As we moved into a brand new year, the onset of spring marks a fresh beginning, making this the perfect time to spruce up home interiors. An organic approach is favoured this year, with natural design elements being introduced to the most exclusive properties around the world. Acting as a charming alternative to the sleek modernist trends that focus on chrome and polished metal, this aesthetic seeks to bring the outside indoors in a warm, elegant way. Take a look at these ingenious natural design ideas for some inspiration.
Create a wood or bare-brick backdrop
One of the simplest ways to transform your interior is to leave natural building materials exposed. Bare brick works particularly well in open-plan spaces and converted warehouses, acting as a chic nod to the property’s brick and mortar beginnings. It’s easy to forget that brick – or fired clay, sand and water – is one of the earliest and simplest building materials in existence. Leaving the beautiful dusty red tones exposed on your wall can serve as a gentle reminder of its history, bring a sense of earthy comfort to a space.
For a more rustic approach, versatile wood can complement just about any interior. Choose your favourite shade (pine and birch are tried and tested choices) and add horizontal or vertical wall panels to your home, shining them to a high polish for a classically formal yet natural look.
Grow an artisanal garden
Bring all the charm and colour of a botanic garden into your home with ornate wall paintings. Hand-painted scenes of flowers, trees, butterflies and birds work beautifully as a motif in communal areas such as the living room. Commission an artist to transform curtains, cushions, wallpaper and lampshades into a bespoke two-dimensional garden.
Trick the senses
Natural design doesn’t have to be purely visual: With a touch of imagination you can bring elemental sounds, smells and textures to your interior, subtly delighting the senses of all your guests. Wood-burning fireplaces are ideal in colder climes, but water features also work effectively in studies and libraries, where the soothing trickle of water can enhance focus. For fast rejuvenation, a fresh bouquet of flowers brings the vibrant scents of the outdoors into your home almost instantly.
Join the eco revolution
As an alternative to synthetic materials, weavers and textile designers are increasingly turning to eco-friendly materials such as flax, felt, hemp and even nettle to create beautiful pieces for the home. These locally grown, organic fibres not only protect the environment, but they’re also lovingly made and irresistibly distinctive. Look for soft furnishings, tea cosies, towels and throws in these materials to add natural design to your interior – and give something back to nature, too.
Be inspired by your surroundings
The beauty of this trend is that it doesn’t have to be labour-intensive; at its heart, it’s simply about making the most of your natural environment. Large, floor to ceiling windows allow natural daylight to flood in, while using light-reflecting colours like brilliant white and grass green makes a room more receptive to these rays.
If the New Year heralds a completely fresh start for you, Engel & Völkers is on hand to assist you in finding the ideal property to suit your needs, in any corner of the globe.