Although it seems timeless and universal, the trend of “bringing the outdoors in” has increased significantly in the interior design world in the last several years. Houseplants have made a major comeback, designers are swapping busy prints of the ‘90s for neutral colors and natural fibers, and homeowners are reconnecting with nature by creating a seamless transition from their backyard to their living spaces.
And in a scenic, outdoorsy region like the Pacific Northwest, it’s only right to bring more of nature into our homes. There are several ways you can bring the outdoors in, from simple adjustments like buying a houseplant or bouquet of flowers, to more major renovations like adding skylights or painting your entire home a neutral color. Read on for ways you can invite Mother Nature into your home!
Add Some Houseplants
One of the most obvious ways to bring the outdoors in is bringing some live plants into your space. And thankfully, houseplants are all the rage these days! Some of the best houseplants for Pacific Northwest conditions include bromeliads, spider plants, palms, snake plants, philodendrons and ferns as they tolerate low light conditions. Add a houseplant (or several!) to create an indoor garden of sorts — all while improving air quality. Portland-based blogger Suzannah of Create/Enjoy shares some tips for plant care (and how to decorate with them) on her blog post and podcast here.
Increase Natural Light
Let natural light stream through your windows by adding a skylight or two, removing heavy drapery, or installing floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors that lead outside. You could take it a step further by regularly leaving windows open during the warmer months to allow fresh air to circulate through your home!
Incorporate Natural Materials
If you’re in the market for new furniture, consider switching to natural materials, such as wicker, rattan, hemp or jute. And if you’re looking for less of a commitment, you can start small with a wicker basket to hold blankets, a jute rug or rattan wall accents.
Create a Green Wall
Creating a green wall makes quite the statement — as you’ve seen in public spaces, like airports, hotel lobbies, and even at local coffee shops (like Coava Coffee in Portland pictured here, for example!). You can create your very own small-scale version of these natural works of art in your own home. Simply follow these instructions from HGTV, which includes location requirements, display options, plant selection and basic maintenance.
Add Stonework or Woodwork
Along those lines, you might consider adding extensive woodwork or stonework to your home during a renovation. And we have no shortage of either here in the Pacific Northwest! You could create a cozy fireplace by adding stones leading all the way to the ceiling, which will also make your living space appear taller. Or you could create a rustic, cabin-esque feel by adding wood paneling, exposed beams or other wood details, like this DIY dramatic wood shims wall from Portland-based blogger, Amanda of A Crafted Passion.
Put Fresh Flowers in a Vase
This suggestion is simple but oh so sweet. Add a bit of natural beauty (and a pleasant aroma!) to your home by rotating fresh blooms in a vase on your dining room table or kitchen counter. Although there are always seasonal flowers available, either at your neighborhood grocery store or local plant shop, spring and summer are a particularly ideal time to bring a colorful bouquet home.
Add “Found Items” From Nature
Little did you know, your backyard may be an excellent place to hunt for decor! Go on a stroll through your yard or a nearby park and gather items like branches, pinecones or stones to create something with — or display as is! You could stick pinecones in a tall, wide cylindrical vase for a woodsy accent, hang an interesting branch on the wall for a minimalist look, or add large stones to your bookshelf as natural bookends. Or bring back some sand and seashells from your next trip to Cannon Beach. The best part about this technique? It doesn’t cost a dime!
Incorporate Neutral or Natural Tones
If you’re undergoing a remodel, painting a room or two, or simply wanting to add an accent wall, consider leaning toward neutral tones, like tan, rust, or various forms of white, or natural colors found in nature, such as forest green, dark brown, gold or shades of blue. You can even consider covering a wall with reclaimed wood pieces for an extra cozy vibe. If you’re not willing to commit to these ideas fully, you can add a few accessories or switch out a few key pieces of furniture that fall within the natural or neutral camps.
Hang a Seasonal Wreath
Create a real or faux seasonal wreath using materials inspired by each season. For winter, opt for pinecones and greenery, such as spruce or pine branches, and in the fall, use branches, acorns, and a variety of different dried leaves. For spring and summer wreaths, use wildflowers, roses, thin brown twigs, and other delicate items. You can display your work of art on your front door or bring it all the way inside the home by displaying it above your mantel or elsewhere in your home. PS We love this natural wreath tutorial from Lucy of Craftberry Bush!
Light a Woodsy Candle
Home decor involves all of our senses (okay, maybe not taste!), so don’t leave scent out of the equation. Consider adding some woodsy, natural or floral candles to your home. Seattle-based Capitol Hill Candle Company has a wide range of natural candle scents inspired by scents found in the Pacific Northwest, including Blue Spruce, Frasier Fir, Japanese Cherry Blossom, Rose, Rosemary Verbena and Vanilla Pine.
Display Artwork of Nature
Swap out your artwork or wall decor with photos of nature or works of art inspired by nature. Whether it’s a photo of Haystack Rock at sunset, a minimalist drawing of a fern, or a landscape of your favorite travel destination, you can bring a small snapshot of nature into your home.
Improve Your View
Keep the outdoors — well, outdoors — while enjoying the beauty of it all. If buying a new home with a view isn’t an option, consider clearing your view by cutting back overgrown tree branches or bushes. Next, work on enhancing your yard’s overall look by planting new flowers or a lush vegetable garden. Looking for inspiration? Check out these plants, both edible and non-edible, that grow best in the Pacific Northwest.
What tips do you have?
Comment below with your nature-inspired home decor tips!