Whether you live in a one-bedroom flat or a sprawling country estate, it has never been easier to fill your home with products or design features that have, or at one time had their own life force. For most of us it is increasingly difficult to avoid spending our working day plugged in, and as a result we grow ever more reliant on a deeper connection to the natural world as an alternative to our ‘online’ lives. Luckily there are lots of ways to bring natural and organic elements into your home that will cultivate that connection, and help you to switch off at the end of the day. Read on below for our 10 tips to do just that.
L: A seagrass rug in a bedroom designed by Amber Interiors
R: Tine K Home’s Natural Jute Hemp Rug, from Design Vintage, £135.00
Redolent of tropical white sandy beaches scattered with dried palm leaves, a jute, hemp or seagrass rug can transport your feet from a cramped urban dwelling, to an airy Caribbean paradise. Whether you choose herringbone, circular or plain weaves, these crudest of materials never fail to add a touch of sophistication to their surroundings. Don’t hesitate to invest in one because they go with everything, but the most organic pairing is with a white wooden floor.
L: Use linen drapes to softly diffuse daylight
R: Bamboo Roman blinds
Sunlight is without a doubt the most natural, organic and crucially, cost-free resource available to designers and homemakers. If you like to rise with the rooster, keep your window treatments simple with rustic, neutral-coloured linen drapes. Linen is a natural fibre that filters light beautifully, and unlike manmade fabrics its quality, strength and lustre only improve with age. It requires very few chemical fertilisers making it one of the most eco-friendly textiles to use in the home. However, if you prefer to sleep for a while longer track down some wicker, rattan or bamboo blinds; they won’t completely exclude the light, but will succeed in creating a calming dappled effect to keep you hitting the snooze button on repeat.
L: Spruce up your bathroom shelves with pretty potions
R: Haeckels Seaweed Facial Masque, £34.00
Cleansing your bathroom cabinet to ensure it’s stocked with health-boosting potions and tinctures is a nifty way to bring natural elements into your home. Margate-based brand Haeckels hold one of only two licenses in England to harvest seaweed from the English coast, rightly so given that all their products are formulated in their clifftop Lab on the Kent shoreline. The distinctive ombré bottles of caramel and dark amber hues are worth investing in on a looks alone basis, but it’s the natural anti-oxidants inherent in the seaweed facial masque (above) that are the true stars of the show.
L: Natural fibre cleaning tools
R: Redecker Wooden Two Side Boot Scraper from the Oxford Brush Company, £149.95
Cleaning products and tools
One could argue that the most effective way of bringing organic elements into your interiors would be not to scrape your shoes on the way in, but health experts might disagree. So if you prefer to be sensible and wipe the mud off your soles, try to use a handcrafted oak and arenga fibre boot scraper. Cleaning accessories made with natural fibres are well worth investing in, they’ll be pretty enough that you can display them proudly rather than allowing them to clog up space under the kitchen sink.
L: Interior accessories come in all shapes and sizes
R: Artisanne Medium Natural and Grey Laundry Basket from Cassius And Coco, £106.95
If you are keen to avoid turning your home into a treehouse, a sparing approach to accessorising can give you the subtle look that you’re aiming for. Throws, quilts, trays, picture frames, baskets, mirrors: interior accessories come in all shapes and sizes, and are almost endless in supply. These small, distinct touches, deftly arranged, come together to create a pleasingly unified whole of naturalistic textures, pattern and colour.
L: Abstract paintings help dictate a natural colour theme
R: Plants on Pink Art Print from Mink Interiors, £75.00
Art, whether painting, photography or sculpture, can be a handy source of inspiration for budding interior designers. Look to Giorgio Morandi, the Italian still life painter whose works were noted for their tonal subtlety in depicting simple household objects, and whose colour palette of muted browns, reds and greys could prove useful when it comes to thinking about your own walls. Botanical drawings, prints and figurines, as well as framed dried flowers are all useful and visually pleasing tools that help bring the outside in.
L: Sculptural stems add drama to interiors
R: Serax Bark Vase from Wyld Home, £20.00
The simplest way of infusing your home with a natural quality is to fill it with plants: on the walls, floors or hanging from macramé planters. However, if you’re put off by the idea of having to maintain a zillion houseplants, then make like interior stylists and hunt down a low-maintenance sculptural piece of foliage: pussy willow, long-stemmed hydrangeas and eucalyptus last forever and work well as dramatic centrepieces for a dining room table, or as framing devices for the corner of a room.
L: Stone bathroom interior
R: Daniela Rubino Pair of Octagonal Terrazzo Concrete Coasters from T&SHOP, £35.00
There is no better way to be connected to the earth, than by standing directly on top of it. Marble, granite, limestone, slate… stone is a hugely diverse material that can be incorporated within an interior in numerous different ways. If you’re on the fence about whether or not to use it as a floor covering, bear in mind it is incredibly hard-wearing and will make an excellent investment, though unless you live in tropical climes, you’ll also need to consider installing underfloor heating. Otherwise, it can be used as cladding in a kitchen, around a rustic fireplace, or to bring architectural clout to your coasters.
L: An earth-toned interior scheme
R: Linen wallpaper by Swedish brand Boråstapeter
The notion of creating a design ‘scheme’ sounds outdated and prescriptive, the polar opposite of natural and organic. Assume a more relaxed approach to designing your home by finding hues that have an earthy feel – taupe, rust, fawn, moss green, terracotta and cream – and use them as a canvas against which to display pieces you’ve picked up along the way such as ornaments, paintings and shelves. Linen wallpaper in muted tones can bring a cosy, tactile quality to a room, enhanced by the flecks of colour and the slubby texture that give it an ‘of the earth’ quality.
L: Bring natural elements into your wardrobe as well as your home
R:Other/man George Shirt Jacket Natural Selvedge Denim from Other Shop, £155.00
Whilst not part of an interior scheme per se, the clothes that you wear can be an extension of your home’s aesthetic. If you wish it to, fashion can speak volumes about your values and the way you choose to live your life via colour, construction and material. Investing in well-made and ethically-produced garments ensures a holistic approach to mindful consumption. The simple and unfussy cut of the George shirt jacket from Other Shop, paired with the wholesome ecru colour convey a down to earth, understated vibe that demonstrates a conscious but discreet interest in style.