Posts

image4b

Invite The Garden Indoors With Botanical Decor Design Ideas

Bold, celebratory trends are blooming in the world of interior design. After more than a year of hunkering down at home, we’re finally seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. That hopeful spirit is manifesting itself in playful, celebratory interior design trends. One of our favorite trending design ideas? Botanical decor and the use of floral prints year-round. It’s such a cheerful trend!

Let’s unpack this trend, where it came from, and how to get the look in your space!

What is the botanical decor trend?

Think of this trend as inviting the garden indoors. You can do this by bringing natural materials into your space, using botanicals, florals, and nature-inspired motifs into your textiles and home decor, and choosing furniture that has natural, organic shapes, such as natural curves. This is a look that has definite roots in biophilic design and embraces nature in a much more literal way.

blue wallpaper botanical coastal bedroom

Shop This Room

Why is this trend so popular?

Floral and botanical prints can make quite a statement. But the thing that’s so great about this particular trend is that it can be scaled up or down depending on your style! If you’re super eclectic, you can go all out and try some florals on florals, with a mix of saturated colors. But you don’t have to miss out on this trend if your interior design style is a bit more restrained! Those with more minimalistic styles may veer toward a simple palm-leaf motif or a single piece of art that reflects nature.

The heart and soul of this trend are about surrounding ourselves with the natural world, indoors. Essentially, the idea is to bring the outdoors indoors in nearly every element of a room—from furniture and decor to the materials you use and even literally decorating with plants and flower arrangements.

How can people incorporate botanical decor into their own homes?

We thought you’d never ask! You can incorporate it in big ways and small—through botanical wall decor or wallpaper, rugs, throw pillows, and so much more! Read on for 5 ways to bring the botanicals and florals to life in your own home. Then scroll down to shop our favorite botanical and floral furniture and decor!

botanical living room dark paint

Shop This Look

Take an Earthy Approach

The foundation of the botanical trend is the celebratory use of floral and plant motifs. But you can make the look even more nature-inspired by the additional colors and materials you use in your space.

How to Get The Look

  • Try out an earth tone color palette, which will help to give your space a nature-inspired look without needing to include any real motifs or prints.
  • Opt for natural materials in furniture and decor, which go beautifully with the nature-inspired decor we just mentioned! (Think: jute rugs, wood accent tables, and accent chairs with at least one natural detail such as cane.)
  • Go more subtle with your floral motifs. A duo of floral prints in a moody palette drives home the vibe without being too much of a focal point. And a rug with floral-inspired shapes (but that isn’t a literal floral pattern) is the perfect addition to a room like this.

bedroom botanical white chest

Shop This Look

Use Actual Flowers as Decor

A simple bouquet of your favorite flowers is a perfect way for more minimal or traditional styles to incorporate this trend in their space! The result is charming and cheerful—the perfect dose of celebration, without it being in your face.

How to Get The Look

  • Head to the farmers market or your favorite florist, buy a bouquet, and arrange it in your favorite vase.
  • Want to add a little more whimsy to your room? Add a single piece of floral-inspired art to your walls. It’s like having a bouquet of flowers in your room that never wilts or withers!

Shop This Look

Try a Tropical Vibe

If florals feel a little too “precious,” try tropical prints instead! Palm prints have a very boho vibe—and adding in actual tropical plants gives any room a more lively feel!

How to Get The Look

  • Introduce tropical prints in your space. Wallpaper is a statement-making choice. But you can also go smaller with tropical-print throw pillows.
  • Add a variety of plants to create that “garden” vibe in your space. Choose a mix of plants with different heights, colors, and textures.
  • Balance out the greens with pinks and some natural wood furniture.

Read Next: Modsy’s Houseplant Care Guide

botanical entryway floral accents

Shop This Look

Add Floral Accents

You don’t always have to go big and bold when it comes to the botanical decor trend. Instead, look for subtle yet impactful botanical prints and details on your decorative accents. These accents can be spread throughout a room—or grouped together, like on this mantle.

How to Get The Look

  • Find a floral painted table lamp (or two). It’s an elegant way to bring a classical element to this trend.
  • Hang a diptych of floral paintings, which pairs beautifully with other floral motifs.
  • Play up your plants. Faux or real plants and flowers add a wonderful texture to your space while playing up the theme in a subtle way.

botanical wallpaper chartreuse couch living room

Shop This Look

Go All Out

Love making a bold statement? Then bring home this trend in a big way! We’re not just talking about one or two pieces. Go all out with a floral-motif rug, natural materials in foundational furniture, and, of course, plenty of plants!

How to Get The Look

  • A floral rug is a perfect “pop” for any space. It can live on its own or be layered with other botanical prints or decor.
  • Bring on the plants. Like the tropical-inspired room, we showed you earlier, this one relies on a variety of large and small plants to drive home a nature-inspired vibe.
  • Look for other nature-inspired elements. Bringing the garden in doesn’t always need to mean plants and florals. You can also bring in elements of nature more broadly—such as water-inspired motifs like you see in this wallpaper.

Designer Picks: Botanical Decor

Shop some of our designers’ favorite pieces that will instantly bring the botanical decor trend to life in your home!

Try on Botanical Decor in Your Room

Start Your Project

image6-303

Going Natural: A Complete Guide to Decorating With Natural Materials

Decorating with natural materials is becoming an important call to action in design. More than ever, people are keen on how furniture and decor are made and how design impacts the environment. So it’s no surprise that a new focus on Biophilic Design is one of the top 2021 interior design trends.

From woven natural materials like jute, sisal, and rattan to organic textures, such as driftwood, cowhide, and polished stone, designers and their clients are seeking out natural materials in interior design more and more. And we’re in full support and here for it!

Here, we’ve compiled a comprehensive guide (and a primer!) on different types of natural materials and how they can bring texture and an organic touch to your spaces.

