Throw open those windows and let the outdoors in! Bringing natural materials into your interior design style is a fantastic way to breathe new life into your post-pandemic space (that’s right, we’re a glass-half-full operation). In this month’s installment of Interior Design Trends of 2021 we’ll discuss a few of our favorite natural materials and why we love incorporating them in interior design.
The timing for this installment couldn’t be more perfect, if I do say so myself. Spring is nearly upon us; trees are budding, days become longer, and the weather is becoming blessedly warmer. Spring is the rebirth of nature and can be the same for your home’s interior if you open your mind to it.
The best thing about natural materials is their versatility. Whether your style is modern, contemporary, industrial, or grandmillennial, natural materials can work anywhere. An added bonus is that they are wonderfully durable and fabulously timeless.
Let’s begin our journey through the great outdoors and see what elements we can bring inside.
NATURE’S ELEMENTS ARE JUST A STONE’S THROW AWAY
I’m sure you’ve heard the old adage, “those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.” But my oh my how fabulous it would look to have a stone feature wall in an all-glass house? I am a big fan of throwing stones on a wall, especially if there is a ton of natural light!
Throw some beautiful marble on your kitchen counters and island to bring out the grey in your blue pine floors. Toss grey slate on your mudroom floor (in a chevron pattern of course) to highlight horizontal white shiplap walls. Fling some fabulous stone tiles behind shelving to make those shelfie accessories pop.
WHAT WOOD YOU SAY?
Wood has been around for millions of years and, according to Architect Magazine, is one of the longest standing building materials in existence. Evidence shows that homes built over 10,000 years ago used timber as a primary source for construction materials.
Rising concerns about global deforestation make the suggestion of using this valuable resource in interior design applications almost taboo. Now, I am not suggesting you go all Paul Bunyan on your neighbor’s 100-year-old oak. Using eco-friendly, reclaimed, and sustainable options allow you to feel good about your material choices.
For instance, Beetle Kill Pine is the byproduct of millions of acres of pine trees throughout the Western U.S. and Canada that have been ravaged by the mountain pine beetle. The beautiful blue stain of this wood–the result of a fungus introduced to the tree by the beetle–makes it a resource highly sought after by craftsmen.
RATTAN AND WICKER MAKE WICKED WEAVES
Rattan and wicker are terms often used interchangeably. Before delving into the world of rattan and wicker, I’d like to set the record straight. Rattan and wicker are not the same.
Rattan, a relative of the palm tree, is a type of a vine that grows in the jungles of Africa and Asia. It is one of the strongest woods and possesses the ability to grow as high as a hundred feet. Wicker, on the other hand, is not a material but a style of weave used to manufacture items out of natural materials, such as rattan. Now you can regale your friends with your new-found knowledge!
Often used in interior design for baskets, light fixtures, and furniture, rattan and wicker are just the ticket when adding texture to indoor and outdoor spaces alike.
DAYLIGHTING: MUCH BETTER THAN MOONLIGHTING
This is our favorite resource on the list, which is why it is saved for last. It is abundantly available, helps your body produce vitamin D, and is FREE!
Known in the industry as “Daylighting,” this practice brings an abundance of sunlight into spaces to both conserve energy and maximize comfort. Research also shows that daylighting a space makes the people in that space more productive. Who knows…maybe a sunroom add-on is just what is needed to make laundry day fun.
If your current abode is not blessed with a lot of natural light, these simple fixes can maximize the light in your home without a complete remodel.
- Swap out solid exterior doors for those with glass panels to create a bright and cheery entryway.
- Skip sun-blocking window treatments. If you wish to maintain privacy while still letting in sunlight, consider translucent bottom up blinds that allow privacy while still letting in light.
- Trim it in white. White window trim will reflect the natural light coming through your windows, helping it shine further into your home.
- Thoughtfully placed mirrors can amplify natural light.
If you’re ready for more great reads, be sure to check out Interior Design Trends of 2021: Part I as well as Part II [The Wonder of Wallpaper] of our series. Or, if you’re up to speed on Interior Design Trends of 2021, check out the Top 5 Reasons to Hire An Interior Designer vs. Doing It Yourself.
As always, if you are in the market for an interior design overhaul, or are selling your house and could use a professional stager, give a shout.
Be sure to check out Part III of our series: Get Funky With Grandmillennial.