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I think every home should exhibit a nod to nature and natural elements. Natural materials add texture and warmth to a home which translates to comfort. Touching something organic is instantly familiar and visually important to most spaces. Whether you introduce more greenery to a space or natural linen fabrics, every element counts and should be celebrated. To me, some of the most important natural materials come from world travel and the way other cultures embrace a more holistic approach to design.
As a culture we are obsessed with fabulous kitchens. Yes, I am guilty of it too, however this kitchen is a perfect example of how little we really need regarding the mod-cons (modern conveniences). Rough hewn wood counters, tables and sink surround are a humble companion to the natural marble counter above the dishwasher. I love the well-worn natural wood cutting boards propped up as if art, though fully functional.
Natural wood lamps (similar to the lamp above) echo the organic designs and are beautiful when perfectly complimented by a natural, no-fuss shade.
Just because it’s made from bare wood, doesn’t mean it can be over-the-top gorgeous, like this ornate, carved wood French table. I adore the fact that by simply looking at the table I can immediately know how it will feel to the touch.
From France to eclectic England with the introduction of natural stone-fired pottery and family heirlooms, every inch of this space is filled with nature. From the simply painted wood walls to the traditional woven cloth. Talk about no-fuss! I love that there is no fear of keeping up with the neighbors...if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Natural can also mean luxury. Worn furniture can be comfortable and cozy, but it’s a necessity. You can introduce nature elements that are fully top-drawer. Cashmere throws and beautiful embroidered linens totally count when designing a home.
Natural design elements can also look contemporary. This sleek, natural woven flush-mount ceiling light is thoroughly modern, but introduces warm wood and rattan texture to virtually any room in the house.
Let’s discuss the influence of Indian design when it comes to natural materials. While I am a huge fan of muted colors when it comes to linens and bedding, India offers some of the most richly, highly saturated colors in the world. This bedroom is serene and simple, but it’s the type of room you want to peruse slowly and touch every surface.
Replacement shades are a good way to change the look of a space and introduce natural materials.
This room exhibits a tribal/colonial approach to natural objects and fibers. Bold patterns made from organic thread adds visual interest. Grounded by a woven sisal rug and accent tables in glorious natural wood balance beautifully. The multitude of patterns is not jarring because they are all in the same, eclectic, global traveler vein.
This organic wood-top table is cute, functional and itching to introduce a natural spark to your home.
While this Indian interior may not be totally practical to your way of life, elements can be borrowed to make your home more interesting. A woven daybed or reclaimed wood table may be just enough to keep things interesting and make you move in the direction of embracing nature as the source of all things domestic.
Photos courtesy of Belgian Pearls, An Indian Summer, Eclectic Revisited
Rob is a Los Angeles-based designer who has a background in art history and was an expert at Sotheby's auction house. Formerly the host of "Inside The Auction" for the Fine Living Network, speaker for The Learning Annex and contributing editor for Valley Magazine and LA Bride Magazine, he has spent years bridging the gap between the world of design and the general public.
His design sensibilities are varied and can work in both traditional and contemporary styles. His interiors have most recently been published in Renovation Style Magazine.
Very cool. Thanks!