Scientific research shows that people get tremendous benefits from spending time outdoors. People who spend at least 120 minutes in nature per week often experience less mental distress and suffer from fewer health problems like obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Unfortunately, you may not get to spend as much time outdoors as you would like, especially during the hot, cold, or rainy weather. Why not try the next best thing by finding ways to bring the outdoors into your home?
The following five ideas will help you brainstorm ways that make your indoors feel more like the outdoors. Even if you don’t get all of the health benefits of spending time in nature, at least you will have lovely areas where you can relax.
Find Plants That Can Thrive Indoors
Few things add a sense of nature and calm to a home better than plants. Before you run to your nearest nursery to buy plants, do some research to find options that tend to thrive indoors. You can also learn about the plants to make sure you have enough time to care for them. If you don’t spend much time at home, you probably need a low-maintenance plant that can mostly take care of itself. Some of the most popular plants for the indoors include:
- Snake plants
- Spider plants
- Peace lilies
Worried that your ‘black thumb’ will kill every plant you bring into your home? Follow these houseplant care tips to improve your chances of success.
Create Spaces Where Larger Plants Can Live
Would you like a few larger plants that make your rooms feel like an outdoor area? Depending on the size of your room, you might have to take a creative approach to fit a ficus tree, a rubber tree, or bird-of-paradise plants into your home. Some options include:
- Placing the plants in front of electrical outlets and other parts of the wall you would like to hide.
- Hanging plants from the ceiling — make sure you secure them well with a mount that screws into a wooden beam.
- Using them to divide a room into two spaces — creating a divide that separates your dining area from your kitchen area.
- Repositioning furniture to make room for large plants without completely covering them.
The type of furniture that you own can influence how you position your large indoor plants. The best sectional sofas make it easy. Make sure to leave a little room between one side and the wall or corner. If you have smaller pieces of furniture, you can arrange potted plants between them. Make sure the plants don’t prevent people from looking at each other while sitting, though. Your plants shouldn’t interrupt conversations!
Choose Decorations Made From Natural Materials
Home décor can create the impression that the outdoor has slipped inside your house. Consider decorating your home with items like:
- Art, made from driftwood, stone, or other natural materials.
- Textured ceramic pottery that looks like natural stone.
- Wooden tables that show off the tree’s natural grain and ‘imperfections.’
- Woven baskets that can hold anything from extra blankets to magazines.
If these options sound too expensive, you can bring the outdoors indoors for free by collecting pine cones, interesting rocks, and other items during long walks. You’ll get exercise and decorate your home for free!
Open Your Curtains and Shades to Let Natural Light In
Are your window curtains and shades hiding the outside world from you? Open them to let natural light flood your rooms. You might also get a good view of the trees, lawns, and gardens surrounding your home.
Letting more natural light into your home does more than making your rooms attractive. Natural light may also have health benefits like:
- Helping your body absorb more vitamin D.
- Improving your sleep by synchronizing your body with the time of day.
- Lowering stress by protecting you from fluorescent lighting.
- Helping prevent seasonal depression that affects about 6 percent of the population.
Pick a Color Palette That Reminds You of Your Favorite Outdoor Spot
The color palette you choose for your home could make it feel more outdoorsy. Each person, however, will have a different idea of what feels like the outdoors. If you long for a desert landscape, you may want a palette based on browns and reds. If you miss spending time in the forest, then you may prefer a color palette based on a natural green.
You don’t have to fret about choosing a color palette that reminds you of your favorite outdoor spot. Find a picture of a place that makes you feel comfortable and upload it to a color-palette generator like Canva. It will automatically produce a palette that you can use to color your home.
You have a lot of options for bringing the outdoors into your home. You can always add to your natural home decorations by playing nature sounds on your stereo or headphones. The sound of rainfall, animals, or ocean waves will help you believe that you have stepped outside into your favorite place.
Once you have your home decorated the way you want it, sit back, relax, and let the space become a calming area that rejuvenates your mind and body.