Bringing the Outdoors Inside Part 2

Bringing the Outdoors Inside Part 2

Bringing TIMBER inside …

There’s nothing more warming and grounding for a space than bringing the outdoors inside with timber elements.

Whether you feature an entire wall in rustic timber panels, pull up the carpet and polish the timber floor boards, or simply position a timber chair by the window.

What do you love in timber? Be open to the endless possibilities.

Sticks, Twigs and Branches

Confession from a decorating ‘stickaholic’ …”my number one favourite decoration in nearly every space, is a stick!!”

To me there is nothing more unpretentious, elegant and beautiful than a singular branch … weathered and gloriously covered in moss or mustard coloured fungi… in a bottle, a vase, a rustic jar or just leaning casually against a wall. 

Idea: Place one unobtrusively on your windowsill, bookshelf, sidetable … and you’ll be celebrating its sculptural uniqueness.

TIP: If you do bring such a stick, branch or twig in from the park, give it a light spritz with your hairspray. This traps pollens, stops moss from drying out and falling off and gives it a slightly lacquered look.

Idea: Showcase a tall bunch of twigs in a vase (most styles of vases would suit, but we love tall cylindrical clear glass so you can see the twigs right down to their base). Position by the fireplace or in a bare corner.  They’ll always look amazing and give you a decoration that will never look outdated. Have you ever seen a tree that’s just not IN?

Idea: One Christmas Eve I suspended (horizontally) a large limb which fell from our gumtree over a 20 seater dining set up in our patio.  Adorned with nothing more than Christmas garland and tiny fairy lights it was a showstopper and cost nothing.

Idea:  Another Christmas I gathered the fallen branches from the same gum tree and made an 8ft high wall Advent Calendar. I’ll make one for you to copy in our Christmas idea blog, promise.

Idea: I used a birch tree branch as a curtain rod in my daughter’s room.  It added another natural element to her space, was totally functional, and its neutral colour palette looked stunning suspending her soft, white billowy curtains.

A humble appreciation of timber in your house …. if only in the form of a single stick … does more for your soul than you realise to Reclaim the Joy of Being Home.

Bringing STONE Inside…

Stone masonry is one of the earliest trades in the history of civilisation from the time of the Neolithic Revolution around 10,000BC and it was the period around 1,000AD that saw the first of the great cathedrals built in the 12th and 13th Centuries.

Today there is such a high demand for the use of stone in residential projects, that its use is creating a revolution in the design industry with kitchens, bathrooms and other interior architectural features.

I’ve heard some wonderful things said about stone that take this element far beyond that of being a purely visually stunning feature in your home …

  “the beauty of stone belongs to history”

  “the classic, eternal element of stone adds grace, prominence and luxury to a project”

  “stone is an element that provides a sense of permanence”

Other Visual and Textural Elements that reflect nature you can include …

Bring the outdoors in and enhance the look and feel of your room with your soft furnishings.  They’ll add visual and textural dimension to your styling aesthetic and are as limitless as what you see outside.

Wallpaper, botanical fabric designs, cushions and throws in not only design but the texture of wool, velvet, linen, cottons, with tassels, fringes, pom poms.  Wall art, definitely floral arrangements in vases, sculptures and decorative pieces …….

I’m just loving my current favourites, the Klippan linen cushions and the House in the Forest Wool throw.

Art is another aesthetically pleasing way of visually bringing in the outdoors.  Imagine this image as a giant canvas …. 

Bringing the SOUNDS of Nature inside …

We can’t hear the rain in our house. In the wee hours one night I awoke and automatically reached for my phone for the time.  I knew it was pouring with rain because my screensaver featured it.  I lay there for a while pondering the design flaw of a roof that didn’t allow for listening to the rain. 

Longing to hear the sound of it, I got up and went into the patio.

Then sneaking back to bed, I downloaded an app!! (I still laugh to myself about my husband waking up and saying … gee it’s really pouring out there … I can hear it in our room! I didn’t tell him).

It was fun exploring so many of the app options … torrential rain on a tin roof, gentle rain, rainforest rain with distant thunder …..

There are also many, many apps available with a diversity of nature sounds too … everything from spring forest sounds (with birds singing), rivers and ocean sounds, “The Forest Awakens”, some with or without music and in duration from 5 mins to 9 hours!

So when you need to soothe yourself back to sleep or you need some chill time at home, bring the outdoors in with sound …..

Bringing the SCENTS of the Outdoors inside …

“I love the smell of possibilities in the morning.” Unknown

Did you know that our sense of smell is our strongest of the five senses which reconnects us with our memories?  Here’s the science of how it works.

Upon detecting a smell, the olfactory neurones (in the upper part of your nose) generate an impulse which is passed to the brain along the olfactory nerve.  The collective processes of the signal passing the information on about smell is called the limbic system.  The limbic system is a set of structures in our brain regarded by scientists as playing a major role in controlling mood, memory, behaviour, and emotion.

A smell can literally evoke particular memories and act as a trigger in recalling a forgotten event or experience.

Studies also show 75% of emotions are triggered by smell.  The perfume industry is built around this connection with fragrances that convey a vast array of emotions and feelings (from desire to power, vitality and relaxation).

Here’s a fun fact

At the Jorvik Viking Centre a stench is pumped inside to give visitors a true simulation of what the Viking era would have smelled like.  The Museum attracts 14 million visitors a year!  (I’m tempted to sell tickets to my teenage son’s bedroom!)

But back to inside our homes what we’re really interested in is this study. 

It found …people who were exposed to natural plant odours were calmer, more alert and in better moods than those in an odour free environment.

Posted by Gretchen

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