While there are many perks to modern city living, one of the standout negatives is the lack of outdoor space normally incorporated into this style of residential design. Many London or other big city apartments lack a garden area, or even a balcony to allow for a recharge. Fresh air and natural light are known to have a powerful effect on our mental health and wellbeing, so when the space you have to work with isn’t large enough for a garden space, it’s time to bring the outdoors in. Here’s 10 ways to bring the natural world into your modern London apartment.
Pick earthy colours
If you really want to get to grips with the great outdoors, choose a colour scheme that reflects the natural world and brings both calming and restorative elements inside. Blues and greens give direct connotations to nature while terracotta and subtle taupes will help to make you feel grounded. As one of the first places you’re likely to start in your design, colour scheme is extremely important for setting the base to other design elements while also having an effect on your own mood.
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Make the most of natural light
When considering the design of a room, it’s important to think about the natural light the room already has. You’ll want to make the most of it. Note down when the light hits a room and think about how this changes where you might want to place furniture – you don’t want to block any light out or have to cover windows to be able to see the television!
If you’re working with a dark room, chances are you won’t have a lot of natural light coming in, but you can still make the most of what you do have. Choose airy window treatments that are light in colour and texture, and place mirrors around the room to reflect more light. Hang mirrors opposite windows or glass doors for extra light bounce.
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Install a roof window
There’s nothing quite like seeing the sky from the comfort of your own home and installing a roof window, while a little bit of a treat, will certainly help to increase light in your home and improve your mental wellbeing. Roof windows work wonders in open-plan spaces such as kitchen and dining areas, where you want a bright and airy space, but can also be used in bedrooms or specifically lofts to create a bohemian ambience.
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Consider glass doors
Incorporating glass doors into your design scheme will help to open up your layout and increase that all important natural light. Crittall or steel partition doors can be used as internal connecting doorways as they’re great for dividing up and zoning spaces while also letting through a lot of natural light. If you’re after something with a little more privacy, fluted glass is currently a big hitter in the interiors world and will add a contemporary edge to your room.
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Opt for wooden or natural stone floors
Use natural flooring instead of man-made flooring in your home to bring the sensation of the outdoors right underfoot. Wood, cork, bamboo and natural stone are all flooring materials that feel warm and inviting to walk on and will provide a great base to any design scheme.
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Bring in large palms and fig trees
While this may be the obvious answer, bringing the right trees and large plants into your home is the perfect way to be more at one with nature. Just one look at Instagram and you’ll know that the indoor jungle look is all the rage. Nevertheless, you do need to be able to care for your plants and opting for species that can handle dry air and drier soil is vital. Large palms, fig trees and olive trees are relatively easy to maintain indoors and will bring a touch of sunnier climates into your daily life.
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Create a living wall
Living walls surged in popularity last year but are still a great way to bring the outdoors in. These vertical indoor gardens are self-supported, with the plants getting their nutrition from within the vertical support system. A lack of garden walls in modern apartments means that the kitchen area is the next best place for such design feature. As well as looking lush, a living wall can also provide numerous health benefits thanks to the air-purifying qualities. Opt for air-purifying plants such as ivy and aloe vera and you’ll also reap the benefits of boosted productivity and higher concentration levels.
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Use natural materials
When it comes to decor for your home, bring natural fibres into the mix for a relaxed and cosy aesthetic. Wicker, rattan, jute and cane are all options inspired by nature and are now utilised in a multitude of styles. Avoid going too crazy on the conservatory style and choose a few pieces such as a cane chair, baskets, lampshade or rug to bring your urban oasis to life. For soft furnishings, choose materials that are breathable such as linens and cotton. These natural materials improve wellbeing thanks to their soft and airy texture and look great too.
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Style up fresh flowers every week
Fresh flowers are both joyful and reminiscent of an outdoor environment. Taking the time to arrange them on a weekly basis will be a fun task, perhaps even something to do with the kids, and will add some vibrance to your interior design. Play around with larger arrangements and small posies to add depth and texture to every room.
Image credit: Roby Baldan Interiors
Light a floral scent
Your senses are wonderful things and it’s important to remember that not everything in a house is about the visuals. Welcome your guests (and yourself) into your home with a floral or light and airy scent that evokes the sensation of being outdoors. Smells of flowers, the beach, or the woods can help you to feel relaxed and you can bring the sensation to life without even putting your shoes on.
Image Source: Roby Baldan Interiors
Roby Baldan Interiors is a boutique interior design studio based in Battersea, London. Get in touch with us for further interior design advice and to request a complimentary consultation.