How to Incorporate Nature in Design

As frigid temperatures and winter weather advisories hit much of the country, many of us are pining for spring weather. While we wait for mother nature to transition to a new season, we can start to bring the outside influences of nature into our homes. And we don’t just mean greenery, although that can be a beautiful addition to a home’s décor. We’re referring to unique materials with texture that can become a focal point in an indoor or outdoor space.

Nature’s influence is something that interior designers have been talking about for a couple of years. More people are looking to extend their living spaces to the outdoors by incorporating four season rooms, screened porches, sunrooms, decks and patios. Instead of traditional outdoor furnishings that use materials such as metals, pretreated woods, or plastics we’re seeing more elements of nature being used in these spaces.

What do we mean by elements of nature or nature’s influence?

We mean furniture with features like:

  1. Macramé to create a relaxed yet outdoorsy feel
  2. Wicker (not your Golden Girl’s era seating) to tie in a woven textured effect with a variety of pliable, natural or synthetic plant materials
  3. Rattan for a more sophisticated look with a modern edge


To help soften up the look of these materials and increase the comfort level, you may choose to upholster the backs, sides or seats of chairs, sofas, and sectionals. Removeable cushions are also an option for households with small children or pets.

Gone are the days of  one-size-fits-all performance fabrics. These days, performance fabrics don’t just mean durable, they are beautiful textiles offered in a variety of design options. Consider brightly colored fabrications in a solid or pattern for a striking look. Or select muted tones to let the surrounding scenery take center stage. And if you prefer a minimalist design, you could just stick with a bare look.

Care is still important even with performance fabrics and weather resistant synthetic materials. Ensure you protect your furniture investments with covers and bring them inside in cases of extreme weather.

Have you incorporated any of these materials into your home?

View a 1-minute Facebook video for more on the topic.

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