On today’s date, a majority of the population lives in the cities. As opposed to rural and semi-urban areas, urban areas have lesser open spaces. Natural Interior design is not limited to designing furniture pieces and painting walls. It is something that affects the overall health of a person. With architecture and design, or interior design, designers have to take into consideration, the climatic conditions, the people, their psychology, elements of thermal comfort, anthropometry, and many other criteria to fulfill the needs of the people using that space, physical, mental as well as emotional.
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Effect of Nature on Human Beings
According to research, the environment a person lives in not only affects their moods but also affects their physical wellbeing. Things we see, hear, or experience affect our bodies in ways we don’t realize. An unfavorable environment putting you through stress will increase your blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, anxiety, and many other elements that affect your immune system, nervous system and the endocrine system.
Being in connection with nature is one of the healthiest ways to live. It affects the psychology system,human beings. It reduces stress levels and gives us a sense of peace and calm. Having natural elements in your house brings a sense of relaxation and adds character to the space. Being near nature or even being a spectator of nature reduces levels of stress, fear, anxiety, or any other negative feelings and increases pleasant feelings. Even something as small as a little plant on your table in schools, houses, offices, hospitals, etc. is shown to have a significant amount of impact on human health.
Need for Nature Inside
Nature has a soothing effect on us. As human beings, we are genetically conditioned to find nature captivating. According to research, experiments, and surveys, people in hospitals undergoing treatments respond better and have more pain tolerance when they’re given the view of nature. 95% of the people interviewed while studying the impact of nature on general wellbeing claimed that spending more time in nature shifted their depression, stress, anxiety to a state of balance, peacefulness, and calm. This is because experiencing natural elements or even looking at scenes of nature puts people in a positive mood and is associated with overall wellbeing and liveliness.
The Covid–19 crisis has led to a clear disconnect with nature. According to research and surveys, there has been a tremendous rise in the number of people experiencing mental health issues. Chronic diseases like anxiety and depression became a common state of mind for people. Increasing cases of mental illness and normalizing that state of mind. In such a case, natural interior design by bringing nature in would be the best solution for people’s wellbeing. Having plants like golden pothos or a bamboo palm increase concentration level and helps people focus better.
Ways to Bring Nature In
Use of Natural Materials
One way to add more nature would be to use natural elements in the house. The choice of which materials to use may differ from person to person. It can be wooden flooring, a display of natural stones or a leather couch. A blend of natural elements can also make the space more suitable for you. It can display your personality through the interiors.
One of the easiest ways to add more natural elements into your homes is houseplants. Remember to research the plant before keeping it in. Also, researching the intensity of lights required by plants and placing them that way is important. You can also keep an herb garden in or out of the kitchen. Having houseplants adds freshness to the space and uplifts the environment. Herb gardens spread aroma in the room and create a pleasant environment. Not to forget the supply of herbs throughout the year. Rooms with plants have less dust and molds because they trap allergens.
VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) are given off by the objects in the room such as carpets, printers, etc. An increased level of VOCs can cause irritation to the eyes, skin, and nose. Having natural elements might reduce this effect. Having a plant in the room purifies the environment. Since plants absorb carbon dioxide and give out oxygen, keeping them around you is always a plus, especially in the bedroom, as it makes a person sleep better. Certain plants like gerbera daisies give out oxygen even at night. Plants like lavender relieve stress and anxiety because of their aroma.
According to Vastu Shastra, human beings are connected to all five natural elements fire, water, earth, air, and space. Out of all the elements, water is the most powerful. Water has a cooling effect on humans. Ever wondered why the most influential and financially prosperous cities are near water bodies? It is because water keeps the energy flowing and doesn’t keep them locked. The metaphorical meaning of water is ‘flow of life.’ It is for people to understand that one should always keep going instead of halting or being rigid about things.
Having a water feature makes you feel peaceful. This enables people to enjoy the feel of a water fountain in the comfort of their homes. A less expensive option would set up a fountain. Waterbodies are supposed to keep in the northeast direction for optimal benefits. Having a lily pond, courtyards filled with water, zen fountain, panel-mounted water feature, or even something as small as a bowl of water with a lotus flower in it will do the trick. A crystal or brass tortoise filled with water is also believed to bring good luck. This will give a feel of ‘natural interior design’ the moment a person walks in.
Brick or Stone Backdrop
Treating a wall with exposed brick or stonework immediately adds character to a room and elevates it. Stones also help maintain thermal comfort at home. Brick or a stone backdrop is like giving your house a facelift. A stone backdrop can also be created in kitchens near platforms. It can also help heat effect and is easy to clean. This backdrop acts as a focal point in the room.
Wood is the most used material for construction and interiors. Wood is a common material used from minimalistic to rustic interiors. Wood finish has a variety of colors that change the feel of the design. The finish can go from glossy to raw with visible grains and knots. It is durable and long-lasting and can be used for a variety of elements, including walls, beams, columns, and furniture. Wood gives a nostalgic feeling that makes you feel at home and is a natural material. Paneling, cladding, molding, partitions, flooring are some examples of the use of wood at home.
The way nature affects your house is not possible for any other elements. Sun brings positivity into your homes. It is easiest to get and the least expensive of all natural materials. Sunlight is also important to the physical, mental, and emotional health of the person. It makes the colors pop and makes the room appear livelier. Any corners or rooms of the house where sunlight isn’t naturally available should be well lit by artificial lighting.
Natural stones can be incorporated into the house with the use of pathways in gardens as a form of hardscape. Pebbles and rocks can also be used in natural interior design. Rocks and pebbles of different colors, textures, and sizes can be mixed and placed in small bowls, pots, vases, cups, or mugs. This is one of the easiest ways to add stones to interiors. These give out a creative vibe in the room and make the place more dynamic.
The presence of flowers at home goes way beyond artificial flowers with dust-covered leaves lying in some corner of the room and going unnoticed by people. Flowers kept in vases, potted plants or bouquets can be kept on side tables, desks, dining tables, and coffee tables. According to the space requirements, one can also have a garden of potted flowering plants. A green wall can also be installed depending upon the size of the garden or in the entrance.
Adding Natural Elements in Bathrooms
Imagine sitting in a bathtub with hot water running down and aromas from essential oils. On connecting with heat and water, our body relaxes physically and mentally. Adding natural elements to your bathrooms will increase tranquility and give you an experience that will go way beyond just taking a bath. This will aid in good health and help to destress a person.
Adding small pebbles, plants, wooden elements or keeping plants like lavender providing aromatherapy will surely help add nature to bathrooms. The window location should be such as to provide maximum light to create a favorable environment. Another option would build a home steam bath. Humans are inherently programmed to respond positively to steam. This calming environment soothes a person’s soul and makes them serene.
Creating a theme would be the best way to add more nature to your homes. Make sure you don’t overdo it and every natural element you add is all balanced and in synergy with each other. A theme can also be minimalistic and obscure. Having a forest theme through plants, wood, stones, etc. or an ocean theme with the right balance of water bodies, seashells, etc. can be done. Hanging a picture of a natural landscape would also be a good option to remind people of outdoor spaces through visuals.
Adding wooden shelves or racks or other storage spaces to declutter the space, placing wind chimes in the wind’s direction, and using wooden frames for mirrors or other components of a room are great ways to incorporate more nature. However, you decide to design your space and whichever theme you decide to go for, making sure that the space is ‘uniquely you are a great way to go about it. This enables your house’s architecture and design to reflect your personality and your comfort level will increase.