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  • Writer's pictureAlison Roddy

Bring the Outdoors In

What is it about February that really makes the fact that it's winter sink in, and sparks that little twinkle of looking ahead towards spring? As I write this, snow is coming down in the northeast - that heavy, wet snow that sticks to everything outdoors and really makes you feel insulated indoors.

While the snow is beautiful in its own right (and you should definitely get out there and enjoy it), spring is right around the corner. In the meantime, we've compiled a list of tips and tricks to help you bring the outdoors in.

Nook with a view by Safdie Rabines Architects

Enhance Natural Light and Sightlines. Already have a bunch of windows? Great. Leave them bare or frame them out with curtains or shades to really set the stage for views to the outdoors. Can you do anything to make your view less cluttered (e.g. move those trash bins around the corner)? Do it. Additionally, be aware of the light entering your space to inform your choice of colors and materials. Different paints can pick up the hues from right outside your window, so be mindful of this. Lastly, when the time does come and the thermometer starts hitting a balmy 65 degrees, open those windows up and drink in that fresh air.

Cream Cabinets Show Off Varying Wood Tones and Stone | Design by April Tomlin Interiors

Think About Materials. The choice of materials in a space sets its tone and feel. To create a consistent flow between the indoors and outside, choose natural wood tones, stone, ceramics, and natural textiles like jute, sisal, cotton, and linen.

Song of India Tree in the home of Jodi Balfour and Alex Ashbaugh as featured on Remodelista.

Use Plants. At Week's End Co., we're partial to the real photosynthesizing stuff, but if faux is your thing it can have similar effects on your mood. Real plants are a natural way to improve the air quality within your home and many studies show that they help you sleep. Need an instant mood booster? Cut flowers will do the trick. If you're anything like me, sometimes you pass on the $10 grocery store bouquet because it feels like too much of a luxury. But, did you know that cut flowers have been shown to reduce depression and boost positive emotion? When you think about it like that, $10 a week sounds well worth it. Maybe we should all factor a line item into our budget for happiness boosters.

Entryway Moment with Bouquet | By Dan Mazzarini

Get Back to Nature. Most importantly: get out there! Whether you're in a city or the suburbs, there's bound to be somewhere nearby where you can totally immerse yourself in nature. Being in nature has been proven to reduce feelings of isolation, promote calm and lift moods (check out this study by Yale School of the Environment if you want to learn more). Bring that feeling you get back home with you. You'll be better for it.

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