 

contemporary style living room with two chairs around a coffee table and sofa

Shop This Look

What are natural materials?

These are organic materials found in nature. Unlike manmade materials, like plastic and resin, natural materials come from different environments around the world. Some commonly found in homes include brick, stone, glass, tiles, wood, cork, bamboo, natural fibers, you name it.

Sophisticated coastal dining room with a round dining table and woven dining chairs

Shop This Look

Are natural materials popular?

The organic and natural materials trend has been going strong for a few years. But it has gained even more popularity in the past year, especially since we were confined to our homes and many people craved nature and brought it indoors in the form of natural material home furnishings. Also, many people started looking for more ways to do good by the world and the environment while staying indoors. All to say, it’s a design movement that’s here to stay!

Learn more about how to decorate with natural materials!

What design styles use natural materials?

Natural materials are used across all styles in a variety of different ways. But here are a few where styles where it’s more common:

natural materials interior design

Shop This Look

Boho & Eclectic Style:

These ‘earthier’ styles sometimes also have a ‘tropical’ vibe, but they’re always grounded by lots of natural materials, ranging from raw woods and rattan to woven wall hangings and chunky wool rugs. They’re then layered with pops of bright patterns, geometrics, and plenty of vibrant accents.

California casual bedroom in blue with a large woven wool rug

Shop This Look

Coastal Style:

Natural materials and nature motifs are a throughline in this beachy style. After all, where else would you find driftwood if not the coastal beach home? These spaces are rooted in wood and woven elements, including bleached wood, lots of rattan, cane, and jute and seagrass for rugs. Expect to also find sprinklings of seashells and coral throughout.

Minimal rustic entryway with a neutral palette and functional decor

Shop This Look

Farmhouse and Modern Farmhouse:

And speaking of natural and unfinished wood, they’re also often found in rustic-style rooms and farmhouse interiors. It’s what gives these spaces their signature old-timey barn vibe.

Mid-Century style living room with wall to wall bookcases for a library look

Shop This Look

Mid-Century Modern:

While Mid-Century style spaces are often associated with modernity, natural wood is a central—and the most common—material used in Mid-Century furniture. These pieces celebrate the beauty of natural wood grain, often in warm stains or light finishes. Let’s face it: Can you imagine a mid-century living room without a natural wood credenza or coffee table? Neither can we.

Shopping for furniture?

See exactly how your new pieces will look in your room.

Start Your Project

Transitional design living room with an open seating area

Shop This Look

Do natural materials improve your mood?

The short answer: Yes! The long answer: It’s complicated. The truth is there’s no secret formula to interiors that inspire positivity and lift our moods. Some studies have shown that being in nature has a positive affect on people’s moods, and the same results can occur by being in an environment surrounded by natural materials. But it’s uncertain if this is because of the positive associations our brains have with the natural world or if there’s something more in the textures, patterns and organic imperfections of natural materials that stimulate our brains more and result in more positive, happy feelings.

With that in mind, natural materials alone don’t seem to drastically impact our mood, but depending on how it’s used in a space, it can evoke a wide range of feelings—from calming and relaxed to inspired and motivated. Although we know one thing is for certain—“plants make people happy!”

Minimal Rustic dining room with upholstered dining chairs and natural wood dining table

Shop This Look

Are natural materials more sustainable?

Another complicated question, but the short answer is, yes! Much of what is not sustainable today is made from oil, which is a finite resource that uses massive amounts of energy. A prime example of an oil-made item is plastic, which takes thousands of years to decompose so they live in landfills that are harmful to the environment as long they are disposed of.

By contrast, natural materials come from natural sources. So they’re biodegradable and renewable resources over time. It can get complicated with materials, such as wood, that are often treated with chemical sealants or dyes. But more and more, people are doing their homework to research what things are made from and if they’re sustainably sourced. And that’s an important part of living sustainably with natural materials.

Here, a roundup of the most popular natural materials in home decor and how to work them into your home!

natural materials interior design

Shop This Look

Natural Fibers

From sisal to rattan to bamboo, these fibrous natural materials are often woven into furniture and decor that lend a light, textural look and an organic touch.

Seagrass:

Seagrass is a flowing plant that grows underwater in marine environments. What’s great about seagrass is that it’s durable, stain-resistant, and still soft on the feet—even more than sisal. So it’s a great option for rugs and other furnishings in kids’ rooms or bedrooms. They’re sometimes even used for wallpaper. Seagrass also has an earthiness to it, which makes it a popular material in both coastal and boho-style homes.

Sisal:

Native to Southern Mexico, sisal comes from a flowering plant that yields a stiff fiber that is used to make rope and weavings. It’s a natural material that’s mostly used in rugs for its durability and resistance to the elements. Because of its light natural hue, they blend seamlessly with boho, rustic, and coastal style spaces. Its strength makes it ideal for busy homes and high-traffic areas like the kitchen, family room, and entry.

natural materials interior design

Shop This Look

Jute:

Another strong and durable fiber, jute has both strength and a bit of shine. It’s popular in home decor, from curtains to chair coverings to area rugs, and is often used in rustic and boho spaces. Jute has longevity also. Even though it’s not the softest rug, it’s the most used style of natural-fiber rug given that it stands up to wear and foot traffic.

Shopping for a natural fiber rug? Read our guide to natural fiber rugs first!

Raffia:

Native to Africa, raffia is often used for basket weaving because it’s strong, malleable, and holds dye beautifully well. Raffia has a soft organic look to it that makes it easy to mix in spaces. You’ll find plenty of decorative accents made from raffia in boho and eclectic interiors, ranging from wall art to table bases and nightstands.

