With wellbeing and sustainability at the top of our priority lists, biophilia (love of life) and biomimicry (imitation of nature in design) are perfectly attuned to a modern way of living. The term biophilic design—the concept of bringing nature into our internal spaces to boost our physical and mental wellbeing—was only coined in the 1960s, but it’s no new phenomenon, having been used in all sorts of structures going back to ancient times. 

Anything that’s suggested to create an inspiring atmosphere and boost creativity sits well with us, and if the next best thing to getting fresh air is to create a harmonious nature-inspired space inside that feels as good as being in the great outdoors, we’re all for it. While you don’t have to go the whole hog and grow yourself a living wall (though don’t let us stop you), there are many simpler ways to bring the outside in for both a calming and energizing ambience. As spring beckons, let us share with you our favorite methods for curating that indoor/outdoor living.

 

Leafy Greens

Perhaps the most obvious step for creating an outdoorsy atmosphere inside, is to invest in some leafy plants. From flowers to ferns and succulents, cacti to terrariums and even trees (yes, indoor trees), real plants will not only look good but they have the added benefit of purifying the air. If you’re lacking in natural light, or just fancy a low maintenance alternative, look to faux plants for that placebo effect and a splash of color. Obviously, depending on the size of your space, different styles of plant will be more appropriate, however, our faux fiddle trees come in a range of sizes from miniature to extra large, meaning that there will be an option for you whatever your space. Another nice way to showcase your flowers and plants is to make gardens of your windowsills; a few planters here and there are perfectly placed to catch the sunshine and connect the inside to the view outside.

Crockery on a dining table with leafy patterns.
A collage of leafy and floral-patterned homeware.

 

Botanical Motifs

A little lateral thinking never goes amiss; aside from literal plants, think to leafy patterns to decorate everything from your textiles to your furniture and home décor. Not only leaves, but florals, animal prints and waves are wonderful ways to catch that wilderness feeling. Our Primula Pillow Cover is just one example from our collection of floral embroidery, while the Elemeri Lampshades are an ode to one of Britain’s favorite houseplants: the fern. Our Daphne Mirror takes the mythical laurel wreath motif and wraps it around a reflective pane of glass for a whimsical touch to your walls.

 

Organic Shapes

From printed patterns to sculpted shapes, it’s not only what’s on your décor, but also the form of the pieces themselves. Nature is the basis of so many designs—from the concentric circles found in wood grains to the curves of cloud clusters and undulating waves, you would be hard pressed to find a shape that had not been inspired by something that grows or lives on earth. Soft curves and scalloped edges are a fool proof way to mimic nature in your homeware; take our rounded Filippo Sofa or our Talasa Tray with its wavelike edge (and name, which means ‘wave’ in Bosnian). 

A rattan bar stool in a kitchen.
A vignette of a nature-inspired painting in a rust and moss green room.

 

Natural Materials

For a more literal borrowing from the outdoors, choose furniture crafted from nature’s own materials. Wood and rattan create an air of warmth. while stone, travertine and marble bring a cool and contemporary edge. You can soften these elements with silk, wool, cotton and linen that feature in many of the textiles from our collection, before decorating further with glossy ceramics fired from clay. We also house lookalike materials—when it came to designing our Minshan Collection, for example, we loved the appearance of bamboo, but it’s a difficult material to work with due to its tendency to warp. We believe your precious décor deserves a sturdier foundation than that, so our artisans instead used turned wood to mimic the style.

 

Verdant Hues

The biggest draw of the English countryside is the rolling hills of endless green, so why not infuse this lush hue into your interiors? There are so many variations of the color, from the muted tones of our Gray Green—found on our Longshan Pillow Covers—to the bright shade of Emerald that saturates many of our velvet pieces. Beyond the grassy fields and leafy trees, look to the blues of the seas and skies along with warm earth tones. Many of the shades from our OKA color palette fall into these botanical categories, from Sapphire and Aqua to Mustard, Dijon and Camel. A combination of these warm and cool tones will help to create a serene ambience. 

A wavy mirror paired with nature-inspired decorative accessories.
Nature-inspired accessories collage.

 

Indoor/Outdoor Pieces

There’s nothing better than pieces with multiple functions, such as our indoor/outdoor furniture and décor. Though you may imagine a piece of furniture that’s crafted for outdoor use to lack the frills and interest of indoor alternatives, or outdoor textiles to be rough or plasticky, that needn’t be the case. In our collection, you’ll find evidence to the contrary, from synthetic rattan sofas that offer a laid-back appearance (especially when decorated with patterned pillows) to our exciting Skala Collection, which is made from recycled plastic bottles that gives the appearance of luxury sisal while being incredibly soft to the touch. These hybrid pieces can be placed inside or out, as the mood takes you. You could also use our planters, such as the Chasca and the Georgia, in your sitting room or dining room to bring that botanical feel indoors. 

 

Arrange Wisely

Beyond the pieces themselves, where you choose to place your furniture can make all the difference in creating that easy breezy ambience inside. You can’t move your windows, but you can move your furniture—so, if your room has windows, consider making them a focal point by placing a sofa or console table beneath the sill, or with shelving to either side. Strategic placement has a lot of impact, not only to frame views but also to avoid cluttered layouts and enhance air flow. You can also maximize on the natural light by hanging mirrors opposite your windows. If, on the other hand, you’re lacking windows, artwork depicting untamed seas, blushing skies and blossoming landscapes can be a wonderful way to create a sense of the wild.