Connect Your Home to Nature

From creating outdoor living spaces to bringing nature inside, use these 12 tips to tie your home to the cycle of the seasons.


| March/April 2015



beeswax candle

Craft unique home decor, such as these seashell tealight candles from Garden Therapy (gardentherapy.ca), but bringing elements of nature inside.

Photo by Stephanie Rose

As nature enthusiasts, many of us would like to bring the peaceful feeling of the outdoors into our living spaces. Those first spring days—when it’s warm enough to fling open the windows and let in warm breezes, when the songs of robins and the scent of lilacs fill the air—are some of the happiest times of the year. How can we bring that elated feeling into our homes year-round? Try these ideas for keeping your home in harmony with the seasons every day of the year.

Decorate with nature. A former colleague of mine had a great habit: She put a large vase on her dining room table, and every morning when she walked her dog, she found something in nature to put in the vase. In winter, it might be bare branches or sprigs from an evergreen. In summer, it might be wildflowers from a field near her home or a bundle of herbs from her front-yard garden. Through bringing a daily piece of nature inside, she was tying her home to the changing of the seasons day by day, creating a visual reminder of a moment of calm, and adding a layer of mindfulness and appreciation to her morning walks.

Create a rotating nature gallery. Both pressed botanicals and leaf/flower prints are incredibly easy to make: Collect beautiful leaves, wildflower blooms, bits of seaweed or other botanical material, then either press it (you can buy an inexpensive press online or at craft stores, or simply press them between heavy books) or use it to make lovely prints with colorful paints (find instructions by visiting Remodelista and searching “leaf prints”). Display your items in frames (glass “floating frames” are particularly lovely for pressed botanicals); clipped on a string; or simply taped to the wall. As the seasons change, discard your seasonal art and make some anew. This makes a good excuse for a nature walk and craft project multiple times a year.

Use textiles to transform your home with the seasons. While overhauling our homes’ décor for every season may sound difficult, using relatively affordable, easy-to-store textiles can transform the feel of our rooms to help them match the season outside. Over time, build up a collection of mix-and-match, swappable textiles, including: two sets of window treatments, one light and sheer, one thick and warm; two or three sets of slipcovers for throw pillows—think red cable knit for winter, blue linen for spring and brightly patterned organic cotton for summer; a collection of warm throw blankets for winter; and some light, brightly colored or white fabrics you can drape over side tables or sofa backs in warmer weather. When winter hits, warm up your living space by hanging your heavy drapes and decorating with warm and useful throw blankets. When summer comes around, swap the heavy fabrics with light, gauzy ad bright options to make your space feel airier.

Bring in the plants. Houseplants have been proven to make us healthier and happier in numerous ways. There are few easier ways to make our homes feel alive and vibrant than being surrounded by plant life. Several options are easy to keep alive even for those with black thumbs. Read Reduce Indoor Air Pollution with Houseplants for a list of great houseplants, information on houseplant health and more.

Scent for the season. Delightful scents throughout our homes welcome us when we return from a busy day and have an effect on our moods. Use seasonal scents to tie your home to what’s going on outside—in winter, use warming spices such as cinnamon and anise; in spring, try floral scents such as peony, geranium, jasmine or ylang ylang; in summer, try basil, mint or citrus. You can make your own air freshener or room diffuser to disperse scents around your home, or make your own potpourri to stash in bowls around the house (sprinkle potpourri with essential oils periodically to refresh its scent) or to simmer on the stovetop during winter. Visit our Seasonal Scents collection page for instructions.





elderberry, echinacea, bee hive

MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

Feb. 17-18, 2018
Belton, Texas

Sit in on dozens of practical workshops from the leading authorities on Natural Health, Organic Gardening, Real Food and more!

LEARN MORE