People spend hours of their day cooped up indoors, often slumped in front of their television or laptop screens and under artificial lighting. This kind of lifestyle is not good for the body and mind.
Spending time around nature is a simple but effective cure to many physical and mental health afflictions. However, with people being kept indoors the majority of the time by their jobs and living in urban areas, pausing to enjoy the sight of animals, plants and trees, and rivers and oceans is not easy.
The next best thing might be to bring the outdoors indoors.
Elements of a Nature-Inspired Home
A home inspired by nature is more than just trendy. Homeowners can reap the benefits of being around nature daily by living in a house where the interiors mimic the environment.
To make a room, or an entire house, feel like a part of nature, designers should incorporate elements often found outdoors.
One key feature is having solid wood flooring. The material is extremely versatile, luxurious, long-lasting, and timeless. It can easily make a room cosy and welcoming.
The furniture can also be present in furniture. In recent years, rattan and jute have increasingly gained popularity, especially among those who enjoy the vintage look. Rattan, in particular, was a staple in interior design back in the 70s. It also adds an airy, tropical and natural feel to any room.
When it comes to colors, pick only those that are found in nature. In 2020, some of the most popular wall paint colours are lush greens like the leaves of the trees, deep blues like the colour of the ocean, and a touch of blush similar to the colour of sunlight at dawn. Of course, white will always be in fashion and it ties well with any theme or style.
A nature-inspired home also gets lots of daylight. Having big windows, with the curtains drawn open is a necessity. It makes the room appear brighter during daytime and make occupants feel like they are outdoors.
Finally, one element that should always be present is the presence of plants. Young people, especially, have been filling their homes with vegetation to feel closer to nature. They have indoor plants, both big and small, and they are growing herbs and vegetables right on their windowsill. Having plants around adds to the aesthetic of a room and offer invaluable benefits to homeowner, including cleaning the indoor air and fresh produce to eat.
Why Being in Nature is Good for the Body
Sun exposure is the most important benefit of being outdoors. It is the main source of vitamin D which plays an important role in keeping the body healthy. Vitamin D is responsible for regulating the absorption of calcium that the bone needs to remain strong throughout the years. It also boosts the immune system, making it more efficient at fighting infections.
Being around nature can also improve one’s quality of sleep. The bright sunlight resets the body’s circadian rhythm which determines when a person should be in dreamland and when it is time to wake up. Studies have proven that people who spent time outdoors slept easier and earlier.
In addition, cities are associated with bad air quality. In places that have lots of vegetation, the air is fresher and cleaner which benefits the respiratory system.
How Nature Can Improve Mental Health
Evidence is increasing that nature aids in keeping the mind at ease.
One study found that taking nature walks can enhance one’s mental health. It leads to significantly reduced symptoms of depression and stress.
Another study found that doing exercises outdoors boosts happiness. Those who walked, ran, or biked outdoors had lower risks of experiencing mental health conditions compared to those who did their workouts indoors.
Moreover, for students and workers, nature refreshes the mind. Being indoors for long periods of time can lead to burnout. Those who can spend time around nature were able to focus better on the task at hand.
Faking Nature Works, Too
However, you don’t have to travel all the way to the countryside to experience the benefits of being in nature. One study found that a fake natural environment can also provide the same advantages.
The brain responds positively to images of nature. Those who were shown pictures of natural landscapes recalled happy memories.
Theoretically, living in a nature-inspired home can promote a healthy body and mind.
A nature-inspired interior design does not just make a house look good. It can also ensure that the occupants will have a long, healthy, and happy life.