Rattan:

One of several natural materials that are popular in boho and coastal interiors, rattan is made from a strong fibrous plant similar to bamboo but is a bit more flexible. rattan is loved for its bold texture, organic form, and breezy, laid-back appeal. It’s widely used for furnishings big and small—from woven chairs and headboards to trays and pendant lights. Want more? Explore easy rattan decorating ideas.

Tropical entryway with a serena and lily bench and beach themed art

Shop This Look

Bamboo:

Fun fact: Bamboo is the fastest growing grass plant in the world! It’s an elegant natural fiber that’s used in everything from furniture to flooring to tableware because it’s extremely durable (it’s scratch-resistant) and long-lasting. Bamboo furnishings and decor are also lightweight and have a beautiful natural hue, which makes it a favorite material for contemporary and minimalist style spaces.

art gallery wall with stool and credenza

Shop This Look

Cane:

A favorite material for coastal and tropical homes, cane is an ideal material for outdoor furniture, specifically chairs and sofas, given its soft, moisture-resistant, and sweat-wicking properties. Woven cane furniture provides ventilation and since the material itself doesn’t retain body heat, cane pieces have a cooling effect that’s perfect for indoor-outdoor spaces. Cane is a trendy material that’s on the rise, so you’ll find it used in a wide range of interiors, from rustic rooms to modern homes these days.

Find more stylish tips for designing with cane furniture.

Contemporary living room with bold geometric rug and organically shaped wood coffee table

Shop This Look

Woods

One of the world’s most precious natural materials, wood of every type is a foundational element in interiors of any style, providing touches of texture, color, and warmth.

Unfinished or Live-Edge Woods:

These types of woods are usually left raw and untreated or unfinished on purpose. It preserves the wood’s organic look and feel, which artists and designers love to use to craft table tops, side stools, benches, and other large furniture pieces. Unfinished and live-edge wood decor is bold, textured, and sculptural, so they’re popular materials you’ll find in contemporary, industrial, and rustic spaces.

Minimalist Glam living room with biophillic design features in a pastel color scheme

Shop This Look

Burlwood:

The truth about burlwood is that it can be any type of wood. What makes it burl wood is the knot in the wood—the more twisted and bigger the knot, the bigger the burl, which creates textural patterns and rich natural-wood colors. Its dense texture, durability, and spill-resistant nature makes it a quality wood for furniture. Burlwood was popular during the Art Deco period, then went away. It made a comeback in the ’60s and ’70s and has been a staple material in furniture since. Burlwood pieces are statements in any home, so one or two pieces will go a long way to inject flair and a bold look.

Driftwood:

A coastal home staple, driftwood is simply wood that had been salvaged after being washed out to sea, in a river or a lake. Driftwood has an aged rustic look that comes from it having been weathered by sand and water. It’s usually preserved and dried before it’s transformed into furnishings, such as side tables, consoles, benches, stools, and other accent pieces. Some people also like driftwood in its natural jagged form and use it as a decorative piece.

Read This Next: How to Mix Different Wood Tones in a Space.

Small eclectic living room with leather sofa facing a TV

Shop This Look

Leather

Soft, durable, and luxurious, it’s always a good idea to invest in leather and hide decor—be it a hide rug or a set of leather dining chairs. It’s a material that stands up to the test of time.

Genuine Leather:

In terms of natural materials, it doesn’t get more luxe than genuine leather. Crafted from a layer of hide, leather is a durable upholstery material often used for dining chairs, stools, sofas, and headboards. Leather ages slowly but beautifully. Over time it will have a lived-in look, get softer, and remain stain-resistant for a long time with proper care. Whether you’re using sleek leathers in a contemporary room or darker leather in a rustic or traditional space, leather is always a timeless and luxe material.

Contemporary dining room with suede dining chairs, black wood table and a hide rug

Shop This Look

Cowhide:

Cowhide is the natural unbleached skin and hair of a cow, so every hide is different and unique. It’s a luxurious material for a rug, and the organic shape of a cowhide makes it a beautiful accent in any style home, especially rustic, mid-century, and glam interiors. But the best thing about cowhide is that it’s easy to maintain (just a little shake and some light vacuum) and is also long-lasting.

Suede:

Made from the underside of animal skin, suede has a soft and fuzzy texture. It’s a great material for upholstered furniture but it will need to be specially treated to protect from spills and moisture. It’s not the best material to use in a home with small children. In modern or rustic style homes, suede makes for a soft yet durable choice for furnishings.

Get more design ideas for decorating with leather!

natural materials interior design

Shop This Look

Sheepskin:

The hide of a sheep or a pelt with the fur attached, sheepskin comes in all sizes and is popular accents in boho and rustic-style homes. They’re great as small fluffy throw rugs in a kids’ room or guest rooms, and they can also be draped over benches, sofas, and beds to add a touch of soft texture. Just be sure to keep them clean and dry and away from spill-prone areas in the home.

natural materials interior design

Shop This Look

Stone

A naturally elegant material, stone of any kind instantly elevates interiors. Whether it’s a marble table, granite tiles, or even ceramics, stone decor offers sleek style, no matter your space.

Travertine:

A natural stone formed in limestone mineral spring deposits, travertine has a striking and luminous look. It’s durable and weather-resistant, making it a popular choice for outdoor patios and kitchens. Indoors, it’s a statement stone that’s often used for tiles, flooring, and backsplashes, but you’ll also find gorgeous dining tables with travertine stone tops. If you’re a fan of contemporary and minimalist spaces, travertine will blend seamlessly into equally sleek spaces.

Marble accent table with ceramic vases and firefly art in the background

Shop This Look

Marble:

With its beautiful veining, varying colors, and smooth touch, it’s easy to see why marble has been loved and used for centuries. A natural stone that has to be mined, there are many variations of marble but they all share a rich, luxurious look. It’s commonly used in everything from tiles and sculptures to entire building facades. But when it comes to marble furniture, it needs a little TLC given that it can chip and stain easily. Nonetheless, marble furniture is an essential element in contemporary, traditional, and modern spaces—whether it’s small nesting rounds or a marble-top dining table.

