Nature By Design: Finding Home Decor Inspiration In The World Around Us

Interior design trends over the past several years have trended towards the distinctly manmade, from the manufactured lines of mid-century modern to the bold steel and concrete materials of industrial. But if there’s one thing that’s constant about interior design, it’s that every trend soon spawns another design in opposition to it. After all, art is all about push and pull. So it’s not surprising that trend-spotters across the world have predicted that nature-inspired design is among 2019’s hottest upcoming styles.

Part of this trend can be attributed to the popularity of wellness as a concept. With a plethora of lifestyle websites and niche industries centered around self-care and mind and body fitness, it was only a matter of time before this began to heavily influence our homes. How exactly this trend manifests can come down to how you choose to style it.

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Florals have been having a bit of a comeback, and that goes hand-in-hand with nature-infused decor. Wallpaper has also been having a bit of a moment of late: you can easily marry these trends and bring them into your decor. If you want a busier pattern like tropical palm fronds or blown-up botanical prints, limit it to an accent wall so it doesn’t overwhelm the space. There are also some lovely minimalist wallpapers out there now: choose one with a neutral background and a very spare motif running around near the top if you’d like it to run throughout the whole room.

Your color story can also bring the feel of nature indoors. Cool colors have been on-trend over the past few years, but now we’re seeing warm, earthy colors: think terra cotta and spiced honey. The PANTONEVIEW Home + Interiors Guide for 2019 foretells a wide assortment of warm tones being on-trend next year, including Butterrum, Cappucino, Chili, Cayenne, Turmeric and Apricot Brandy. Not only does that make us get hungry, it makes us look forward to seeing how this new nature-inspired color trend spices up design in the upcoming years. For an additional nature element, complement these shades with paint or fabric in a sage hue or  grassy green shade.

Incorporating succulents and blooming cacti will play nicely off of the natural fabrics in neutral tones.

Incorporating succulents and blooming cacti will play nicely off of them natural fabrics in neutral tones.

Perhaps the simplest way to incorporate nature into your interior design is to use natural materials. Whenever possible, get furniture made from real wood instead of manufactured wood or medium density fiberboard (MDF). Wood that is unfinished or that has a pale gray or honey-colored finish adds to that light, airy feeling that natural design should evoke. You can also work on incorporating stone, whether that’s in a slate countertop or a table lamp with a marble base. You may also opt to incorporate natural fabrics like jute, cotton, or linen on furniture upholstery, pillows, and throws.

And then of course you can always bring in live plants. The Pantone colors outlined above have a distinctly Southwest feel: incorporating succulents and blooming cacti will play nicely off of them. Those colors also lend themselves to a 1970s feel: lean into that with lush, emerald-green plants cascading out of rattan hanging planters. You can even bring real flowers into your artwork. Press brightly-colored wildflowers between the pages of an old book to dry them out, then frame them in a shadowbox made from unfinished wood for a charming, old-fashioned touch to your space.

After so many years of mid-century modern with its precise lines, it’s nice to look forward to a design style that’s decidedly less unfussy. Nature-inspired decor can add charm to a cabin or cottage, or add an intriguing twist to a warehouse or loft-style space. No matter where you live, all you have to do is look out the window: you’ll doubtlessly find some inspiration that you can carry through indoors.

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