Indoor/Outdoor Styling: Here’s How to Get it Right


Ever returned home from the beach or a forest hike to find your indoor environment rather strange?

You’re not alone.

Human beings are solar creatures. We thrive in the sun and studies have also shown that being outdoors is good for us. Nature calms us and soothes our nervous system. Wouldn’t it be great if we could bring that feeling indoors with us?

Vice versa, sometimes it would be nice to bring the creature comforts of home outside.

Enter indoor/outdoor styling.

The indoor/outdoor styling trend is predicted to sweep through homes this summer as we embrace the onset of the warmer months. It focuses on plants and living decor, as well as the convergence of indoor and outdoor style motifs to create a truly integrated look.

Interior stylist Kerrie-Ann Jones says that, as Australians, embracing an indoor-outdoor lifestyle is “part of our DNA.”

If you, too, want your home to feel like a natural paradise, check out these hot tips to get started.

Natural materials

Whether you’re designing an indoor or outdoor space, natural materials will help to achieve a seamlessly organic look.

Jones suggests materials such as raw timber, natural stones and greenery. If you’re designing a garden, you could even incorporate natural animal oases, like a pond or birdbath.

This rule applies to the hues you choose as well. Oak moss greens, olives and coffee tend to work really well in indoor/outdoor style decor. However, for a more coastal energy, fresh blues, bright oranges, greens, yellows and sandy neutrals can look stunning.

Living decor

A common design mistake is the philosophy, “the more plants the better.”

While it’s tempting to get green fever, most people don’t want their homes to feel like a jungle. Also, living plants take a lot of care and upkeep. Only introduce into your space the amount you are prepared to manage.

Jones suggests terrariums as they are small, can fit into shelves or coffee tables and are easier to maintain. Another idea is to choose plants that are a bit out of the ordinary to make more of a statement. Nearly everyone’s seen a yukka plant in a friend’s house. Why not go for a bright orange cactus or a towering fern?

Vertical herb gardens are a great idea for outdoor spaces, as they’re highly customisable and also encourage visitor engagement.

Not to mention you’ll never be short on parsley again!

Scenic artwork

Even just a painting can be enough to remind you of the sea breeze. Get creative with wall art, and choose pieces that bring the outdoors inside.

Scenes like forests, beaches, wildlife or skyscrapers can integrate really gorgeously into a nature-styled home.

It’s best to choose pieces that reflect your favourite places, as these should naturally match the vibe in the rest of your home.

There’s no need to be a millionaire art collector to get your hands on some truly unique and good quality pieces. Try out your local art scene, or even blow up and print some of your own creations.

Photography can be a really fun way to add personality and imagination to the design of your home.

Play with each room

Sometimes renovators can limit their indoor/outdoor styling to the living room and al fresco dining areas. Perhaps they don’t know how to go all out and transform their homes into natural havens.

But even simple steps can lead you closer to the resort-style or eco-luxe theme you desire. Jones suggests using a timber stool or other furniture in the bathroom for sophisticated earthy warmth.

Forget heavy curtains in the bedroom and instead install sheer linen or bamboo blinds, for a more understated elegance.

Finally, use simple design principles to create space and light in your home. These are often the features we love about nature and we can easily recreate them in our home with enough love and thought.

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