Ceramics:

Made from clay heated at high temperatures, ceramic accents are versatile and long-lasting home essentials that can be used in any style space, contemporary or rustic or modern. Ceramic can come in many different shapes, textures and sizes, but it’s most widely used in decorative accents and home accessories, such as bowls, vases, candleholders, and tableware, for finishing touches.

See How Natural Materials Look in Your Space!

Start Your Project

image15-56

Biophilic Design for Beginners: 17 Ways to Incorporate Biophilic Design into Your Home

At the beginning of the year, we predicted that biophilic design would be a 2021 interior design trend to look out for. Spoiler alert: biophilic design is one of the year’s biggest trends! But what is biophilic design exactly? Let’s take a closer look at biophilic design and how you can incorporate it into your home.

What is Biophilic Interior Design?

You may not be familiar with the term, but biophilic design is a concept in architecture and interior design that’s all about feeling more connected to nature and embracing the positive health and environmental benefits that come with that. It comes from the term biophilia, which means a love of nature and everything that is alive.

As an architecture and interior design approach, biophilic design is a relatively new concept—with much of today’s approach developed by Stephen Kellert in the 2000s. Kellert was a professor of social ecology at Yale and created a framework around how biophilia can be used in interior architecture to fill the human need for nature.

The core principles Kellert developed include direct and indirect experiences of nature in your home. Direct experiences include elements that offer tangible contact with natural elements—like celebrating natural light; being conscious of airflow, temperature, and humidity; and incorporating water, plants, and animals into your space. Indirect experiences of nature are more about representations of nature in your home. Examples of this can range from the more literal, like landscape paintings and the use of natural materials and colors, to the more abstract like the use of natural shapes and patterns in furniture and decor.

biophilic design

How to Incorporate Biophilic Design into Your Home

It’s easier than you might think to apply these core principles of biophilic design in your home. If you want to increase your connectivity with nature in your own home, read on for 17 ways to incorporate biophilic design into your home! We’ll start with some tips that will help you bring some direct experiences of nature into your home, then help you explore some indirect experiences of nature in your space.

Biophilic design living room with casual seating area

Shop This Look

1. Invite Natural, Layered Lighting

Make your home’s environment feel more natural through lighting that simulates nature. Start by assessing the natural light in your space and how you can use windows and skylights to optimize your home’s natural lighting. Arrange your space in a way that celebrates the different lighting throughout the day; perhaps you want your sofa to bask in the afternoon sunlight or for your breakfast nook to catch the morning light. Take some time to assess the light patterns in your home and plan your layout accordingly.

You’ll also want to keep layered lighting in mind—from overhead lighting and floor lamps to a variety of candles, sconces, and table lamps. Intentionally choosing lighting for your home will help you have more control of the lighting in your space and let you change lighting levels depending on your mood and the time of day. Rather than feeling artificial, this lets you change the lighting in your home in a way that mimics the way light changes in nature throughout the day.

You can also use reflective surfaces like glass tables and mirrors to bring more reflection of light into your space.

Biophilic design dining room

Shop This Look

2. Let in Some Fresh Air

Considering the way air moves in your space is a significant way to incorporate biophilic design into your home. In the simplest terms, this involves stimulating some airflow. The most natural way to do this is to simply crack a window and let in the natural breeze. (Bonus: depending on where you live, this will also invite sounds of nature inside!) For rooms without windows air flow or on days you don’t want to crack a window, you can use a fan for a subtle breeze. (We love the look of a vintage desk fan, but ceiling fans are also great!)

Temperature and humidity are other things to consider when it comes to the air in your home. How you approach this is up to your personal preferences (some people love humidity and hot temps, others don’t). But using humidifiers or diffusers are two ways to impact the air quality and your experience of it in your space.

Biophilic design mid-century living room

Shop This Look

3. Incorporate Houseplants and Flowers

Ever wonder why people say that plants make them happy? This idea is straight out of the biophilic design playbook. If images of nature are beneficial, the real thing is even better. Meaning: the more plants, the merrier! This is a simple way to directly invite nature into your home! But there are some other benefits as well—certain houseplants help clean your air, and taking care of plants and taking the time and effort to nurture them can give you a sense of purpose (without the commitment-level of caring for an animal!). And, of course, you can’t beat a vase of fresh farmer’s market flowers!

biophilic design

4. Play With Fire

Fire offers a direct experience of nature, and as such it is pleasing to the human eye—offering color warmth, and movement to your space. If you have a fireplace in your home, you have an easy way to incorporate some flames. Don’t have a fireplace but craving those cozy vibes? You can always install a gas fireplace into your home! But if a fireplace isn’t possible, lighting candles throughout the house—on your desk while you’re working, on the coffee table during movie nights, or at the dining table—is a simple but impactful way to spark some natural coziness in your space.

5. Bring in a Water Feature

Some people feel strong connections to water. If this is you, consider ways you could incorporate this element into your home. Two of the easiest ways to naturally incorporate water? The use of a water feature, like a tabletop fountain, or a saltwater aquarium. They not only literally bring water into your space, but they also bring in the sound of flowing water!

Biophilic design boho bedroom

Shop This Look

6. Display Images of Nature

Don’t have a great view? Create one! Some studies have shown that images of nature can be emotionally and intellectually satisfying. Hanging landscape paintings or framing photographs from your own travels are a perfect way to bring images of nature into your space. Photos or artwork of places that hold special significance to you are an especially meaningful way to bring this idea to life.

If you don’t want to go quite so literal on the landscapes, you can try other nature-inspired art—like botanical prints or animal art.

Struggling to design your room?

Let our experts show you ideas in your exact room.

