Bringing the Outdoors In: Tips for Decorating with Natural Elements

Did you know the average person spends nearly 90% of their time indoors? It makes sense, then, that we want to create indoor living spaces that are aesthetically pleasing and comfortable – especially during the colder months.

When the global pandemic forced all of us to stay inside more than usual, more people looked for ways to incorporate natural elements into their homes to get the feeling of being outside. This led to a newfound penchant for biophilic design, which strives to merge nature with indoor environments.

One of the easiest ways to bring biophilic design into your own home is to use natural elements like metal, wood, and stone. Using a combination of these materials will not only make you feel in touch with Mother Nature, but it will also evoke a cozy cabin-in-the-woods vibe.

If the word biophilia (meaning “love of nature”) speaks to you, here’s how to decorate with natural elements and bring the outdoors inside.

 Collage of a bathroom and bedroom with stone floors and walls.

1. Stone as a backdrop or focal wall

In modern homes, the appeal of stone as a focal point in any space is unmatched by many materials. Stone feature walls – whether as a backdrop or focal wall – can help to add visual interest and texture in an otherwise bland or unadorned space.

When we think about using stone indoors, we usually relegate stone to only our fireplaces – but creating an entirely stone backdrop will make a lasting statement and evoke a rustic feel like at a luxurious ski lodge. For DIYers, you can even go with a faux stone veneer that’s budget-friendly, easy to handle, and can be applied to most surfaces like drywall, concrete, or brick.

 Collage of rooms in a house with black register in the floor.

2. Metal as accents or fixtures

It may surprise you to learn that metals come straight from the earth’s crust and are found in ores, minerals, and rocks. This makes incorporating metals into design choices like your floor registers, light fixtures, or kitchen and bathroom hardware a great option for an organic look.

For example, changing out your existing floor registers for a handcrafted metal grille will add a natural elegance and luxury to any space. You can also install contemporary metal fixtures in place of antique or traditional ones, which will reflect a more organic and elemental ambiance.


Collage with kitchen and dining room with rich wood floor, and a living room with wood plank wall.

3. Wood as natural furnishings

Choosing wood as the basis of your home furnishings is one of the simplest design choices that will instantly evoke the Great Outdoors. Whether you choose wooden furnishings that’s beautifully sanded and almost marble-like or reclaimed and celebrates its characteristic grains and knots, the best part about wood furniture is that it is highly durable.

Another benefit of wood furnishings is their inherent sustainability – which is one of the main priorities of homeowners who are concerned about environmental impact. Since wood is a natural resource and can be recycled, it is more sustainable than other furniture materials as long as it is ethically sourced. Plus, it will look great when blended with other natural materials like stone or metal, creating an overall cozy and cabin-esque feel.

 Collage with two cozy rooms with floral patterns.

4. Florals as pattern inspiration

Last but not least, integrating floral patterns into your home is a fourth idea that will make your interiors feel inspired by the outdoors. Rather than relying on that one succulent on your desk to proclaim the beauty of Mother Nature, you can use floral patterns in a variety of creative ways to instantly cheer up any space.

For example, selecting a bold, floral wallpaper for a bathroom or breakfast nook can look vintage and classic. In rooms that are mostly neutral, adding floral curtains, cushions, accent chairs, or even artwork can immediately evoke the spirit of the outdoors in a fun and refreshing way.

As you look to blend natural materials and floral patterns into your home’s interiors, here are some of other design trends that are sure to be seen everywhere this year.

Go to Design Trends

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