Creative Ideas for Bringing Nature Into Your Home

It’s no secret that the world is running on an epically fast pace. City living has many benefits, but access to nature isn’t always one of them. Studies have shown that people that receive more exposure to nature are happier with lower stress levels. So how do you get exposure if living in the heart of a concrete jungle? Easy. Bring the nature directly into your home, and make it a part of your everyday lifestyle and décor.

Sound tricky? Well it is actually pretty simple. People have made plants and greenery part of their homes for decades and now with the popularity of portable terrariums, brining a piece of the outdoors is easier than ever. But how about taking it to the next level? Why not incorporate elements of nature into your home aesthetic? For example, a new trend in creating a graphic element is to utilize tree branches for various designs within your living space. A favorite is turning a fallen tree branch into a curtain rod. Sounds odd yes, but the outcome is eclectic, rustic and again, beneficial to your home and mood.

First step is, of course, picking out the branch. Head to your nearest park and just do a little digging. Typically, a branch needs to be as long as the width of your window and thin enough to fit into the grooves of your wall brackets, if you already have those. If not, wall nails will do the trick in anchoring your delicate branch. Once you have chosen your tree branch, it is time to use a little elbow grease. Picking up a fine grain sand paper sheet from your hardware store is key in making this process fun and easy.

Have a seat outside (remember we are trying to increase your nature visits) and get to work. First clip off any twigs or knobby bits of the branch using kitchen shears. This makes the sanding process much easier.

Once that’s done get to work on sanding off the outer layer of the branch, using shorter strokes neat the knobby areas to get a smooth finish. You know you’re done when you run your finger along the branch and nothing catches. It is now a smooth surface that can be left as is, or painted or stained to meet your needs.

Now you’re ready to hang those curtains on your new natural and yes, fashionable curtain rod. Remember to use care when weaving the branch through your curtain seams, as it will take a little maneuvering to get past the dips and bumps of the branch.

Tree branches don’t have to be limited to holding just curtains. They are also just as cute holding your clothes! For those living in studios or lofts, closet space can be limited or even non-existent. Creating a unique way to hang your clothes is just as easy as the hanging your curtains. Repeat the same steps from above, but pick out a longer and thicker branch. Install eye hooks into your ceiling and tie twine around your branch. Voila! Hang up for fancy clothes and pat yourself on the back.

These are only a few examples of melding nature and nurture all into one space.

Remember to breathe, relax and have fun when decorating.

Timothy Lemke is a freelance health writer. To read more of his work, visit the website of Dr. Dave Matthews, a dentist in Eugene, OR.

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