Clever Ways First-Time Homeowners Can Add a Touch of Nature to the Home

Couple buying a new house and talking to the real estate agent

It's an exciting chapter in your life, buying your first home. Here are some tips to bring a touch a nature into your new abode.

Is there anything more fun for a first-time homeowner than decorating a new house? It’s an exciting chapter and it’s easy to see why. This is the first home that is really and truly yours. You no longer have to get permission from a landlord to paint or hang up a picture. You can do anything you want and find ways to uniquely express yourself through your decor. 

Sometimes, though, all of the decorating options can feel overwhelming. To create a sense of calmness for yourself and visitors, consider adding a touch of nature to your interior. In a recent interview, Elle Decor asked interior designer Amy Lau what inspires her, and she replied, “Mostly nature. I find incredible color palettes observing the small differences in tonality between the blue and green wings of a bird or the intricate and detailed textures of a butterfly.” 

If you love nature, but you’re not quite sure how to incorporate it into your home decor, read on for our suggestions.

Natural Materials

For some, decorating with natural materials comes, well, naturally. Wooden tables, leather chairs, cotton textiles, stone countertops — these things are all made from natural materials that connect us with the outdoors. 

Lauren Liess, an interior and textile designer and host of HGTV’s Best House on the Block, explained it best this way: “I love to incorporate natural elements into my spaces because they add warmth, texture and a bit of earthiness. Items like natural woven rugs and shades, warm woods, worn stone and metals, and natural fabrics like flax and linen add depth and texture, which makes a room feel more inviting, relaxed and ‘touchable.’”


Because furniture serves practical purposes, it’s easy to focus on that when decorating a home. But decor is so much more than furniture! Perhaps the most subtle role is played by textiles. Textiles include carpets and rugs, pillows, sheets, throw blankets, kitchen towels, curtains and cloth upholstery. And though understated, they have a significant impact on how a room feels and is experienced. 

Textiles can bring the outdoors in if they’re made from natural fibers and dyes, but also keep in mind that textile patterns are another way to add a touch of nature. A botanical motif on sheets, curtains or pillows is an example of this.


Artwork can include prints or photographs hung on a wall, freestanding sculptural objects and so much more. As with textiles, artwork can also feature botanical elements. Hang a photograph of a landscape or a favorite flower or an ocean. Above the sofa in my living room, I have a large painting of a blue sky with wispy white clouds. It gives me such a happy feeling to look at it, and it is a popular conversation piece when guests visit. If you don’t already know, you can find many great options for home decoration on Etsy for every style and price point.


In addition to purifying your air, indoor plants lend texture, shape and color to a room.This one may seem really obvious, though it never fails to amaze me when I walk into a house that has no plants. Not everyone is born with a green thumb, so fortunately there are plants to suit every kind of interior, lighting situation and gardening ability. Succulents and air plants are nearly foolproof, and you can get more specific recommendations from your local garden center. Feel free to start small as you build up your plant-care confidence!

Seek Inspiration

I have one word for you: Jungalow. It’s a design trend that I absolutely love because it’s all about bringing the outdoors inside. The woman behind the trend, Justina Blakeney, explained: “It’s all about decorating wild. That means different things to me at different times, but high level, it means decorating with color, pattern and plants. It’s also got a lot to do with the way different objects, colors and patterns contrast with each other to create tension and/or harmony together.” Even if Justina’s Jungalow style is a little too bohemian for you, check out #indoorjungle and #jungalowstyle on Instagram for a lot of great twists on the idea. 

Ultimately, you can let nature be your guide. When out for a walk, take notice of which materials, colors and textures you are drawn to. No matter your personal style, there is always a way to incorporate natural materials into your home that expresses your uniqueness. Bringing the outside in will give your home a warm, welcoming, comfortable vibe.
Sarah Kinbar is a freelance writer and editor for leading print and online publications. Formerly editor in chief of Garden Design, she has also written and edited for Cottage Living, Modern magazine and Orlando Arts. You can find her on Google+.

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