December 8, 2022
Our increasing reliance on technology for both work and play explains one of the most significant design trends to emerge over recent years. Natural interior design describes a look and a philosophy that puts us back in touch with the world around us. At its most basic, natural interior design is all about evoking the outdoors within our interiors. Read on to learn more and find out how to bring natural interior design into your home through tiles and other materials.
Also known as Green, Cottagecore or Biophilic interior design, natural interior design represents a holistic vision. It is based upon long-term thinking, choosing materials that will last over time. It’s about considering their overall lifespan, even after those materials are no longer useful. Also, the energy required to produce them, as well as their environmental impact.
Natural interior design is not a style, it’s a way of living, and as such it requires more thought. Nevertheless, it is adaptable to any home and rewards a greater initial investment. The payoff is that our interiors will actually improve with time, as the patina of age will add rather than detract, and these materials get better and better looking.
There is comfort in the familiar. Natural interior design recognises that the houses we occupy are more than simply functional shelters. It’s also connected to the importance of wellness and mental health within our inner sanctum, our homes. The trend goes hand-in-hand with an awareness of the environment and its finite resources. Simplicity is preferable to complexity. There should be a ‘legibility’ about natural interior design that needs no convoluted explanations.
To better express natural interior design both tangible and intangible considerations must be included. Light for example is critical, the more the better, especially in UK homes. Plants and cut flowers are a microcosm of this trend. The primitive attraction we have towards nature is harnessed through natural interior design.
Coral Caliza 45×120 / Coral Caliza 120×120 / Deco Coral Caliza 45×120 (Available in-store)
For UK homes, the palette of natural interior design materials is rich and varied. It includes timber, stone, earth, fabrics, metal, leather and cane. By bringing these materials into our homes we are connecting back in time with our ancestors. However, thanks to advances in technology, we can exploit these very same materials in ways that would have been unimaginable to our forebears.
No matter what your construction or redecoration budget is, natural interior design is within reach. We have listed the most common natural design materials that are also the most practical to incorporate easily into home décor.
Stone is one of the most versatile natural materials. It’s also one of the oldest and most ubiquitous construction materials. It is suitable for flooring and cladding walls, as well as worktops and even elements of furniture. The patina and textures of stone make for a visually stimulating finish.
Ceramic stone effect floor tiles improve the performance and durability of the stone. Stone adds a classic and elegant look to bathrooms, kitchens and hallway floors, a material that lends instant natural interior design. The practical advantages of stone effect tiles bring the outside world indoors, minus the maintenance issues. Equally, as a wall finish stone effect wall tiles reference our cave dweller predecessors, with sculptural contemporary verve.
Since the construction of the first habitable shelters, wood represents the ideal building material. Cheap, readily available, and endlessly malleable. For UK homes, timber is a favoured material for roof construction, flooring and furniture. Wood links back to a time when the UK was covered with forests, deciduous and hardwood trees mostly. Wood is probably the simplest shortcut to achieving natural interior design. The grain, the colours, the texture and even the aroma of timber transport us back to our primordial roots.
Wood effect floor tiles represent one of those instances where nature is improved upon. All the age-old associations of wood are married to 21st Century technology. Now timber is a practical choice for bathrooms, kitchens, entrance halls and utility rooms. Wood effect wall tiles represent another option that would not have been possible heretofore but which, nevertheless, evokes the timeless sensation of this material
Although not always recognised as such, metal is another material closely related to wellness and natural interior design. Metal is a chemical element or an alloy that comes from the earth that has marked man’s progress through evolutionary steps of civilisations (The Iron Age, Bronze Age, etc.). Metal provides a protective shell and resistant materiality for all manner of elements in home décor. From ironmongery to lamps, sanitary fittings to window frames, furniture to decorative elements – metal surrounds us in our homes if we open our eyes to it.
▶ Metal mosaics are another timeless way to benefit from their properties in bathrooms and kitchens. The reflective and decorative look of metal connects us with the elements mined from the earth.
Whether it be fired, or cured clay, ceramics, porcelain, terracotta and bricks reflect the very earth upon which all life on the planet is based. Within the four walls of the home, this material is the very essence of protection, womb-like even. Tiles, sanitaryware and even the structural walls that support our homes are sourced from the earth. Its environmental credentials are second to none.
Wicker is having a moment right now in the world of interior design. Rattan, esparto and cane furniture and accessories are also trending. The beauty of these natural fibres lies in their unique qualities. Each piece is a one-of, and the colours and textures are exactly as they appear in nature. Untreated, they will all revert to nature once their useful life expires, making them the most natural of all interior design materials.
▶ We recommended these organic materials for items of furniture such as headboards, stools and seating. They are just as suitable for practical accessories such as laundry baskets.
Hannover Bone 59.6X150 / Nebraska Tea 25X150 (Available in-store)
Since time immemorial, the importance of fabrics in the home has been expressed through decorative and practical applications. Tapestries were a common feature of medieval homes; curtains perform a similar function today. Upholstery and fabric accessories warm an interior in ways that appeal to our sense of touch. Raw fabrics like linen and cotton in natural tones really impact our sense of well-being, especially so when not dyed using chemicals.
All the materials that surround us in our home décor help create a certain ambience, whether we are aware of it or not. With natural interior design, the emphasis is on elements that recall our immediate environments, the landscape that surrounds us.
Materials extracted from the ground, the forests and the earth are somehow familiar to us. They evoke comfort and ancestral recognition. Even the colours and textures possess a belonging that is hard to put into words but nevertheless feels ‘right’.
▶For more information about natural products, please see our catalogue or visit one of our stores to see them in person. Even more than other materials, natural products are worth going out of our way to see in reality, so as to really appreciate their appeal. Meanwhile, ceramic or porcelain tiles, as well as mosaics, can be purchased directly from our online store. If you have any questions, please contact us; our advisors will be happy to assist you.