Nature is the best designer. It has everything we look for in great design; scale and proportion, harmony and unity, balance, emphasis, contrast, rhythm, texture and lasting details. If you take a minute to quietly look, there are many examples found all around us; the balance, scale and proportion of a tree, the harmony of perfect petals around the head of a daisy, contrast of black and white in cattle's hide, these are all examples of principles of design and the beauty of nature. Just as we humans experience change as we age over time, natural products show signs of their age as they patina and wear, bringing beautiful signs of their experiences and history with them.
Enjoying earthy elements in their natural surroundings can be breath-taking, but we can also bring the outdoors in to provide an extra layer to our interior spaces with warmth, wellbeing and visual interest. While the current world around us provides a great amount of uncertainty, nature can have an undisputed effect on our health, wellbeing and productivity when we decide to surround ourselves with it. And while being outside is less than appealing for many during colder weather months, (or even suggested right now with the pandemic), we can bring these natural materials indoors to provide signs of life and hope. From a vase of flowers to a potted plant, stacked logs by a fireplace or a bowl of artichokes on the counter, nature can be used in subtle ways that are also budget friendly.
There are the obvious natural materials such as plants, woods and cottons, but there are also other elements which are part of the equation but not as equally recognized; candlelight with its warm glow, natural fibres such as wool blankets which provide the best kind of warmth, the calming effects of water while taking a bath. These natural materials utilized in a variety of ways throughout our experience in our homes, help connect us to nature and it’s traits.
Everywhere you look you find other examples of this; marble countertops in your kitchen, rattan used in your dining chairs, linen in your sheets. Sometimes we take the use of these natural materials for granted but they are found in much of our everyday life and can be deliberately selected over man made materials that don’t offer the same value to help enrich our daily lives.
To further expand upon the selection of natural materials, it is important to keep in mind sustainable and ethical practices that engage with eco-friendly sources. While it’s of benefit to utilize these materials in our spaces, it’s important to also be conscious of how these materials are sourced, keeping in mind sustainability of items utilized. Recent awareness of decor sees items made from ethical materials and sources such as fair trade woven baskets handmade by women whose talents have been used to benefit their families and communities.
The sustainability and environmental awareness of natural materials is not a trend we see leaving any time soon, nor should it. Nature is such an important part of our everyday life and well being - it connects us, challenges us and helps us learn more about ourselves and the world around us. It only makes sense that the sustainability of it should be included as an important consideration of how we decorate our living spaces with the materials and pieces we select to bring into our homes and lives.Continue reading