8 ways to create an outdoors-inspired home
Ever heard of ‘hikecore’? If you spend as much time as possible in the great outdoors, you’ll love the new interiors trend for connecting to nature even when you’re cosied up back at home. Houses that bring the outdoors in are inspired by log cabins, country cottages and biophilia (that’s the love of interacting with nature) – and perhaps they’re on to something, since time spent in nature has been proven to be good for us. Hannah Clark shares eight ways you can create your own little cabin hideaway anywhere you call home.
1, GROW AN HERB GARDEN
Take this advice from my mum! Not only does growing your own herbs save money, it’s better for the environment and makes your kitchen look (and smell) much greener and fresher. Instead of buying packets of dried basil, pick up a potted plants that can be regrown and reused. Both outside and inside, herbs such as sage, mint, thyme, oregano, chives, rosemary and basil can all be grown from a pot easily.
How to: Pick up inexpensive pots of live herbs from the supermarkets – they’re often packed with baby plants that will thrive with a bit of love.
2, FEED THE BIRDS
You’ll be surprised at the joy that comes from something as simple as buying bird feed to place into bird feeders, onto bird tables or just to scatter around the garden, followed by watching your new feathered visitors from your cosy sofa or warm kitchen. Feeding local bird species will also improve your garden’s biodiversity, support local wildlife and allow different species to prosper through the tough winter months. Buying a window bird Feeder will allow you to get up close and personal with the birds, too.
How to: Try an in-window feeder from Etsy filled with bird seed suited to the species that like to visit your back yard.
3, PRESS FLOWERS
Flowers are a very special gift to receive and a joy to grow, but it always seems a shame to watch them slowly wilt. Instead, press a few of the most interesting and colourful flowers from the bunch – this is basically free décor, as a load of heavy books works just as well as a flower press. Lay out your flowers between two sheets of paper and stack the books on top. Once they have dried, arranging them in rustic frames from charity shops and vintage stores – a collage of framed flowers makes for an amazing eye-catching wall.
How to: Press flowers between books or invest in a flower press.
4, MAKE A BELL TENT DEN
Even if you live in a modern house, you can create your own backwoods hideaway – just add a bell tent to your garden. Bell tents, yurts and other tent structures are an adventurous adult’s fantasy hideaway – set them up as a spare bedroom in the summer, as a snug den or just use them for outdoor seating, and add fairy lights, wood stoves, flags or even quirky touches such as sheepskin rugs or a chandelier. Prices range from as little as just over £150 to nearly £1000, and your canvas beauty will always be ready to dismantle and take along to festivals, weddings and summer parties when you aren’t at home.
How to: Find bell tents for sale online or scour Ebay and Facebook Marketplace for second hand models.
5, IT’S EASY BEING GREEN
Bringing plants and flowers indoors immediately brings a breath of fresh air and life to your home – and research shows that houseplants improve air quality, produce feelings of wellness and can even reduce stress. If you’re worried about forgetting to water your plants, some low maintenance plants to try include aloe vera, spider plants and succulents.
How to: Grow your green bounty in Elho pots, made with 100% recycled planters, and Elho planters are ideal for the smallest patios and balconies.
6, ADD A MAP
Show your love of adventure travel with a framed map, or even better, a collage of maps on a feature wall. Maps come in all different scales, of course – you may like to display local maps, vintage maps or a map of the world marked with the countries you’ve visited. Older maps give off a vintage feel while modern designs suit an updated, clean aesthetic. If you don’t want to overburden your walls, keep a pile of old maps and guidebooks, easily found in charity shops and second-hand bookstores, on your coffee table for inspiration.
How to: Find older maps at Unique Maps and a good selection at Maps International. Or customise a ‘where we’ve been’ map from Etsy.
7, GET CABIN FEVER
Find inspiration in cabin culture – check out Pinterest and books such as Cabin Porn. A wood-clad wall makes a great feature (as do any other natural textures and fibres such a stone and wool), or if you’re renting you could just add smaller items like a rocking chair, framed vintage national park posters, Navajo blankets and traditional quilts. If you don’t want to get too chintzy, find inspiration in clean, minimalist Scandinavian design – think white wood, sheep skins and candles.
How to: Scour vintage shops and Etsy for treasures, or try nature-inspired décor from Forest Home Store, Toast and Nordic Nest.
8, LET THE LIGHT IN
Natural light is an easy way to make your space feel bigger and calmer. Changing out thick curtains or shutters lets the natural glow of the sun lift your spirits as well as making you feel more connected to the outside word. Not everyone is blessed with big, sun-facing windows, though – compromise by steering clear of harsh, neon lighting and opting for a soft warm glow from lamps. Sunset and salt lamps emit a beautiful orange glow that brings a feeling of sunshine to the rainiest winter months.
How to: Pop a salt lamp or a sunset lamp in a dark corner.