Start Your Project

Biophilic design transitional living room

7. Incorporate Natural Materials

A super easy way to jump on the biophilic design bandwagon? Use natural materials in your decor and furniture, and even the finishes throughout your home. This can be really simple—a wood dining or coffee table, a jute rug, a stone side table. Live-edge and raw, unfinished woods will give you a more natural vibe than finished and manufactured wood—but both approaches will still bring visual texture and depth into your space. But don’t stop at wood; explore other natural materials like stone (think: granite, marble, concrete) as well as woven natural fibers like wool, jute, cotton.

Visual complexity and lack of uniformity, which are found in abundance in nature, makes environments more visually stimulating, versus the uniformity of man-made materials. This essentially gives your brain more to “chew on.”

biophilic design

Shop This Look

8. Embrace Earth Tones

Using a neutral or earth-tone palette in your home is a subtle way to bring some nature into your space. Consider colors commonly found in nature, like subdued tones of brown, green, and blue. These earth tones have soothing vibes and act as neutrals throughout your space, while still feeling bold and saturated. Incorporate these hues into your home through decor, furnishings, and finishes like flooring and paint colors. In contrast, use brighter colors sparingly so your home has a soothing balance!

Biophilic design neutral living room

Shop This Look

9. Play with Organic Shapes

Organic shapes are those with soft curves, abstract forms, and asymmetrical shapes. Essentially, they’re the types of lines you would expect to find in the natural world. They bring a beautiful imperfection into your space. You can bring these organic shapes into your home through furniture, decor, architectural details, and even the layout of your space.

Move away from shapes you wouldn’t find in nature. (AKA, no sharp corners, straight lines, or perfect symmetry!) Mid-Century Modern is a great style to use as a foundation for bringing organic shapes into your home, as it’s a design style that celebrates organic forms. You could also opt for its little sister Organic Modernism, which offers a more earthy approach to a modern aesthetic.

Biophilic design coastal dining room

Shop This Look

10. Try Out Mismatched Furniture

Just as you won’t find perfectly straight lines in nature, you likely won’t find two identical shapes. You can translate this idea of variance to your home by skipping matchy-matchy furniture. Rather than going for a full living or dining room set, try styling your space with different accent chairs, mismatched dining chairs, or mismatched nightstands. Doing this adds variance and intrigue to your space—plus gives it an individual look that’s totally unique to you.

This idea of variance and mismatched furniture is a staple of bohemian design. This is one of the many reasons why people often find this design style to feel more “earthy” or in-touch with nature.

biophilic design

Shop This Look

11. Vary Your Heights and Scale

We just mentioned that, in nature, perfectly straight lines and symmetry rarely exist. And the same goes for height. In nature, you’ll see trees and plants in different shapes and sizes, living side-by-side. An abstract way to translate this idea into your home is to vary the height of your decor when styling your space.

Having items of similar size, shape, and scale will feel contrived and man-made—whereas variation mimics the randomness of nature and is visually appealing. On the console pictured above, the vases and bowls are different sizes, shapes, and fullness (as are the plants in the vases). It creates an easy balance that’s pleasing to the eye.

Biophilic design Japandi style living room

Shop This Look

12. Bring in Some Textural Richness

Nature is full of texture—both visual and tactile. So a fun way to try on biophilic design is through bringing a variety of textures into your space. Having varying textures and materials—like different woven upholstery, plus smooth and rough materials next to each other—will bring visual richness to your space. And this is not to be confused with busyness! It’s not about bringing more stuff into your space, but rather about considering the texture of what you do bring in and how that texture plays with other pieces in your space. This also ties in with the idea of the vast complexity and textural richness of ecosystems in nature!

Biophilic design minimalist bedroom

Shop This Look

13. Opt for Materials That Have a Patina

In nature, things age and change, so use items in your home that will, too. Decorating your home with materials that age and develop a patina help signal our brains that time has passed and things are changing. Some of our favorite materials that develop a beautiful patina are copper, brass, marble, and leather. Both copper and brass can be kept shiny—but there’s something comforting about a brass bed or a copper tea kettle that is well-loved and shows signs of use and aging. Marble tabletops tend to change hues and smoothness over time. And leather sofas and chairs develop a rich patina over time, darkening and developing scuffs and scratches from everyday use that only add to the beauty of the material.

Biophilic design dining room

Shop This Look

14. Integrate Natural Patterns

We love a good patterned wallpaper or rug. But have you thought about the repetitive patterns that naturally occur in nature? Honeycombs, rippling waves, and the patterns found on a plant leaf or animal hides are some of the most beautiful natural patterns out there. Take inspiration from these naturally occurring patterns and incorporate them into your home—whether that’s through a honeycomb wall shelf, a glass wall that has a wavy pattern in it, baskets with scalloped edges, or even a good ol’ animal print blanket.

Biophilic design boho seating nook

Shop This Look

15. Carve Out a Cozy Nook

Having a place for “refuge” is known to enhance our well being in a space, giving us a sense of safety. (This is where our human evolution diverges from the wildness of nature.) Alcoves, nooks, and cozy corners are comfortable and help us feel safe and nurtured. So, carve out a designated place like this in your home and use it for reading, meditation, phone calls with loved ones, or simply unwinding after a long day.

biophilic design

Shop This Look

16. Emphasize the View

Just as having cozy nooks gives us a sense of safety, creating a space that emphasizes horizons and spaciousness is also a great biophilic design technique. Designing a room in a way that emphasizes the view outside gives us a sense of surveying our surroundings. There’s something primal about looking for movement and sources of danger—but there’s also a beautiful simplicity in just taking in the views of nature. We love the idea of bringing this to life by setting up a window nook, balcony, or porch where you can kick back and enjoy the views.

