How to Bring the Outside In

There’s the outdoors outdoors, and then the outdoors indoors. Does that sound bizarre? However much you may like being outdoors, in the country, in the garden, on a walking holiday, it’s nice to get home indoors. Especially in a country where the weather is so unpredictable. So, how do you create and outdoors indoors?
The answer is not to change your carpets for earth and grow grass of course! Here are some suggestions for bringing the best of the outside into your home:
Light. When you are outside, even if the day is not particularly sunny, it is invariably lighter than indoors. Therefore you should try to get as much light into as many rooms as you can. The best option is to increase the amount of natural light that can get into your home. Some new homes have very small windows or have walls where there are no windows. Explore the possibility of widening the window areas, or putting in new windows. This isn’t like 200 and more years ago when there was a window tax! Another way is to build a conservatory at the rear of your house. Modern conservatories are 85% windows, and therefore you can relax in oodles of natural light while still being within your home!
Plants. Indoor plants can bring a real touch of the outside indoors. There are indoor plants that can be placed near windows in sunlight, or ones that will still thrive in the darker nooks and crannies of your home. Rubber plants have a great colour and texture to them if properly maintained. Indoor ferns are also good especially if you have a fan playing on them, making their fronds wave. If you have a fond memory of a holiday in arid climes, you can even get many species of indoor cactus that will thrive under a roof.
Pictures. Whether a print, mural, a painting or a photograph, there’s nothing like looking at a representation of the outdoors on an internal wall. With high resolution cameras, it is possible for you to take a picture of your favourite location and then have it blown up to mega-poster size without a significant loss of quality. My Mother has a picture of the village where she was born in Yorkshire, that was taken by a local crop-sprayer from his plane and then blown up and framed. It looks great!
Sounds. This may seem a bit “new-age” crazy, but a background soundtrack of natural sounds can give your home a great outdoor feel, even though you are indoors. From chirping birds, through waves lapping on a beach, to the sound of nigh-time cicadas, many people love to bring these ambient outdoor sounds into their homes.
Patio Doors. Finally there are patio doors to consider that create a great gateway between indoors and outdoors that you can straddle, with one or the other just a key-turn and a step away. The doors, when fully open will allow the scents and the sounds of the outside to come into your home. You can hear the birds singing and perhaps smell the honeysuckle.