furniture (in particular) is an environmentally friendly and long-term alternative everyone should try.
The great thing about natural furniture as a decorative piece is that there are lots of compromises to make too. You can pick up hybrid pieces, reclaim and restore from goodwill stores or follow the minimalist path with fancy fold-away items. The options really are endless, and you’ll immediately notice the positive effects.
Compromise with natural patterns, paintings and knick-knacks
Lacking the space, time and budget to fill your home with houseplant children or hand-crafted wood furniture? Fear not! There are cheap alternatives here to save the day.
Wallpaper might not be as in-vogue as a nicely painted feature wall, but it’s a cost-effective and time-efficient way of immediately giving your apartment a new look. There are a ton of great natural designs out there, whether you want to replicate a scorching desert or the serene blues of the ocean.
Alternatively, if you have the time, painting your walls is a more permanent and traditional way to fill your apartment with a sense of nature. It may not create the sound of chirping crickets or the rustling of the thicket, but a painted wall can utterly transform your home. Whether it’s a bold statement color or a more subtle contrast, finding natural colors has never been easier and immediately provides warmth and a sense of connection.
Finally, if neither of these options suit you and your home, you can always take the more minimalist approach and just fill your apartment with little bits of natural decoration that mean something to you. Framed pictures, shells from beach trips and indoor herb gardens all have their place in the modern naturalist’s home.
Things to remember
Following these tips will help turn your apartment into a natural paradise in no time. However, before you start the process of transforming your home, here are some key points to consider…
Renters can have fun too!
It’s not just homeowners who can incorporate nature into their apartments.
Yes, those of you stuck in ‘Generation Rent’ can enjoy the wonderful sights, soothing aromas and calming presence of natural design within your home, without sacrificing your deposit.
You might not be able to paint the walls a bold South American orange or let the light shine through welcoming glass balcony doors, but you can fill your home with many of the smaller additions we’ve touched upon or, after consultation with your landlord, see what changes could be made to let the world outside creep in.
Of course, you should always be mindful of how these changes might affect utilities for future tenants, so make sure you have tenant insurance from leading providers such as Duuo to cover yourself in the event of a ‘natural’ disaster.
Letting nature lead your apartment design should be fun! Rather than making this a painstaking exercise in re-evaluating how you’ve been living or a huge furniture investment, find ways to make this design choice quintessentially you.
If you like big, imposing plants that give your home that Amazon jungle vibe, do it! If you’re more into the styles and colors of the natural world than its physical creations don’t feel guilty, find some unique art at the thrift store and make it a centerpiece. If you want to shower with some eucalyptus vines staring back at you, go right ahead! This should be a fun exercise that fills your home with joy and beauty, not stress and anxiety.
Apartments might not be as naturally welcoming towards the outside world as large estates and homely cottages, but that doesn’t mean you have to compromise with hardwood floors and stone walls. Whether you have any outdoor space or not, there are always changes you can make.
Photo by shche_ team on Unsplash