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Going green is in. Going organic is in. And Summer is the perfect season to bring the outdoors in! It’s that time of year when you really want your home to feel fresh, simple, clean and natural.
I love using furnishings and accessories that incorporate bits of wood, seashells and stones. Bringing the outdoors in can be as easy as arranging a bunch of wildflowers from a hike in a pretty vase. Ambitious? Find your own piece of wood on a drive up the coast and craft it into a customized table.
Or, you can simply look online to find pieces that strike the perfect balance between nature and high style.
Driftwood took its time to get there, shells and sea glass are shaped by the ocean as well. I love it that these looks are unique and truly can't be recreated by man or machine—nature had to take its course to make this look the way it is!
My client, actress Virginia Madsen (Sideways, Red Riding Hood, Scoundrels) is in love wth the look and feel of the Hawaiian Islands. So I helped capture the essence of her favorite outdoor getaway inside her Southern California home using materials made from natural shells and sustainable woods like bamboo.
I used these magnificent Maya Romanoff shell wall tiles to cover the ceiling in her Entry, which looks absolutely stunning.
Think natural elements are too “rugged” for your high fashion interiors? Elegant accessories and patterns that give a nod to nature can help you integrate the outdoors and still achieve high-end style!
3 Tips for Bringing the Outdoors In
1. Don’t take the last of something in danger! I love natural looks since so many of the materials already exist and are essentially just sitting there. But always do your research to make sure you’re not using endangered species or materials cut down just to make your table. Sustainable woods are best.
2. Switch up genres. Your look doesn’t all have to match perfectly and even the most glamorous space can benefit from a touch of nature. I love a rustic, earthy lamp displayed on an ultra modern table. Or bringing in the warmth of a woven ottoman into a sleek, contemporary space.
3. Mix and match. Don’t go crazy with all seashells or all pebbles—your look will look more like a theme park than an elegant home. Arrange shells in a rustic wooden bowl or branches in a beautiful glass vase filled with stones.
Photo of Kari Whitman and Virginia Madsen courtesy of Roger Snyder.