How To Create a Nature Inspired Space
by Belina Costa
During my daily routine, I usually sit at a computer and research through my design library, usually indoors, working on projects and connecting with clients. No matter how much I love what I do, I find that I always want daily breaks to walk outside, breathe the fresh air, feel the warmth of the sun and listen to the birds and the gentle breeze. Sound familiar? The truth is that we all need this connection because it contributes not only to our physical well being but also to our emotional and spiritual health as well. So how do we incorporate the beauty of nature into our spaces?
In feng shui, we take clues from simply observing nature and honoring the life force (Chi) of our natural surroundings in order to design/build with nature and respect all its resources. Integrating nature into our spaces is definitely a balance of nature’s energetic forces (yin and yang ) and incorporating the energies of the its elements (wood, fire, earth, metal, and water). Let’s look at a few ways to incorporate nature into your home or office.
The first is to bring in the power of natural light. This can simply be achieved by opening windows for views whenever possible or just opening those blinds. If it makes sense and you are remodeling, why not trade that wall for a window wall? Or think of adding a skylight or transom window above a door. Research shows that natural light has a multitude of benefits including lowering your blood pressure and muscle tension while enhancing your mood! Now, who wouldn’t want to smile more? Sounds divine!
The second way to honor the vitality of nature and bring in some beauty is to use natural materials. Keep it simple and try evoking all the senses! Try incorporating more warm woods in your furniture selection or crisp linen accent pillows on that cozy sofa. Nature is full of texture. Who doesn’t enjoy the feel of natural elements? I love the beach and often look for shells and pieces of driftwood to use as accessories. What about a delightful aroma of a favorite essential oil that reminds you of being in nature? Splash some in a diffuser and let it permeate through every room!
Another way is to be mindful of furniture placement. In nature there is an inherent order. Looking at how Chi flows is a vital component in creating your beautiful sanctuary. In feng shui, this is called the “command position”. Think of placing your largest pieces such as your sofa or bed in a direction that is facing the entry of any room. This helps you to be the most comfortable and to fully rest after a stressful day while allowing for the natural flow of Chi.
Lastly, consider the idea of color. What speaks to you in nature? Do you enjoy the sparkle of bright colors or the liveliness of your favorite flowers? Perhaps you enjoy the calmness of the earth tones? Nature is full of color variation. All of which can be playful and peaceful. Whatever your preference, look for colors that elicit happiness, appreciation and serenity. This certainly will ensure you feel and experience love and joy on a daily basis!
These are just a few ways to align with the natural energies of the outdoors and bring them into your home. It’s a sure way to bring peace, joy and evoke smiles along the way while reaping the benefits of all that nature has to offer. Try a few and enjoy!
Belina Costa, M.Arch, Allied ASID, CPIA
Belina began her career in interior design over 15 years ago. After spending years in both the residential and commercial arenas, managing high end showrooms, working as principal designer in her own design firm and working with the Real Estate community, she honed in on her passion for design to intentionally create well thought out designs for each unique individual and space. She is the founder of HARMONY by design. Through the years, her personal journey has led her to examine and study more in depth the vital connection of nature and architecture and its overall impact on our well being. Belina holds a masters in architecture as well as a bachelor of science degree in interior design.