The beauty and reality of imperfection has been a big thing over the last two years. As a society, we are learning to accept our flaws and love ourselves for who we are, rather than who society thinks we should be, and this is also true when it comes to our relationship with nature.
Our daily visits outside during lockdown allowed us to spend valuable time with Mother Nature. She got to see us in various delicate guises. We shared our emotions, our flaws, our fragility, and in turn, she empathised by showing us her imperfections, her defects, her flaws.
Captivated with Mother Nature’s reassuring presence, absorbed by her sporadic sound track and getting high of her unusual earthy smells, a connection was found that we now greedily want to hold onto.
Truly amazing, but not always an option for us folk in our already established 1970’s semi-detached houses. Accommodating a tree is about as close to bringing the original landscape indoors as you can get. However, building your house around a tree is not always viable.
So this begs the question, how should designers and architects envision bringing the “imperfectly perfect natural nature” indoors?
Au Naturel Colour Palette
Yes, green is fairly literal thinking when nature is mentioned, and it is a very popular colour for 2022, but this is not what we really mean.
Designers are looking to create a feeling of serenity, and whether earthy colours or a louder palette are used, the key is plenty of natural materials such as stone and wood.
The 2022 au naturel colour palette incorporates colours that prompt a sense of grounding, space and peace.
Mixing materials is a must. Forget perfection. Green, blue, terracotta splashes or other pops of colour alongside woodgrains and stone are what it is all about.
Stone seems like a natural choice for homes, but maybe not on scale. Designers are using it for walls – through wall paper, panelling or the real thing – which provides a rough, imperfect backdrop for a wabi-sabi approach - the Japanese philosophy of finding beauty in imperfection, appreciating things simply for what they are.
Cracks, rough walls, earthy colours, linen, unfinished wood, chunky stone, this design has it all. Yet, when you look at the space, there is a sense of tranquil richness.
This seems like a fairly dark affair, but the mix in the lighter woodgrain with the statement stone wall is quite grounding. Being both motionless and emotionless, the coloured stone creates a sense of calm and composure, relief from a chaotic world. Completely “imperfectly perfect natural nature”.
Interior designers use texture to add physical comfort and visual interest to a space through materials like fabric, wood and stone. Layering these objects up adds depth and is the key to lift a space and stop designs from feeling flat or one dimensional. The key is not to surround yourself in sterile symmetry, mix it up!
Heavy grains and aged textures, this space looks like it has sat through an age of time. There's concrete, ceramics, rattan, jute and linens, all unpolished and in their natural state.
Size, shape arrangement and proportions all play a part. Textures create emotion, especially when making a conscious decision to put what could be conflicting surfaces together.
Natural materials, that when held apart may look incompatible, but placing these elements together, create dramatic harmony!
Our advice, don’t be afraid to experiment with textures that when alone, seem to contradict each other. Mix and match to create those 'imperfectly perfect natural nature' designs.
Don't forget, handy tools like the Kronospan APP help visions to become more of a reality when showing clients. You can place decors next to each other in roomsets and create moodboards to find the best combination of colours and materials.
Other things like plants also add a natural excitement to a space. Using different sorts of folliage, spikes, round leaves, tall, short big or small, hanging, potted, draped, create depth and interest.
Surrounding yourself in plants indoors also helps trigger a chemical response in our brain, releasing serotonin, the ‘happy hormone’ which lifts our mood in a completely natural way. Embrace the green ‘imperfectly perfect natural nature’ chaos!
Yes, this is the year of nature, but don't just think green, nature has a whole host of colours, textures and materials to play with. Don't be afraid of drama drama drama, it may actually turn out to be a calm haven.
Plants can be a quick way to bring the outside in.
Finally, remember, we are not perfect and we shouldn't expect our surroundings to be either. Embrace the imperfections and let them live in harmony with you.