Plants give a natural, organic touch to a modern room.
Photo by Mirage floors at Flickr.com
One of the challenges of interior designing is to incorporate outdoor elements into interior rooms. It’s easy enough when a property is located away from the city and is surrounded by vegetation, near the outback, or at least has a wide yard. If the property is smack within an urban center though, it could be more challenging.
The easiest way to go about this is to bring in potted plants inside the house. The kinds of plants you can grow indoors will depend on the design or theme of the house, and most importantly the shrubbery’s size. If there is plenty of floor space then you can place large pots with reasonably-sized palms or any tall shrub in a corner, in front of a tall window, a lonely corner in the living room, or at the end of a hallway.
Tall plants can also serve as room dividers. You don’t need a row of potted plants to set the delineations too. By placing a potted plant and a table at the center of a wide room, you’ll have effectively cut the room into two separate spaces. You’ll have done two things simultaneously: brought in a touch of nature and optimized the space you have.
Photo by ms sdb at Flickr.com
Photo by ooh_food at Flickr.com
Small, potted plants are ideal for tiny apartments and office spaces. They don’t occupy much space. You can put them almost anywhere: on the kitchen counter, on window sills, even in a shelf or on top of the desk. They last longer than cut flowers kept in vases, although it wouldn’t hurt to add a bit of color in your rooms too.
Photo by Mink at Flickr.com
Keeping plants indoors require some upkeep. Besides watering the plants, you’ll also have to clean up fallen leaves and soil escaping through the bottom of the pot. So, if you don’t want to deal with that, you can grow some plants in a flower box hanging right outside the window. It will be the perfect solution, not to mention give the room a homey feel. Of course, the blooms must be visible through the window. Just think, you can keep the window open and allow the fragrance to naturally permeate through the room.
Photo by Jess Pac at Flickr.com
Another clever idea is to grow herbs in your kitchen. Have small pots of basil, cilantro, or mint and place them on the window sill or on the open shelves. They’ll be out of the way there, but also accessible and visible.
Photo by RachelEllen at Flickr.com
Many houses have greenhouses attached to the main house. They are sometimes accessible through the kitchen, den, or the sun room, among others. Having a greenhouse will solve your needs to bring the outdoors indoors.
Designing a Room with an Organic Feel
Let’s suppose a homeowner is frequently out of town and would be away for more than a week, at times. Growing plants at home would be impractical because there’s a possibility that the plants will be neglected and eventually die. For situations that won’t permit the residents to bring in live plants, there are many alternatives that interior designers can do.
If the owners are not averse to having fake plants and flowers in the house, these should be the perfect solution to this problem. There are fake flowers that are crafted beautifully using high-quality materials that they almost look real. There’s no need for upkeep too. They may cost a pretty penny, but considering they will never wilt, they can be worth the money (it all depends on perspective). With constant dusting, these artificial plants can brighten up any room all year round.
You don’t have to limit yourself to live foliage though. There are other creative ways to make your rooms look more in touch with nature.
For example, you can hang nature-themed paintings in the room. You can adopt an organic color palette consisting of browns, greens, whites, splashed with a bit of color here and there. Furniture made of wood, bamboo, and rattan will contribute to the overall theme. There are also many nature-themed decorations and room accents that you can buy in department stores and home depots. Ceramics, wallpaper, baskets, embroidered pillow cases and tapestries, green rugs resembling grass—there are so many possibilities if you let your creativity take over.
Hand-painted eggs or stones – Photo by nuanc at Flickr.com
Crocheted flower vases. – Photo by TM – the crocheteer! at Flickr.com
Nature-themed paintings – Photo by Mirage floors at Flickr.com
There are many ways to bring nature indoors, and not just by literally bringing in plants. All it takes is creativity, and keeping an eye out for ideas you can do at home.
Tina Madsen is a design enthusiast who brings her passion for modern décor and writing to her role as the NowModern.com blogger. She also specializes in turning small living areas into spacious social hubs with bar stools and counter stools.
*This is a guest post. All comments expressed are that of the author’s and not necessarily shared by me.