Many of us grew up in a different time. The outdoors were literally just outside our homes, and you could ride your bike through the vacant lots around your city, and visit a nearby meadow or grove of trees for a quick picnic. With growing cities, the outdoors seem like a distant memory. Of course you want to spend more time in nature, but it may be a little impractical to move to Oregon or install a living roof. Instead, here are 9 easy ways to bring the outdoors to you, even if you live in a small apartment.
Open Your Windows
The easiest thing that you can do to bring the outdoors to you is to open your windows. Just getting a breath of fresh air can rejuvenate you and your home and it is the cheapest way to bring in a cool breeze. You also will get more sunlight in your home and help remove pollutants if you open your windows regularly.
Decorate with Nature
Let nature inspire your home decor. First, you need to decide what theme you want to follow, like a beach house, forest cottage or a rustic hunting lodge. Then get plants, pictures and other items to help you feel like you are in nature. For example, if you wanted to make your home feel like a beach house, you might decorate with shells, pictures of the ocean, mini palm trees, etc. But if you wanted to make it feel like a forest cottage, you might incorporate window boxes, shrubberies, etc. If you don’t want to theme your whole house, you can just bring in elements like a bouquet of flowers, a few house plants, a basket of fruit, a centerpiece of fall leaves, etc.
Allow Your Palette to Be Inspired by Nature
Using natural colors can help spruce up your home and help you feel more connected to the outdoors. Bright greens, vivid blues, gentle browns, and splashes of purple, orange, and pink (just like flowers), can make you feel more in harmony with nature. Think about layering your colors, just like you see in nature, with the browns in background and the more vivid colors in the foreground — using a neutral color for the walls and flooring, but incorporate the more colorful elements in your furnishing and decor.
Most people purchase a diffuser to gently add the smell of nature to their home, but you don’t have to buy one to incorporate aromatherapy in your home. You can stuff pillows with lavender, infuse pine cones with your favorite scent, or use a simmer pot to boil your favorite herbs. Favorite earthy scents include: sandalwood, cedarwood, vetiver, patchouli, and pine. Popular floral essential oils include: lavender, geranium, jasmine, rose, ylang ylang, etc.
Grow an Herb Garden
A great way to make your home just a little more “fresh” is to grow your own herb garden. Your kitchen window makes a great place to grow your own herbs (as they need lots of sunshine to survive). You can plant them in virtually anything that will hold soil and the plants.
Install a Water Feature
The sound of running water has a soothing and clarifying effect. You can get a small indoor water feature to help you relax, block out neighborhood noise, and potentially improve the air quality of your home.
Take Off Your Shoes
Walking barefoot is one of the greatest things you can do for your body and for your health. It helps strengthen your feet, allows you to connect with the earth, and can help reduce the risk of cancer. If you don’t have a backyard or a park nearby, you can always get a small sandbox or an “grass box” that you can have in your house and place your bare feet in it after a long day at the office.
Camp In Your Backyard – Or In Your Living Room
If you can’t get out to the mountains to camp, you can set up a small campground in your own backyard, or even in your living room. Set up a small tent and take your sleeping bags out for a spin, or if you don’t have camp equipment, you can always sleep under the stars with blankets to keep you warm.