Bringing the outside in.

If there has ever been a time when we value our homes and the space we live in, I’d say it’s now. For the past few months, we have been asked to stay home. We have spent more time than ever working, learning, and staying safe…at home. It has made us realize that there are spaces that we have neglected in this place we call home. Spaces that just don’t bring us joy. That there is work to be done, in our homes.

Many of us were forced to create “make-shift” offices as we pivoted to a new work from home experience. Now that we’ve settled in to our new routines, and what will likely be a version of our “new normal”, perhaps it’s time to take another look at those spaces in your home that don’t bring you joy, and give them a little love. My interior design philosophy is that we aren’t just creating pretty rooms, we are designing functional spaces that enhance your well being and they just happen to look amazing.

How to bring more joy to the interior design of your home:

I can’t overlook the fact that this recent pandemic has also shown us how much we long for outdoor spaces. Here in New Hampshire, the weather has not been entirely cooperative, yet as soon as we were told we had to stay-at-home, we all ran for the beaches, lakes, mountains, and trails. Streets were (and still are) literally crawling with people walking dogs and families walking or biking together, exploring parts of their towns that they hadn’t before, because they didn’t have the time. The truth is, nature makes us feel good. All of natures elements improve our health and well-being in more ways than you can imagine.

As a designer, I have always sought to incorporate nature’s elements – wood, air, water, earth, metal –  into my designs and create harmony with the natural setting that surrounds us. It’s easier than you might think.

design with nature

I always start my design process by getting to know you and the places that bring you the most happiness. It could be where you spent your honeymoon, where you spend your free time, where you grew up, or it could be the very place you’ve decided to settle in and call home.

Understanding what places on earth bring you happiness is the perfect starting point for design. Read on to learn how you can bring the element of earth, and the outdoor places you love, into your home design creating a harmony between indoor & out.

Beach
Where I often find inspiration - the beach.

#1 – Nature inspired color palette

 Sounds like a no-brainer, right? Well, it kind of is!  It can be as simple as choosing the color palette that transports you back to nature. Deep greens found in trees, sunny yellows and bright blues that feel like the great expanse of water and sky. A few of my go-to nature inspired paint colors are from the Benjamin Moore Affinity collection. Don’t feel limited to painting just the walls. Look to the ceiling too, or go bold with your cabinet color. .

Benjamin Moore paint colors

There are endless ways to add natures color to your décor. If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, try bringing some color to your backsplash or bathroom tile. Or add a floral wallpaper to an accent wall.

Not sure you’re ready to commit? Give a neutral palette a little more pizazz with colorful pillows, throws and rugs (hint: check out our very own selection at our Joyful Home shop).

#2 – Art that transports you to your favorite place

Artwork interior design

Selecting artwork can feel overwhelming. The possibilities are endless, right? I encourage you to step away from the big-box stores and cookie-cutter artwork and select something with a little more meaning to you.

To narrow down your choices a bit, focus on the places that you love. A large-scale ocean-inspired piece of art may be just what you need to create a sense of calm in your home. Images of tall pines can help you feel grounded in your space. A beautiful landscape of the place you feel happiest, will be a daily reminder to be happy.

One of my favorite nature artists is Paul-Emile Rioux, whose artwork I used in this recent project. 

I also adore Petro Koublis, whose water in the tundra image I used in this project. 

For more inspiration, you can visit Petro’s website here.

Interior Design

#3 – Play with plants

The easiest way to bring the outside in, is to add plants to your décor. Using live plants will instantly give your home a more natural feel. Go big with a large potted plant, or layer smaller sized plants into your shelves or fireplace mantle.

Plants interior design
Plant decor

Don’t have a green thumb? That’s ok too. You’d be surprised at the beauty and quality of faux botanicals available today. (Don’t believe me? Check out my online shop).

While we are the first to admit that nothing compares to the real deal, we know that sometimes it’s harder than it looks to keep those beauties alive. Faux botanicals marry the best of visual and textural beauty without the maintenance.

I encourage you to give nature inspired interior design a whirl. Just as in nature, the possibilities are endless.

I’ve always been a nature lover. Exploring outdoor spaces brings me an overwhelming sense of joy. It’s where I feel most grounded. Lately it seems that our dear Mother Earth is telling us we need to show her a little respect, give her a little more love.

I’ve made it my mission to incorporate sustainable products into my interior design projects because I feel it’s an important step toward preserving our earth. In doing so, I wanted to share these products with you!

Our new studio shop, located in downtown Exeter, NH and online, features products that are high-quality and sustainable. I’ve selected a few favorites this month that you can use to incorporate earths elements into your interior design. These beautiful throws from Seek and Swoon are made of recycled yarn. Everything is made right here in the USA at their family owned knitting mill. 

 

Seek and Swoon adventure throw

Here’s to ALL you adventurers, wanderers, travelers and seekers of new and inspiring places. The Adventure Throw is for you.

Designed in Portland, Oregon. Made in the USA.

Click here to purchase.

The Reika Throw (“wander” in Icelandic) is minimalistic in design but rich in tone and style — which is exactly how we’d describe Iceland. 

Click here to purchase.

Seek and Swoon throw

A portion of each sale goes to our Raise A Hand initiative that gives to charities who serve the underserved or voiceless populations.

More selections are available at our Joyful Home shop. Check us out online!