C­re­a­ti­ve ways to bring na­tu­re ind­oors

George Herald - Auto Dealer - - News -

The­re's no­thing qui­te li­ke the he­a­ling po­wer of na­tu­re w­hen it co­mes to re­lax­a­ti­on. Sim­ply being in the pre­sen­ce of trees is s­cien­ti­fi­cal­ly pro­ven to re­du­ce stress, lo­wer your he­art ra­te and b­lood pres­su­re and boost your im­mu­ne sy­stem. Of cour­se, ve­ry few of us ha­ve the luxu­ry of being a­ble to pop off to the ne­a­rest fo­rest w­hen li­fe gets a bit too much, but the al­ter­na­ti­ve - brin­ging na­tu­re ind­oors to you - is much e­a­sier than you mig­ht think! "Na­tu­re as a de­sign e­le­ment has be­co­me ex­tre­me­ly po­pu­lar in the last few y­e­ars," says Deb­bie Re­a­bow, brand and com­mu­ni­ca­ti­ons ma­na­ger at the Raw­son Pro­per­ty Group, and de­sign a­fi­ci­o­na­do. "We're li­ving bu­sier li­ves in smal­ler ho­mes, and g­reen spa­ces are of­ten few and far be­t­ween. Pe­op­le are ha­ving to find c­re­a­ti­ve ways to get that all-im­por­tant na­tu­re fix, which, lucki­ly for us, me­ans it's get­ting e­a­sier and e­a­sier to get in on the acti­on."

Tips on how to na­tu­re up your ho­me: Pot­ted plants

The most ob­vi­ous op­ti­on for brin­ging na­tu­re ind­oors is… well… li­te­ral­ly brin­ging na­tu­re ind­oors! "Pot­ted plants are a won­der­ful ad­di­ti­on to any in­te­ri­or," says Re­a­bow, "and you'll find count­less op­ti­ons, from tiny succu­lents to ind­oor trees, at your ne­a­rest gar­den cen­t­re." She re­com­mends choo­sing a the­me for your ind­oor plants that will com­ple­ment your in­te­ri­or sty­le. "De­sert the­mes work well for mi­ni­ma­list in­te­ri­ors - think succu­lents, air plants and cacti," she says. "Sof­ter plants li­ke Mai­den­hair Fern and or­chids are per­fect for mo­re de­li­ca­te, fe­mi­ni­ne spa­ces. For a lus­her, con­tem­po­ra­ry ef­fect, bold tro­pi­cal plants are the way to go - try fi­dd­le le­af figs, de­li­ci­ous mon­sters, rub­ber tree plants and phi­lo­den­drons."

Wall gar­den

Ind­oor wall gar­dens are a g­re­at al­ter­na­ti­ve to pot­ted plants, but Re­a­bow says t­hey do ta­ke a litt­le mo­re ef­fort to get rig­ht. "You get so­me a­ma­zing ind­oor wall sy­s­tems that you can use for a­ny­thing from a kit­chen herb gar­den to a g­reen accent wall," she says, "but you'll li­ke­ly ha­ve to get a pro­fes­si­o­nal in­stal­la­ti­on do­ne for the be­st re­sults. Un­li­ke pot­ted plants, you can't just mo­ve your wall gar­den if it's not doing well in a par­ti­cu­lar spot, so think through your op­ti­ons ve­ry ca­re­ful­ly be­fo­re com­mit­ting to a de­sign."

Bo­ta­ni­cal prints

If you don't ha­ve a g­reen thumb, don't wor­ry - li­ving plants a­ren't your on­ly op­ti­on for brin­ging na­tu­re ind­oors. Bo­ta­ni­cal prints ma­ke a lo­ve­ly ad­di­ti­on to any ho­me and co­me in a va­ri­e­ty of sty­les to suit all kinds of in­te­ri­ors. "Bo­ta­ni­cal prints can bring pops of na­tu­ral beau­ty to a room wit­hout ta­king up any floor spa­ce, or re­qui­ring any ca­re," says Re­a­bow. "A lot of lo­cal South A­fri­can ar­tis­ts do bo­ta­ni­cal ske­t­ches, dra­wings and pain­tings, and you can find a­ny­thing from fyn­bos va­ri­e­tals to exo­tic flo­wers and e­la­bo­ra­te le­a­ves in a num­ber of sty­les."

Wal­l­pa­per

If a few prints a­ren't qui­te e­nough to sa­tisfy your na­tu­re cra­ving, why not cre­a­te a na­tu­re- sca­pe on a fe­a­tu­re wall, u­sing one of the ma­ny a­ma­zing wal­l­pa­per de­signs a­vai­la­ble? "With wal­l­pa­per, you can ha­ve your ve­ry own fo­rest or jungle in­si­de your ho­me," says Re­a­bow. "Mo­dern prin­ting techno­lo­gy gi­ves ex­cep­ti­o­nal i­ma­ge qua­li­ty, and you can re­al­ly cre­a­te an im­mer­si­ve ex­pe­rien­ce." Not on­ly is wal­l­pa­per a gor­ge­ous and dra­ma­tic ad­di­ti­on to an in­te­ri­or, it's al­so ve­ry du­ra­ble, a­vai­la­ble in wa­ter-re­sis­tant op­ti­ons for wet a­re­as li­ke bathrooms, and e­a­sy to chan­ge if you get bo­red!

Na­tu­ral ma­te­ri­als

Na­tu­re isn't just a­bout green­e­ry, and Re­a­bow ur­ges ho­me­o­w­ners not to f­or­get a­bout ma­te­ri­als li­ke s­to­ne, wood and na­tu­ral fi­bres. The­se, she says, add a tou­ch of e­ar­thi­ness to an in­te­ri­or that com­ple­ments na­tu­rein­spi­red dé­cor to per­fecti­on. "It's not just a­bout s­to­ne clad­ding or wooden floors," she says, "the­re are a thou­sand op­ti­ons for brin­ging na­tu­ral ma­te­ri­als in­to your dé­cor. Wooden bo­wls, wo­ven se­a­grass rugs, drift­wood sculp­tu­res and ri­ver peb­ble dis­plays are just a few of them. Get c­re­a­ti­ve and ha­ve fun - it all adds to the re­lax­a­ti­on ex­pe­rien­ce."

P­ho­to: www.a­mu­sing­fun.com

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P­ho­to: www.pi­nimg.com

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