10 Decorating tips to bring the garden feel inside and give your interiors the vitality and beauty of nature!
What do you love most about a beautiful garden?
The lovely floral booms?
The lush green foliage?
The riot of gorgeous colors?
The fragrant scents and peaceful meandering?
There are so many sights, sounds, and scents to enjoy in a charming garden no matter how small or grand! Spending time among nature revitalizes the spirit and soothes stress. Really, a garden is the perfect inspiration for home decor when we want our home to be a refuge.
Whatever you love most about a garden bring that inside!
As famous designer Alexandra Stoddard writes,
"The integration of nature with our interior environment as well as our inner world is the keystone of philosophies for wise living throughout history. Visualize yourself as a gardener, and your rooms as your gardens. Let gardens in bloom be your metaphor for the decoration of your house. Acquire as a point of view freshness, light, energy, color, and natural beauty."
So how can we integrate nature with our interior decor? How do we bring in the "freshness, light, energy, color, and natural beauty" of the garden? Here are my top ten tips to do just that!
Tips to Bring the Garden Feel Inside:
No. 1 Botanical Patterns
Let's start with the obvious first. Choose fabrics, wallpaper, and accessories with botanical themes. There are such a wide variety of botanical styles available you can find a floral or leafy pattern to suit your personal tastes. For more on floral decor read this post.
No. 2 Fresh Flowers & House Plants
Add fresh flowers and house plants to your rooms. You don't need to go crazy and create a conservatory if that is not your style, but add one or two plants to a room and see the difference they make. House plants bring in energy and color, and they improve the air quality in your house and literally make rooms feel fresher. If you weren't born with a green thumb, try aloes, majesty or kentia palms, jade plants, or pothos.
I love to scatter small bouquets of fresh cut flowers throughout my home using simple bud vases and a couple of stems. My dining room table frequently hosts a more elaborate arrangement. Artificial or silk flowers are totally acceptable as well although you won't enjoy the same scents and energy from the real thing.
No. 3 Fauna
The garden is not just full of plants but also animal life. Add decor and fabrics with insects like bees and butterflies or cute woodland animal motifs. Animal print fabrics like leopard spots or tiger stripes are always chic in small doses.
Taxidermy is also an option although I am not a fan. It is certainly a historic decor staple, but for me dead preserved animals do not add the vitality I associate with gardens. I guess I can't get beyond the dead part no matter how beautiful their fur or feathers.
No. 4 Garden Accessories
One of my favorite ways to bring a garden feel inside is to add decor and accessories we associate with a garden like wicker, garden stools, lanterns, and even fountains. These elements can be easy to incorporate and highly functional too!
Pro tip: bring wicker furniture indoors! Your room will instantly feel like a solarium or porch.
No. 5 Trellis
When I think about the most charming and captivating gardens I've enjoyed, they have all incorporated some type of trellis feature with vines or trees climbing the structure. Trellis patterns abound in fabric designs and can easily be incorporated on upholstery, carpetry, or drapery.
If you want to channel Elise de Wolfe, you can design an entire room with wooden trellis walls and fully embrace the garden inside!
No. 6 Natural Patterns and Textures
Wood grain, sisal, stone, rattan, bamboo, and shells are wonderful materials to add to your interior decor to bring the garden feel inside. You can find imitation prints in these patterns or seek out furnishings and finishes made from them.
I love furniture with exotic wood grain finishes like flame mahogany or surfaces done with a faux bois finish to imitate the beauty of wood's grain and texture.
No. 7 Energy
A garden always feels so vital and full of energy, so one of the best ways to channel nature in your interior environment is to try and recreate that vitality. We associate vibrant colors, especially green, with active energy, so consider painting your walls in bright invigorating colors.
Pro tip: don't neglect your ceiling! Paint it a pale blue to mimic the sky on a sunny day.
No. 9 Landscape Art
Decorate your walls with murals and landscapes that transport you to the garden. Choose scenes that remind you of your favorite outdoor locations or abstractions that feel bright and airy. Still life paintings of floral bouquets are also a good idea.
For a budget friendly option, head to your local botanical garden with a camera in tow and start photographing. Have your creations blown up and printed for personal, meaningful art.
No. 10 Organic Lines
A consistent element I see in every room that has a garden feel, is organic, curving lines. This is a subtle way to embrace nature inside, but it also is wonderful for softening linear architecture and the box like nature of most of our rooms. Think scallop edging, rounded corners, cabriole legs, trailing vine patterns, and softly draping curtains.
Pro tip: choose sofas and chairs with arched backs.
Now that we have discussed decorating tips to bring the garden feel inside, I want to mention two significant design concepts that help in the integration of nature and the interior, but are usually more costly and perhaps complicated to achieve.
First of all, consider the way your house connects with the landscape outside via your doors and windows.
- Do your doors and windows make nature accessible?
- Do they let in natural light?
- What is the view like outside your window?
- Does it beckon you to gaze out?
- Do your window treatments enhance or obscure the view?
- Does your furniture placement facilitate gazing out?
In considering the relationship between your house and nature, you may find simple ways to enhance the connection like changing your curtains so you can see out better or more complicated alterations might be needed. For instance, you may be inspired to change the landscaping outside your home by planting more flowers and seasonal color or enhancing your outdoor living spaces, so that your view is captivating.
Additionally, don't underestimate the power of the quality, size, and position of your windows. They are literally your eyes to the outside world and the primary source of natural light. Windows transform closed, insular structures into light filled vibrant spaces. We recently updated our single-pane 60 year old windows to double-pane UV filtering modern windows, and I cannot tell you how dramatic the impact has been.
Secondly, consider the sustainability of your house and its furnishings. Have you made eco-friendly energy efficient upgrades like LED light bulbs? Are you using natural, renewable materials for linens, carpeting, upholstery, etc.?
Yes, choosing sustainable and eco-friendly products for your home is a subtle way to connect your interiors with nature, but it is a vital one. For more on sustainable decorating tips read this.
I hope this post inspires you to bring the garden inside! Decorate with green...add beautiful house plants...bring in floral upholstery and landscape art. Above all get creative and adapt your favorite features of a garden to the interior!
My Picks for Garden Themed Furnishings & Decor:
Wall Decor & Art