The texture of a palm frond or colorful volcanic strata on a hillside or canyon wall carved by millions of years of erosion never fails to inspire my design work. Nature is the absolute most powerful cue that I turn to every day. What I know for sure is that nature makes me feel good. In fact, many studies have found that our emotional connections with nature are predictive of our mental outlook and wellbeing. Studies have concluded that there is a unique connection between nature and happiness itself as noted by Florence Williams ‘Studies show that natural environments make us healthier, more creative, more empathetic, and more apt to engage with the world and with each other. Nature, as it turns out is good for civilization.’ Therefore, it makes perfect sense that the influence that nature has on design, in general, is substantial.
In my challenging childhood where I often felt lonely or invisible, I discovered that I had the power to shape a ‘feeling’ for myself within my environment. I know this is very personal, but it is the truth. It is because of this very fact that I chose to become an interior designer. I can regulate the ‘feeling’ of someone’s space, I think that is amazing and exciting! I love the creative aspect and the solving of a plethora of problems, challenges………. whatever you want to call them!
Our lives today in this era of fast-moving technology takes us away from nature. Constant connection to our ‘smart devices’ even thwarts our personal connections with each other. Undoubtedly you have made note of people in a restaurant absorbed with checking their e-mail or even being distracted by social media instead of having a meaningful conversation with their friend or loved one. I do not think that we can ever replace a hike in any natural space with natural elements in interior design because let’s face it not everyone can hike or ski or play every single day! By being thoughtful and deliberate with my design work I can bring a little bit of nature to every project and influence someone else’s wellbeing.
There are many ways as interior designers we can accomplish this intention. Some ways are by utilizing natural stone tile, pebbles, reclaimed wood elements, plant walls, botanical-inspired fabrics and wallcoverings, natural stone lamps consisting of real quartz crystalline bases, stone veneers on walls and so on. The ideas to nurture with the nature-inspired design are endless! At the end of the day, the key is to approach the design with careful consideration for the end user’s health and wellbeing whether it is a residential, commercial or health care application.
‘I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.’ John Burroughs.