Bringing The Outdoors In: 5 Natural Materials to Incorporate Into Your Home
Living in an increasingly urbanized world driven by technology, we often feel the need to ground ourselves, and reconnect with nature. This desire is so instinctive and prevalent that it actually has a name: Biophilia.
As interior design trends shift toward creating spaces built to promote mental and physical health, discussions around Biophilia and a longing to be surrounded by natural elements has led to a revival of Biophilic Design. An architectural concept introduced in the 1980s, Biophilic Design is the use of natural elements in interior spaces. Since its inception, a variety of studies have indicated that Biophilic Design can actually reduce stress and increase cognitive function. Simply being surrounded by tactile, natural materials can evoke feelings of relaxation, peace, and warmth.
To reap the benefits of Biophilic Design, you don’t have to completely switch-up your style or toss all synthetic materials away. Just adding natural elements into your home can make a world of difference from both an aesthetic and a wellness perspective. Below are five natural materials to easily incorporate into your home.
It may seem obvious, but wood is often overlooked as an easy, cost-effective way to add an earthy appeal to your space. Natural wood is a great way to introduce visual depth to a room, and a vast variety of textures as well as stain and finish options make wood an incredibly versatile choice for interior design.
If you’re not ready to commit to adding wood floors or large-scale wood furniture into your home yet, consider a few accessories. Styling shelves with wood vases, bowls, pendant lights, or other decorative or functional decor is an easy way to create a cozy charm.
Natural decor isn’t an aesthetic monolith. Depending on the types of materials you choose, styles can range from Organic Modern to Farmhouse Rustic. Shells, however, are a material that exudes a distinctly coastal feel. Shells are often found in interior design as inspiration for organic shaped frames such as "scalloped edges" on furniture and decor. Yet they can also be used to make furniture, (such as these adorable Capiz Shell Drum Tables) or displayed in vases, and affixed to mirror frames for added texture.
Shells can also be some of the easiest and cheapest natural materials to acquire. You can collect them from nearly any beach so long as you make sure there aren’t any animals inside. Simply gather the shells, soak in bleach and water, and enjoy decorating!
If you’re looking for a way to lighten up your space while maintaining warmth,furniture and decor made from woven, natural materials is a great option. Providing a balance of a light, airy feel with depth and texture, woven pieces can perk up any bland room. Some common natural woven materials for furniture are Rattan, Cane, Seagrass, Abaca Cord, and Jute. These materials are often used to make anything from chairs, to sideboards, ottomans, lamps, chandeliers, beds, or even rugs.
Associated with timeless elegance, stone is a classic natural material to add into your home. Travertine, slate, granite, or marble are some of the most popular stones in interior design. Most often, people associate stone inside the home with countertops, however the options are limitless, from walls to bathtubs to tables and decor, the versatility of stone can be used to create contrast while also complementing any style. If you’re looking to incorporate stone into your home while also contributing to emerging trends , consider choosing a piece that features bold veining and unique colors.
Leather has been used since the dawn of time by humanity for clothing and shelter, and for good reason! Leather is an incredibly durable, smooth, and soft natural material. Not only is leather easy to clean and maintain, but it’s also surprisingly sustainable. All hides used to make leather are exclusively byproduct waste from the meat industry and would otherwise take up space in landfills. It’s durable nature also grants it the ability to last for generations, acting as a counterpoint to wasteful and increasingly prevalent “fast furniture”.
All these benefits aside, leather is also a chic, natural addition to any home that can add both character and warmth. In short, it’s classic.
The use of natural materials in interior design is not a new concept, nor is our innate biophilic longing to connect with the natural world. However, with the emergence of new research stressing the significance of natural elements on our health and mental well-being, it is more important now than ever to find ways to bring the outdoors in. If you’d like more information on how to increase natural elements in your home, chat with our design experts today!
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