Biophilic design TV watching living room

Shop This Look

17. Create Easy Traffic Flow

The ability to easily move through a space increases our feelings of security in a place. So, making sure you have clear walkways in your home is important! When arranging a room, ensure your pathways are uncluttered, there’s enough space between furniture, and there’s a clear sense of entrances and exits. Essentially, moving throughout your space should be comfortable and easy. This is also a key tenet of Feng Shui; unblocked entrances create energy flow in your home, and clear passageways keep that good energy flowing throughout your home.

What Are the Benefits of Biophilic Design?

As humans, we crave a connection with nature. And a strong connection improves our well-being. That’s why biophilic design has risen in popularity. Using environmental psychology as a launching point, architects and designers are embracing biophilic design to increase that connection, especially in urban areas where access to nature is more limited. Here are some of the benefits people say biophilic design brought them!

  • Increased productivity
  • Improved mental health
  • Cleaner air
  • Reduced stress levels
  • Feeling more creative

Want to incorporate biophilic design into your home?

Start Your Project

image4-281

A Simple Guide to Adding Feng Shui to Your Home

Feng Shui. You’ve probably heard of it. But do you really know what it means? It can feel like a complicated topic to dive into—and even more complicated practice to implement in your home. To help unpack the idea of feng shui decorating in your home, we’re walking you through the main pillars of feng shui and what it looks like to bring more harmony and balance into your home.

What is Feng Shui?

First, a definition. Feng and Shui are both Chinese words, meaning “wind” and “water,” respectively. Holistically, feng shui is a philosophy and practice that involves arranging your living space to create balance with the natural world. It involves harnessing energy, or chi, in your home through scientific calculations. The goal? To harness forces and establish harmony between you and your environment—specifically, your home.

Bringing feng shui into your home involves mindfulness. It’s about slowing down and taking time to notice the details while being grounded in the present moment.

Struggling to design your room?

Let our experts show you ideas in your exact room.

Start Your Project

The Origins of Feng Shui

This philosophy is derived from an ancient poem that talks about the connection between human life and the environment. In Asian cultures, the practice of feng shui is actually called Tao, which literally means “the way.”

Making Feng Shui Work in Your Home

Despite meaning “the way,” here at Modsy we don’t believe that feng shui is the only way to decorate, and we’re by no means experts in this ancient practice. In fact, many people don’t consider it at all in their home’s design, and other people appreciate incorporating some aspects of this philosophy into their homes while leaving others behind.

If you choose to implement feng shui decorating principles in your home, how you do it really depends on the size of space you have and how strictly you want to adhere to its principles. The big thing to remember? Decide what works for you and your space. If that means a 100% feng shui home? Great! If not? Also great.

Read on to learn about the basic principles of feng shui and design tips to help you incorporate them into your home!

feng shui design tips

Shop This Look

Understand and Establish Your Commanding Positions

Every room has a “commanding position.” And this is the first thing to become aware of when seeking to implement feng shui in your home.

What is a commanding position in feng shui?

A commanding position is a place in the room where you place the largest focus (like a bed in a bedroom or a desk in an office).

How do I know my room’s commanding position?

You can establish the commanding position by locating the spot in the room that is the farthest from the doorway but not in line with it. Ideally, you position these focal points to benefit the overall function and flow of a space while honoring the simple rules of feng shui.

Consider and apply the commanding position to any area of a space that you spend the most time in—from bedrooms and home offices to open living/dining areas or basement family rooms.

feng shui design tips

Shop This Look

How do I create a strong commanding position?

Strong commanding positions have a good “backing,” or strong support behind you, like a wall.

For example, in a bedroom, place your headboard against a solid wall, like in the design above. Good backing might not feel as natural in a room like a home office, where many people place their desk against a wall. Instead, in a feng shui office, you’d want to float your desk away from the wall, so that when you sit, your back is facing the wall. But strong support behind you also means being “supported” by walls—not windows. You’d never want to position your desk (or bed) with your back against a window.

Strong commanding positions also have a good view of the room’s entrances/exits (you wouldn’t want to position your bed facing away from the door) and do not block a doorway or walkway.

feng shui design tips

Shop This Look

Add Life and Balance With the Five Elements

Feng shui design encourages decorating with plants, flowers, and other elements of nature. Plants embody life energy, so bringing these elements into your home brings that energy too.

What are the five elements in feng shui?

Another way to add life to your home is by bringing the five elements into your home. These five elements—earth, wood, fire, water, and metal—can be physically brought into your space through furniture and objects that are made out of these materials (like a wooden table, a fireplace or candle, a metal statue or side table).

But you can also bring the spirit of these elements into your home through colors. Bring the fire element in through the use of warm tones like reds and oranges or the water element through the use of blues. In fact, the use of color in feng shui is very directly correlated with the five elements.

feng shui design tips

Shop This Look

Which of the five elements should I bring into my home?

Whether you go literal or symbolic, either way, the idea is to create balance and harmony through the use of all five elements. And if there’s an elemental energy you need more of in your life, bring in symbols of that element in a larger way.

  • Need more clarity and precision? Bring in the metal element.
  • Struggling with aggression? Pare back on the fire element. Or bring in more of the fire element if you need a boost in motivation.
  • Ground yourself and focus on stability with the earth element.
  • Or invite more wisdom into your home with the water element.
  • The wood element helps bring new beginnings and bring life energy to a space.

So, take stock of what you need more of in your life, and bring in a little extra of that element—but focus on striking a balance with all five, as this represents a balanced emotional life.

feng shui design tips

Shop This Look

Promote Energy Flow in Entryways and Passageways

In feng shui, the belief is that energy enters your home through the front door. So, your entryway is incredibly important for setting the tone for the rest of the house. Read our best entryway design tips!

Create Energy Flow

Maintain a strong area of energy flow by unblocking entrances. This may mean decluttering and paring down your entryways, hallways, and doorways. Establish and maintain minimalist interior design in these spaces.

