Nature-Inspired Interior Trends

Nature has always inspired design of every kind, but even more so throughout the last two years, as we increasingly sought comfort, simplicity and a slower pace in the face of a frantic, pandemic-fuelled world outside. Indeed, our connection to nature has taken on new meaning, not just as a creative outlet but an everyday escape.    By using a natural palette of colours and materials, and introducing more plants into our homes, we have progressively embraced nature between our own four walls – a trend that will I am happy to say will continue to dominate interiors this year and beyond. Here are just a few ways nature is finding its way inside.

Colour:

This is the year of the nature-inspired colour palette, with the 2022 colour of the year being a muted or mossy green, as chosen seemingly in sync by a number of the world’s leading colour authorities including Benjamin Moore, Behr, Sherwin-Williams and Dulux. The selection was largely inspired by a desire to connect with nature, gain awareness of self and surroundings, and need for revival and rejuvenation. Green hits all those notes and more, as a multi-faceted hue ranging from pale and fresh, to rich and organic – truly the “new neutral” in many respects.  I have always adored working with green and to me green acts as a perfect neutral backdrop in my interiors.  You’ll find greens now being paired with other earth-inspired, complementary hues, such as an array of beiges and browns, warm blues and subtle greys.

Materials:

We’re all looking to enhance our connection with nature as we spend more time indoors than ever before. This has sparked a rebirth in natural materials, such as bamboo, heavy grass, cloth wallcoverings and fabric upholstery with a nod to botanical 

inspired motifs; stoneware, terracotta, marble and travertine, which are being used in backsplashes and bathtubs; and wood furniture and ornamental objects that bring their outdoor origins into our homes and lives. These materials’ raw, porous, imperfect nature adds depth, soul and visual fascination, while also emulating the peaceful, restorative ambiance of nature. This desire to reconnect with nature has inspired interest in huge potted trees in the home, but short of that, brown-hued, sculptural and curved furniture, including earthy tones and natural elements, are more at the forefront.

Plants:

While houseplants are nothing new, they have certainly enjoyed a major revival in recent years, and this trend is only growing (pardon the pun!) as we increasingly gain awareness of their physical, mental and environmental benefits. And purely from an aesthetic perspective, plants bring rich colour and texture into our homes, and are arguably the most basic but critical accessory as part of this look. Choose pleasing pottery that makes a statement in terms of shape and colour, and complements your home’s broader style. Opt for plants that will thrive in this environment – both the placement in the home (consider access to natural light) and your own green thumb. There are lots of low-maintenance plants, cacti and succulents that require minimal care, or none at all if you choose one of the fabulous fakes available on the market. Place plants among your other accessories, including on tabletops, windowsills, the fireplace mantel, bookcases and shelves.

A well-decorated home has aesthetic continuity and unity throughout, but the theme is where many people find themselves utterly lost. Luckily, if you’re leaning into the nature trend, your muse can be found right outside your front door. So, strap on your comfortable walking shoes and venture into the outdoors, making a mental note of your surroundings. Or better yet, snap some photos and add them to your “inspiration board.” Then, use this as your reference point when choosing everything from colours and materials, to those final finishing touches. And when in doubt, let nature be your guide. If it can be found in the great outdoors, then it can also find a place in your home.

Lisa Kooistra is the Creative Director and Principal Designer for Lisa Kooistra Design.  

This multi-disciplinary sought after GTA design firm has become known for creating exceptional well curated interiors and custom builds. www.lkdesigns.ca @lisakooistradesigns