Easy ways to bring nature into your home

We’ve just said goodbye to a long, hot summer. Now it’s time to make winter just as memorable - for being the cosiest, not the coldest! This winter, create an indoor sanctuary you’ll never want to leave by bringing the outdoors in. These 10 ideas help you do just that – green thumb or brown.

 

1. Fill fresh fruit bowls

Add colour to the grey of dreary days with a vibrant, abundant fruit bowl. It’ll look good and doubles as a reminder to eat well in winter. Fruit that’s at its peak in autumn and winter includes apples, tangelos, oranges, guava, pears, plums, pomegranates, quince and kiwifruit. Stylists love to use matching fruit in a bowl for maximum impact.

2. You can’t go past flowers

Fresh flowers equal an instant pick-me-up. Buy a small posy to keep in the hallway so you are greeted by beauty when you enter the door. Check out the local farmers’ markets for less costly bunches of the season’s best.

3. Herbs are handy (and delicious)

Winter is made for soups and stews – and they’re always made tastier with fresh herbs. Set up a winter windowsill herb garden. “Rosemary, thyme and oregano do well all year round,” says Kathryn Bafile, owner of Smarty Plants seedlings for kids. All you need is a container, good drainage and quality potting mix.

4. Get crafty

Autumn and winter offer rich red and earthy tones to leaves, so use them to get creative. If you’re a parent, spend time with your kids hunting and gathering beautiful leaves that you can stick or trace on paper. Collect the prettiest leaves you can find and start a collection on a cork board that you can all admire.   

5. The ‘green house’ effect

Not just a pretty space, a home with indoor plants can make you feel better. A study at Washington State University found participants who were in the presence of plants, compared to those who weren’t, reported feeling less stressed. Easy indoor plants to care for include Peace Lily (all they need is shade and a weekly water), Snake Plant (loves low light and humid conditions, while helping filter out air pollutants) and Zanzibar Gem, which practically thrives on neglect! “This exciting newcomer on the indoor plant scene is almost un-killable thanks to its tolerance to low light and a lack of water,” says Elaine Tunn, Executive Officer Interior Plantscape Association. 

 

Outdoor Sanctuary

 

6. Start desert dreaming

Bring a touch of desert to your décor with succulents such as cacti. “Succulents are great for kids to grow on a windowsill,” says Kathryn. Get a few so they’re instant ‘friends’ for your little ones. “Succulents all look like they have a different personality and need a name like Brian or Alice,” says Kathryn. “They’re very low maintenance and require little watering.”

7. Create a couch retreat

Cushions are a relatively inexpensive way to update your home throughout the seasons – and let’s face it, where else would you want to be than on your cosy couch in winter? Create an outdoor tropical feel with cushions fashioned with island motifs like palm tress, waves or flowers. Random fact: The Pantone Color Institute named “Greenery” as the 2017 colour of the year. Their ‘colours of the year’ are based on global cultural trends; getting back to nature certainly being one of these.

8. Keep it Aussie

Eucalyptus leaves have a delightful and uplifting aroma. Tie a bunch to hang from your kitchen or bathroom and allow the smell to infuse the air! Plus, they’ll dry nicely and add a natural feel to your surroundings.

9. Add the scent of nature

Whether it’s a few drops of lavender oil under your pillow for a calming nights’ sleep or citrus oils mixed with water in a spray bottle spritzed around the house, essential oils can bring the beautiful smells of nature into your home. 

10. Show off your shells

The beach is always chic! The Aussie mild(ish) temps make a winter walk on the sand pleasant enough, so go shell collecting with the kids and fill a small glass vase or bowl with your finds to put on show around the house. It’ll bring a touch of summer to the chilly season.