Out is the New In: Light and Nature in Interior Design

Nature and light-inspired interior design ideas are the latest trends. To achieve a nature-inspired home design, here are some things you should keep in mind – presence of light, air, blurred boundaries, and natural elements and colors.
Out Is The New In

Bringing the outdoors into your home is the latest trend in interior design. Trees, stones, ponds, and other things that belong to your garden are finding their way into your home, and not just on your porch or patio. Outdoor elements are fast becoming the staple of interior design, and at the rate it’s going, it may not be very surprising to find a garden literally under your roof.

But don’t just go tearing down those walls and resigning to life in a tent. This trend simply means that we’re starting to embrace nature, moving away from the sleek postmodern designs and rediscovering the charm and softness of natural interiors. Come to think of it, it’s not even a trend—it’s really the way a home should be. If your home doesn’t feel at all homey, maybe you need to bring some of the outside in. This quick guide shows you how.

1. Let in the sunlight. Lighting is an integral part of interior design, and what better way to light your home that with natural light? No matter how expensive your lighting is, it can’t beat the warmth and charm of a naturally sunlit room. Install larger windows and create wide open spaces for the light to spread in. If there aren’t enough windows, make the most of the available light by putting up mirrors to reflect it. If there’s enough room in your house, try setting up a sunroom—a separate area with clear walls where you can enjoy the outdoors without actually stepping out.

2. Use natural elements. Postmodern design was all about combining old and new: metal against glass, glass against stone, wood against tile. But that trend is over. These days, the more natural it is, the better. Stone and wood are the cornerstones of natural design. Look around your home and see if there’s anything you can replace with these two elements. Wood may look brittle and weak, but some varieties, such as teak and bamboo, are surprisingly sturdy. For contrast, add a bit of glass—it’s technically natural, since it’s made from sand and silica, but it adds that strong, modern look to set off the wood and stone.

3. Make the outside your focal point. If you can’t bring your flower garden inside, make it the focal point of your indoor area. Arrange your furniture so that the outdoors is visible from a large central window. Place your largest piece of furniture, such as a couch or sofa, on the opposite side, with the rest of the pieces leading towards the focal point. If you have some other focal point, such as a television or the furniture itself, dress up the window with a sheer curtain or drape (leaving it open, of course) to make it stand out.

4. Blur your boundaries. Asian-inspired homes have virtually no boundary between their indoor and outdoor areas. Make it so that your doors lead right to your garden, and the light from outside pours in as soon as you open them. Create a smoother transition by decorating your interior with interior plants and letting the grass outside grow as close to your doorstep as possible. You can also grow plants close you your window so you can reach them from indoors.

5. Paint with natural colors. Try to imitate outdoor colors in your room. Paint your ceiling sky blue, your walls green, and your bed and furnishings varying shades of brown. Make it more realistic by painting in gradient style, with the color getting lighter as it reaches your window. This lets it blend very naturally with the sunlight that comes in, giving your room a very outdoor look. It takes a bit more work—you may even need help from a professional painter—but the effect is well worth it.