Whether you prescribe to ancient Feng Shui and Vaastu practices, or the newer western Biophilic design trend and green living, we cannot argue that nature is both needed and desired in the modern living and work spaces.
You have by now no doubt read my posts about how big, international companies like Amazon, Facebook and Google are including very powerful aspects of nature design to improve employees health and their bottom line, but we can now more than ever before do the same in our homes without feeling like we are lost in the jungles of the Amazon. Through the use of the elements we can get our outdoor Zen on indoors.
1. Get Your Inside Green Thumb On
I have spoken very often of the Japanese health system of Shinrin-Yoku or Forest bathing, using the outdoor power of trees and plants health your body and mind. But research has shown us that we can take these similar benefits into the home and bringing plants into the home and office is simpler than ever. Many nurseries and greenhouses offer a wide variety of indoor plants that are easy to set up and maintain. I suggest if you are new to this entire thing (as I am) to look for plants that are low light and low maintenance, such as the Snake Plant, Aloe, Bamboo, and Peace Lilly. Many plants also have the bonus aspect that they clean the air, and some do this in powerful ways including chemicals from gasoline fumes or other toxic chemicals.
Below - List of NASA's recommended Clean Air plants.
** Keep in mind if you have kids or pets to ask the staff or uncle Google about toxicity of some plants that may have toxic berries or leaves if eaten.
2. Get Your Wet Thumb On
Another great way to get some nature aspects going is by brining in some water features into your home. 3 of my favourite ways of doing this are by
- Adding an aquarium or fish bowl
- Adding a small rock fountain or waterfall
- Adding a wall mounted slate water fall
Studies have shown that the faint sound of water falls, waves or bubbles allow us to destress better, and watching fix can also have a smoothing effect. In Feng Shui, having a fish tank is also a marker of prosperity.
Below - A hanging Slate Waterfall
3. Get Your Smell On
The use of natural scents can go a long way in bringing some natural feeling into the home. In an interesting study on Shinrin Yoku, the chief researcher discovered that the smell of the trees alone produced boosted immunity effects in his patients. So time to go shopping for a new Essential Oil Diffuser, pot pourri or of course some fresh cut flowers.
4. Your Kitchen green Thumb
One of my favorite trends is the use of indoor herb gardens in the kitchen. Have some un at the local hardware and decor stores and see what kind of designs you can come up with. From simple windowsill potted plants, to a full wall mounted herb garden. Only your imagination limits you. ** Don' forget to also get your sprouts on too. they are powerhouses of nutrients and so easy to start and manage. Below - Some examples of indoor kitchen herb gardens.
5. Get Your Japanese Zen Garden Thumb On
For those of you who want to go a little less green and leafy to a little more earth and rocky, you could consider incorporating a Japanese Rock or Zen garden into your home. Nature doesn't have to be all about plants; sand, rocks, water, wood and crystals can also be used in creative ways. These Zen Gardens can be as big as a room, or as small a cereal box. Reminder: don't forget Himalayan Rock Lamps are a great and healthy way to get some earth energy into your home.
Right: A small Japanese Zen Garden perfect for the coffee table.
7. Get Your Gree Wall Thumb On
Another trend I love was kicked off I think by some smart coffee shops, at least thats where I first saw them, and that is the living or green walls. These are not to difficult to make, and they add an excellent aspect of nature to your home without taking up valauble floor and counter space. Below - A simple green wall in a small condo
6. Home Decor
While I prefer living and dynamic elements like plants, fire and water you can also use natural decor in your home such as rock and wood walls. Today it is very easy to get DIY wood panelling and paint to simulate rock, granite and marble.
8. Get Your Terarrium Thumb On
This one isn't so much a thumb thing, but a trend I have noticed since returning from Asia is the use of hanging glass bowls of various shapes and sizes. Below - Typical hanging Terrarium you can buy at almost any decor shop.
7. Get Your Outdoors On
Finally, the easiest and cheapest way to get more nature into your home is to just go out into nature. Take a walk, join a hiking club, or Shinrin-Yoku club, do some simple earthing in your yard or at the park. You can also do a bit of gardening in your yard, or add a small one to your balcony if you live in the city.
As you can see, there are many ways we can start to bring the feel good and immunity / body boosting aspects of nature into your home and life. Some free, many cheap, and some not so cheap. Some simple, some complex. I hope you will try at least to try out 1 or 2 of these, and Im sure you will love incorporating them into your daily living and routines.