There is an inner peace and tranquillity that comes from being in a home that has natural and organic elements to it that can be hard to define but is impossible to mistake. The clue is in the word itself – natural suggests having things “the way they are meant to be”, and while there are certainly positives to funky synthetic materials and designs, most of us yearn to get back to nature, at least in certain areas of our home décor.
Sometimes this is easy to say, but creating the exact look and vibe that you are searching for proves more of a challenge. Here are some tips for achieving natural perfection.
What works for you?
Part of the reason why people struggle to get their heads around what they want is that “natural” is such an all-encompassing word. You need to work out what is right for you: what brings that inner peace that we mentioned earlier? Selecting those materials that really say something to you and resonate is the first step in understanding the kind of look that you are seeking to achieve.
For example, one person might love light and airy pine or bamboo, while another enjoys the dark, natural sophistication of mahogany. A third might feel that rugged natural rock brings the perfect feeling of nature. Once you have a starting point, the rest will quickly fall into place.
Whatever your overall theme, natural wood will almost certainly be a big part of your décor. It is so versatile in terms of colour and finish, and whether you are seeking something as smooth as marble or completely rustic with exposed knots and grains, wood has the answer.
The great thing about wood is that it not only comes in a range of species and types but it can also be used in such a wide variety of places. A natural wood floor and natural crafted furnishings are obvious examples. However, there are other applications. For example, DIY shutters and blinds provide a great alternative to curtains. As well as looking more natural, they lend an airy look to any room. They have the added benefit that they are far easier to keep clean and fresh.
Don’t be afraid to go literal when it comes to bringing nature into your home. You can’t get more natural than some flowers and plants, and they do not have to cost the earth or require high maintenance. A bold arrangement of foliage added to your mantelpiece, or displayed as a centrepiece on the coffee table, will transform the room instantly – a simple addition that will only cost a few pounds.
Plants also help strip the atmosphere of harmful toxins, so they can bring tangible benefits to you and your family.
Many people are reluctant to buy house plants because they feel that they do not have the knack of looking after them. If you have the opposite of green fingers, and every plant that you try to tend seems to die instantly, don’t give up as there is probably a simple reason and you can put it right.
Alternatively, try one of these low-maintenance species that even the most determined plant murderer won’t be able to kill off!
Let there be light
Creating a natural ambience is not purely about what you put inside your home. Light is the most natural component of all. Those shutters that we mentioned earlier are a useful tool for maximising natural light through the windows, and even in a room with limited direct sunlight, you can make the most of what is available with brightly coloured walls and `clever use of mirrors.
Natural doesn’t have to mean expensive
People tend to assume that anything “natural” will cost an arm and a leg, but often the reverse is true, if you know where to look and you shop smart.
You can also consider adopting the “less is more” approach. For example, you might love the idea of finishing a room in stone but find it prohibitively expensive. In that case, how about an accent stone wall to create the same effect without having to adorn the entire room?
The same applies with wood – that solid oak floor might look beautiful, but is it really worth it when you can get the same effect at a fraction of the price with a good-quality laminate veneer?
For many, solutions such as these present the perfect blend of natural style and 21st-century convenience – why not give them a try?