Outdoor Influences & Interior Design

Outdoor Influences & Interior Design

When it comes to redecorating your home, to breathing new life into a room, trends come and go. Outdoor influences in interior design is one theme that does not go out of fashion. Bringing outside inside couldn’t be easier and it offers you a relaxing, calming and fun space to live in.

Having moved earlier this year we are thrilled with our new spaces. We waited until we’d lived in our new home a few months to get a feel for it and now we’re now ready to inject some colour and redecorate a little. Here are just some of the ways we plan to bring outdoor influences into our home.

Outdoor Influences & Interior Design: The Use Of Plants

It has long-since been a joke amongst my family and friends that the only growing things I’ve been able to keep alive are weeds and Sea Monkeys. Well, folks, it turns out that there are plants that I can keep alive (so there). I’ve opted for aloe vera plants, spider plants, some ferns and have my eye on some cacti. These all look great and help with oxygen in the house (seriously, plants in the house are really good for you).

I’m looking to expand my houseplant collection soon. I’ll also use the plant theme in some artwork around the home.

Outdoor Influences & Interior Design: Soft Furnishings and Windows

One of the quickest and easiest ways to breathe new life into a room and incorporate the outdoors theme is to use soft furnishings and window coverings that are inspired by the outdoors. We’ve been looking at Swift Direct Blinds for some curtains to pull together the plant-inspired prints, rugs, cushions and more that we have picked out. We’ve gone for soft, textured and with muted greens, creams and accent colours to create the look we want.

Outdoor Influences & Interior Design: Use Natural Materials

Scrap the MDF and flatpack. Look for real wood pieces to add to your home, from a rustic coffee table to driftwood on the mantle piece if the beach is your thing. You’d be surprised by how easy it is to add natural materials in a practical way to help build up the layers of your outdoor inspired home or room. Seagrass carpeting can be very practical and fits in perfectly with this theme. My favourite place for wooden creations is Nashwood Crafts – well worth a look.

Outdoor Influences & Interior Design: Natural Light

Light is important when creating a feel in a room. For areas inspired by nature, it makes sense to use natural light. Choose window coverings carefully so as to maximise the natural light coming in while maintaining privacy, arrange your room so as to make the best of the light, use mirrors to brighten darker corners and open the windows.

Yes, open the windows. You’d be surprised how some genuine natural fresh air changes the atmosphere in the home and it definitely has health benefits.

Outdoor Influences & Interior Design: What Top Tips Do You Have?

These are some of the things that I am doing or plan to do in order to bring outdoor influences into my home. I welcome any top tips that you have to offer on anything from paint colours to furnishings. If you’ve created an outdoor look indoors please feel free to comment and tell me what you feel worked best.

Add Interest To Your Living Room

living room

Whether you live in a nineteenth-century Grade II listed thatched cottage or whether you live in a modern three-bed semi-detached house, the chances are that you want to put your own stamp on your interior. The living room of your humble abode will be the space that you and your brood will spend the most time in. You want this room to be cosy, full of warmth, natural light and conducive to making many years worth of happy memories.

At the same time, you want the decor to reflect your personality and be homely, without looking bland, boring and beige. It’s time to forget the magnolia walls, banish the laminate and instead look for something more interesting to bring excitement and uniqueness to your space. We’re quite geeky and like certain colours so we are looking at ways to make out living room our own. Here are some great tips we’ve come across.

Your Living Room Chimney Breast

If you are fortunate enough to have a fireplace in your living room (ours is gorgeous), it might be time to give it a facelift. That 1960s gas monstrosity will never come back into fashion, so seek out an alternative focal point for your room. For a beautiful and classy look why not consider the natural stone fireplaces that are available. You might fancy an ornate fireplace with the Tudor arches and the moulded spandrels, or perhaps you’d prefer a more minimalist stone design. These fireplaces are timeless and can add a touch of elegance and sophistication to your living space.

The chimney breast itself could be returned to its original brick facade by removing all of the plaster. A dusty job, it’s best to get the professionals in so that you don’t destroy any of the pointing. Alternatively, you could select some mock antique flock wallpaper or a mid-century inspired geometric pattern to compliment the furnishings already present in your room. 

Asides from the all-year-long interior design benefits, I have to say that a nice mantelpiece can be fabulous when it comes to Christmas decoration and garlands.

Art in the Living Room

It’s all too easy to follow the minimalist trend, but it’s not always the most practical. White walls, sheepskin rugs, and cream leather sofas look great in showrooms but unleash a couple of smaller human beings onto this crisp and sleek interior design, and handprints, dirt and blemishes soon emerge (especially when you have two boys!). Instead, give your room the lick of paint that you desire. Forget the trends and go for the damson walls, the lemon yellow hue or the striped wallpaper. Add some artwork to your walls to break up the living space. Your room needs to be full of the stuff that you enjoy looking at so don’t apologise for putting up your kids’ dried pasta pictures from the nursery, a Banksy canvas print or some photographs from your travels.

Choose Flooring Wisely

The trend of the past has been laminate flooring. It’s cheap, easy to clean and robust. However, it can also be a tad boring. If you are heading down the laminate route, go for the real oak variety with genuine grain and pattern. This feels more pleasant underfoot and is a fantastic alternative to original floorboards. I’ve made the mistake of going cheap and cheerful in the past and have always regretted it.

If you have original floorboards that are in good condition, you might want to polish them up, give them a coat of walnut stain and lay a shaggy and tactile rug to give your living space that air of elegance. 

For that cosier feel, you may prefer carpet. This can help your room retain heat, and a carpet will also give you more opportunities to explore your creative side. How about shunning the biscuit tight weave, and instead opting for a Scottish plaid pattern, a highly floral design or a Persian rug inspired print. Your flooring really can be the focal point of your entire room. I have my eye on a brightly coloured, ethically produced rug in one of our local shops which I know will lift the room brilliantly. 

Living Room Furniture

When you are looking for new furniture for your living room, don’t feel like you have to purchase the traditional three piece suite. Instead, take a more eclectic stance for your seating arrangement. Purchase a chaise longue from your local auction house, pick up that Scandinavian armchair that you spotted on eBay and then head to your sofa shop for a comfy leather recliner. Mixing these styles will create a more interesting and exciting interior for your living space.

If you adore all things vintage, scour the charity shops and keep an eye out for Danish nests of tables, G-Plan coffee tables, and retro footstools. For a fraction of the price of a three piece suite, you could end up with something a lot more exciting. Don’t forget to consider sites like Freecycle too.

Your living room should be the hub of your home. Think carefully before making changes and don’t be afraid to think outside of the box.