Nicola Holden Designs – Contemporary Interior Designer, London.

Yesterday was Nature Photography Day, and I celebrated this by posting some images of nature that I took on my break in Devon at the end of last month.  But it got me thinking – how nature inspires so much of what we have in our homes, from fabrics and wallpaper, to rugs and paint colours.  As well as marble, stone, wood and grass finishes on flooring, furniture, wall coverings and accessories.  And artists often reproduce what they see in nature in their work.  Look around your home and I’m sure you’ll find many items inspired by nature.

And if your home doesn’t contain many nature-inspired items, then it really should!  Having this connection to nature has been scientifically proven to be a vital element of creating a design that nurtures our wellbeing.  It is known as biophilic design, and is one of the elements of interior design that we use in our design process.

So let’s have a look at some of the product designers who look to nature to inspire their creations:

Tania Johnson takes much inspiration from nature to create her beautiful rugs.  For example, in her Waterlines rug she has captured a brief moment in time as swirling patterns of light dance on water.

Rug inspired by the swirling patterns of light dancing on water

Clarissa Hulse creates her stunning range of fabrics and home furnishings with designs that are based on her nature photography, which is just as likely to originate from a tropical rainforest as it is to feature leaves from a local London park. Grasses, seed heads, ferns and trailing vines feature heavily in the modern, silhouetted designs, often printed onto natural fabrics such as silk and linen.

Full length curtains make a room appear taller

The otherworldly wallpapers created by Badgers of Bohemia are inspired by the world around us: from verdant landscapes with lush green mosses, to capturing the magical, ethereal nature of clouds and light.  And in doing this they hope that they will inspire and cultivate a connection to the natural world and what we can do together to help protect the beautiful flora and fauna of this planet. 

Farrow & Ball released a new paint collection a few years ago called Colour by Nature, in collaboration with the Natural History Museum, with colours ranging from Ash Grey (the colour of Flint), to Emerald Green (the colour of the Beauty Spot on the wing of a Teal Duck) and Dutch Orange (the colour of the Common Marigold).

Our connection to nature, and inspirations from nature, also occur in the shape of things, from the compound curve, ubiquitous among living things, particularly plants, to circles and hexagons.  And the spiral is also associated with growth, and found in elements such as spiral staircases, or a spiral rug.  In Ingrid Fetell Lee’s book Joyful, she explains that “Organic forms bring the fluidity of the living world back into our space…  Organic forms taper, flare or coil at the ends.”

Hopefully this knowledge will steer you to think look twice at the products you choose to bring into your home, and to try to incorporate that connection to nature that is so good for our health and wellbeing.

“A Porsche will always look like a Porsche. My grandfather took these shapes from nature, so the head lamps of the 911 maybe look a little like the eyes of a frog, but it comes from nature, and the best shapes are from nature, so why change?”
Ferdinand Alexander Porsche   

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