Pause Energy Flow

You could also consider adding an element of “pause” in passageways, such as a small area rug in an entrance or artwork in a hallway to slow down the energy of the flow. Art is a natural element that inspires pondering. This creates a moment of considered intention within the space’s design.

feng shui design tips

Shop This Look

Remove Obstacles & Maintain Clean Lines

To keep the energy flowing throughout your home, it’s important to remove any obstacles that could block the flow. Create movement throughout your space by using clean, distinct lines in the walkways of a room and between “zones.”

One of the key ways to do so is keeping passageways and walkways clear of clutter or obstructive furniture. Large area rugs are also a great way to create definitions and distinctions between zones in an open layout.

Read Next: Want to bring feng shui into a small living room layout? Check out our layout guides for creative solutions to tricky layouts.

feng shui design tips

Shop This Look

Reduce Clutter

Clutter can interrupt positive energy, clarity of thought, and productivity. So, to promote positive energy and flow, it’s important to reduce clutter. Focus on putting organizational systems in place, so that everything in your home has a specific function and place. Furniture with hidden storage is a great way to do this!

That doesn’t mean you can’t have superfluous decor (sometimes an object’s only function is that it brings joy!), but it does mean seriously considering each thing you bring into and keep in your home. (Think: Mari Kondo, a huge proponent of feng shui.)

Make an effort to tidy up your work and living spaces each day. This brings a sense of order into the chaos of the every day, and it gives you a clean slate to start with each morning. All of this will result in a happier, healthier environment.

feng shui design tips

Shop This Look

Design “Up”

Create a sound and soothing space by designing up—AKA using design tricks to help make your space feel larger than it is.

One great way to design up is to use tall bookcases or other storage furniture—whether built-ins, wall-mounted bookshelves or standalone pieces. Or, if you don’t have space for freestanding bookcases, try a wall-mounted shelf or two.

Designing up can also be achieved through hanging curtains higher than window frames—another great trick for drawing the eye up. And finding lamps where the light flows upward or adding a tree to your room’s design are also great ways to design up.

feng shui design tips

Shop This Look

Honor Natural Light

In feng shui decorating, it’s so important to honor natural light sources. Designing around these light sources, like large windows, can help to create a natural balance and symmetry in your space.

Be careful not to block natural sources of light, whether windows or doors, with pieces of furniture. Of course, the use of curtains is permitted. You can also use mirrors in your space as a way to reflect natural light and bring more light into the room.
feng shui design tipsShop This Look

Remove Negative Symbolism

Symbolism plays a huge role in the art of feng shui. So, to keep positive energy in your home, you want to be mindful of any negative symbolism.

Our homes are, ideally, places of peace and rest. But in these spaces, we also encounter our fears and challenges—and too often we unknowingly reinforce these fears by including their symbols in our homes.

  • Clutter can be symbolic of a lack of clarity.
  • A home is filled with single imagery—like artwork with solo figures, or even a single vase or chair—can be symbolic of loneliness and solitude.
  • Maybe that rug you love reminds you of a past relationship that you’re holding onto.

Take time to evaluate the challenges you’re facing in life and identify if you have any negative symbolism of those struggles in your space. Remove them, then replace them with symbols of your goals or something that brings you joy.

Ready to rethink your home’s flow?

Start Your Project

image6-248

Simple Upholstery Cleaning Tips For Spring!

Spring has almost sprung, so it’s time to get set for a front-to-back home refresh. It’s all about swapping out winter items for warmer weather, reorganizing and rearranging spaces, and, of course, cleaning!

One of the best investments you can make this season is showing a little love for your upholstery. Whether it’s your sofa or upholstered headboard, these pieces need regular cleaning in order for them to look their best all year round. And there’s no better time than spring to tackle some deep upholstery cleaning!

Don’t worry, we know cleaning your upholstery can feel intimidating. For instance, how do you clean a sofa? Where do you even start? Or what’s the best way to wipe down an ottoman? And an upholstered bed?

Here, we’re answering all the top questions and dishing our best upholstery cleaning tips along the way. We guarantee it’ll motivate you to get a head start on your own spring cleaning!

Need help getting started? Check out our spring refresh checklist and get inspiration for ways to decorate with plants to ready your home for the new season!

upholstery cleaning tips

Shop This Look

Know Your Upholstery Fabrics

Before any vacuuming or scrubbing, check to make sure you know the different upholstery fabrics you’ll be cleaning. Different fabrics require different cleaning methods–such as wiping down leather vs. suede and gently blotting wool, linen, or velvet.

Chances are, your upholstered sofa or headboard came with a fabric guide or a best-practice cleaning tag. So take a close look for the best treatment for the fabric, then come up with a gameplan. If anything is unclear, look up your exact piece and upholstery weave and material from the manufacturer’s site to find out their recommended cleaning advice.

upholstery cleaning tips

Shop This Look

Tackle Stains Slowly

Following fabric guidelines, you’ll want to treat stains accordingly based on upholstery material—especially if you’re trying to clean a couch with tough stains. Though in general, most fabric stains can be treated with a mild detergent mix and water.

If you’re working with a vacuum that has a steam cleaner, use it! Think of it as your BFF when it comes to easy and effective upholstery cleaning. Start by vacuuming your upholstery, then spot treat any particular stain slowly one by one. Remember: Blot, don’t scrub! Too much friction can damage the fabric and ruin your upholstery. Let the treated area dry, then vacuum one more time.

For those of you dealing with a white sofa, a steam cleaner is the perfect upholstery cleaning tool. Also, consider slipcovers that you can remove and throw toss into the wash. They’re guaranteed to keep all your white upholstery looking clean and new for years. Also, check out our comprehensive guide on should I get a white sofa.

upholstery cleaning tips

Shop This Look

Make Vacuuming A Habit

Upholstered furniture are magnets for dirt and dust and other airborne spores—just because you can’t see the dust, doesn’t mean that it’s not there!

