From Hygge to boho-chic to naturalism, many of today’s interior design trends have one thing in common: they incorporate elements of natural home decor. Learn more about natural interior design and how to create a space that brings the outdoors in with this guide.
What Is Natural Interior Design?
Natural interior design — also known as organic interior design or biophilic design — creates an effortless flow from the outdoors into your home. As the name suggests, natural home decor incorporates the hues, materials, and textures you’d find in the great outdoors. This increasingly popular design style also emphasizes clean, organic lines to create a space that mirrors the beauty of your outdoor environment.
What You’ll Need to Get The Look
Much like hygge-inspired interiors, natural interior design is achieved by incorporating light neutrals with hues pulled straight from the outdoors. Natural interior design colorways favor lush greens, wood browns, stone greys, and light neutrals. But, you’ll want to take a cue from your natural surroundings to create the feeling of a seamless transition. Dessert dwellers may find color palette inspiration in rich earthy tones and lean towards earthy natural home decor. Those living beachside may want to opt for sandy khakis, muted ocean blues, or add touches of vibrant sea glass.
As you select your color palette, remember that true blacks and stark whites aren’t typically found in nature. Be mindful of undertones and opt for either cool or warm shades of your basic neutrals. While you can use both warm and cool undertones in the same area, the dominant undertone will influence how your room feels. Warmer undertones and hues will make a space feel more welcoming, while cool colors can create a sleek soothing space. Before you get started, determine whether you’re aiming for an earthy aesthetic room or capturing the cool tones of a Pacific Northwest forest.
This style heavily relies on natural or stained wood elements that you can incorporate through furniture— like dining tables, desks, credenzas, bookcases, and coffee tables. Consider your environment and select wood hues that best match your outdoor surroundings. Variety is abundant in nature, so don’t be afraid to mix and match light woods (like bamboo and beech) with dark, rich woods (think walnut or mahogany).
In addition to furniture items, you can incorporate wood into decor and wall hangings. In search of natural living room ideas? An unfinished shiplap wall (or a renter-friendly peel and stick version) and nature-inspired art in wooden picture frames are great places to start.
Mix and match natural textiles to create a harmonious, balanced space. Unbleached cotton, linen, and wool are great options for bedding and throws. Jute or faux animal skin rugs add a pop of texture and interest underfoot and can tie your space together.
Consider leather for your lounge seating. A cozy leather chair, couches, or chaise can serve as a beautiful focal point and add a touch of luxury without being overly fussy. Leather can be incorporated in a variety of spaces throughout your home and a leather headboard can balance softness in the bedroom.
Curved lines are most common in nature — and our brains subconsciously prefer them. Take a cue from the great outdoors and incorporate smooth, organic lines into your space. Adorning your house with curved design elements (whether it be a rounded rug, mirror, headboard, or dresser) helps your space look well-balanced and can make you feel more at peace.
Woven materials will evoke a natural, outdoorsy look. Instantly add texture and interest to your space with small woven accents. Turn to grasscloth wallpaper, wicker baskets, knit blankets, knit pillows, or woven rugs. Rattan and wicker decor accents can be incorporated and pair up nicely with various design styles — from contemporary to traditional.
Unfinished and Reclaimed Materials
Variations and irregularities create interest — and they’re ever-present in nature. Embrace unfinished woods and stonework. Look for furniture items that incorporate rough woods or natural edging to mimic what you’d find in the great outdoors.
In addition to unfinished elements, opt for reclaimed materials. Reclaimed finds are not only sustainable (and often more affordable) but can make a stunning statement. Reclaimed wood, brick, and stone are great ways to bring nature inside and achieve a one-of-a-kind look.
Lots of Light
Use decorative mirrors to reflect and enhance natural light. Consider using gauzier, natural fabrics for your window dressings to allow light to flow in while still enjoying privacy.
For additional lighting, strategically place standing and table lamps to create a warm and sunny feel in every room.
Plants and Greenery
One of the easiest ways to bring nature into your home? Houseplants — real or faux. Get creative with your plant placement by dotting your bookshelves, end tables, entry tables, and even the tops of your cabinets with faux plants. Placement is key so be mindful not to overcrowd!
Create a Serene, Nature-Inspired Space with CORT
Ready to add a natural touch to your home? With the help of CORT, you’ll be able to enjoy Furniture On Your Terms™. Design your own furniture and decor subscription package that’s custom-tailored to your space and style. Find natural interior design-inspired furniture and decor today by browsing CORT’s selection of high-quality furniture, decor, and housewares online or in-store at your local CORT Furniture Rental showroom.