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These tips will bring the outdoors into your indoors space

Thursday May 7 2020

HOME COMFORT

Plants add life to a home and evoke the emotion of love. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

MARGARET MUTHEE
By MARGARET MUTHEE
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With the restriction on travel across the country, the imposed curfew as well as more people working from home, one thing is for sure - we are spending more time indoors.

The outdoor is appealing and gives us a chance to experience nature. A glimpse at outdoor elements such as the sun, the sky, plants and even soil is refreshing and invigorating.

Since you may not be able to spend as much time outside as you’d like, there are a few ideas that can help bring the outdoors into your space.

MaryMayah Kang’ara, an interior designer based in Nairobi, says that nature has a way of introducing tranquility, and she gives a few ideas that can help you achieve this in your home.

Bring in the plants

Adding nature to your space is a great way to create an outside feel into your home. Plants add life to a home and evoke the emotion of love.

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Besides their aesthetic appeal, they make you responsible since you have to take care of them if you want them to thrive.

If worried about the choice of plants and where to place them, there are lots of options available for you.

“You can choose to have a live plant or an artificial plant. I love the artificial sunflower for the indoors. For live plants, succulent ones are perfect, as they take up little space,” Kang’ara explains, adding that you need not worry about space either, since you can place the plants on the window sill or on kitchen counters.

“Plants are easy to care for as all they mostly need is watering; however, a few may need more care, including the use of pesticides,” adds the designer, warning against keeping too many plants indoors.

“You do not want to have too many indoor plants in a small space due to air circulation. With this in mind, plants should be placed close to the windows.”

Incorporate natural textures

Besides adding plants, you can incorporate a great natural feel to any space by bringing in natural fabrics and textures.

Artificial grass carpet, treated wood and stone and an artificial water fall are some of the things that can be added into a space to give an outdoor feel.

Baskets, pots and other creative objects made of natural elements can be added to give a natural, earthy feel to your home.

Different pieces of art can be combined to achieve aesthetic value, hence the need of an interior designer to design your space.

You could go a step further and go for fabrics with natural colours to make your space feel homelier.

“Whether its fabrics used as throw blankets, the use of rugs or lampshades, an interior designer can advise on the use and placing depending on the space available and the desired effect.”

Open the windows

You can never have enough of fresh air. Opening windows is a great way to bring in the much needed fresh air into your space.

“Opening the windows lets in natural light. To maximise on this, use light fabric curtains and wall colours that allow light to bounce off into the room,” says the interior designer, noting that some colours can dull a place while others can brighten it.

“Depending on the space and the position of the window, different kinds of curtains would will work.”

Heighten your senses with outdoor elements

“Making your space enticing with outdoor elements will make you want to be home more and will reduce the stress levels associated with the season we are in,” Kang’ara says.

The interior designer further notes that floral pot pourri can be used to stimulate or soothe the senses. Simply place it in different rooms

Use outdoor colours

Whether it’s on the wall, window covering and beddings or on other pieces of furniture, use of colours inspired by nature will lend your home an outdoor feel.

Green is a great colour because it reminds you of the outdoors while blue reminds you of the sky and water, while yellow is as cheery and as bright as the sun. These colours are great because they add life into your space and have a warm and calming effect.

Use elements found in nature to decorate

There are many ways of merging natural elements with your personal style as you decorate.

For instance, you can use rocks, shells and natural wood to add the outdoor feel. Natural wood furniture for instance will give an antique feel to your space while bricks can be used to create a focal point to a space or to showcase certain textures.

If these are not accessible, photographs of natural elements can be used to create a similar effect. Certain kinds of wall paper evoke different feelings and keep the mind engaged.

Use of natural flooring

Natural floors evoke warmth in a home. Instead of strictly keeping with man-made materials, elements such as wood or bamboo are more appealing if you want to experience an outdoor feel.

Go for wooden floors, natural stone tiles, laminate floors and a 3D floor. Go on, get started.

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