This is especially true if you have an upholstered bed or headboard. It might not be obvious but hair and dust have a tendency to collect quickly on these pieces even if they’re not easily visible. And you definitely don’t want to be sleeping with dust around, so make sure to vacuum these pieces. And while upkeep might sound tedious, there are actually a lot of pros for having an upholstered headboard. Check out our guide on is an upholstered bed right for you.

It’s recommended you vacuum your furniture at least once every other week, so make it a point to do routine upholstery cleaning in your home. For quick and easy cleaning on the regular, use the narrow parts of your vacuum to get into the nooks and crannies of your sofas and chairs where dust and dirt tend to collect. Then, once every season (three months), go for a deep upholstery cleaning, removing stains, and steam cleaning your pieces.

upholstery cleaning tips

Shop This Look

Do Deodorize

Part of upholstery cleaning is keeping your pieces looking, feeling, and smelling fresh. If you’ve ever caught a whiff of odor from your upholstery, you’re not alone. This is especially true if you have pets! From daily clothes to pets rubbing up on the fabric, odors, like stains, are bound to develop over time.

To tackle upholstery odors, you can use baking soda to help lift any odors and oils from your upholstery. Simply sprinkle and pat it into the upholstery and let it sit for a few hours. It will absorb any odors and oils during that time. Then just vacuum it up after.

upholstery cleaning tips

Shop This Look

A Few Good Rules Of Thumb:

Avoid harsh chemicals. Spraying strong cleaning chemicals directly onto your furniture–such as Lysol is not a good idea, especially in bedrooms. While this solution may be tempting–you don’t want to be sleeping with chemicals in the air and under your pillow. Try for an organic and chemical-free upholstery cleaning formula instead, or go with a DIY mixture of 1 cup water or club soda, ½ cup white vinegar, ½ Tbsp natural dish soap, and 1 drop thieves essential oil.

Keep dampness at bay. Avoid sitting or leaning on your upholstered pieces with a wet head or wet towel. Water is a huge cause of bacterial growth and a big reason for stains and discoloration in upholstered furnishings.

Consider synthetic fabrics. When purchasing upholstered furniture, look for performance fabrics made with synthetic materials that are naturally stain and mildew-resistance. This will make all your upholstery cleaning much easier, especially if you’re leaning towards upholstered pieces in lighter colors!

Know when to call the pros. If you’re not sure how to tackle a stain that’s too large or serious, you’ll be much better off seeking professional cleaning help. While spot treating small stains can easily be done at home yourself, large stains that aren’t dealt with properly can end up ruining your piece, so it’s safest to call in the pros.

Spring is around the corner! Check out more trending interior design ideas!

Ready For a Spring Home Refresh?

Start Your Project

hero-1-2

The Secret Ingredient Every Room Needs – How and Where to Add Natural Texture

living roomHere at Modsy, there’s a design element we talk about ALL the time. It’s the secret ingredient that turns any room from blah to beautiful. It helps create a warm and inviting space. And it is the key to making any room look perfectly polished. What is it? Texture! Layers and layers of natural texture.

There’s something so cozy and inviting about using natural textures throughout your home. Most people know how important color is in decorating, but not everyone appreciates the need for texture. Whatever the theme or style of your design, texture adds warmth, comfort, and nuance to your room. This can be in the form of visual or tactile textures—think colors and patterns vs. materials. Without it, even rooms filled with the most beautiful furniture can fall flat.

One of our favorite ways to add texture (and a current trend darling of the design world) is through natural materials! Natural elements can infuse any room with life and add an array of interesting textures. But you might be wondering how and where to incorporate these into your space?

First of all, if you’re wondering what exactly qualifies as natural materials, this post will give you the full scoop. Then, check out these 7 places to incorporate natural textures into your home!

woven textureStorage Pieces

For a major way to add a pop of texture to a room, look for a storage piece that features natural materials. It’s a great way to make a BIG style statement, as these pieces are usually larger and pack a more prominent visual punch. Talk about a conversation starter!

A cool texture can also turn what could be just another boring storage piece into a beautiful addition to your space! We picked this credenza with a woven seagrass front. The natural texture agrees with almost any style while making a visual statement that won’t be ignored. You can also find beautiful wood (such as burl), cane, or even cork varieties.

Lighting

Lighting is a small and easy way to experiment with adding different textures into your design. We love a good pendant made of woven rattan or rope, which you can also find in table lamp options as well. Ceramics or stones are another fun way to bring natural texture in through your light fixtures.

On the other hand, if you prefer to go big with natural textures in your furniture, stick to more streamlined designs for your light fixtures, like those currently popular in the industrial lighting trend. 

woven texturesSeating

Your main seating is also a great opportunity to layer in some natural texture. Consider a sofa, armchairs, dining chairs, benches, and even poufs or ottomans that have a natural look. For sofas, go with a natural material that won’t compromise the comfort factor. Linen and leather are great places to start! With accent seating (like chairs and benches) you can think a little more outside the box. These are great places to incorporate materials like rattan, cane, woven cord or rope, or even woven leather.

Stylist Tip: Pick different materials for your main and accent seating that will look great together. This is an easy way to bring a more layered, textured look to life in your space.

Art and Decor

Art and decor might be the easiest way to incorporate natural textures into your home. Items like wall art, mirrors, baskets, and decorative objects are all smaller and generally more affordable than a sofa or storage piece, for example. They offer a great low-risk way to experiment with different trends or decor ideas.

For the natural textures trend, consider adding art with a woven design. These woven raffia plates from All Across Africa are our current obsession. Mirrors with frames composed of rattan, driftwood, or another natural material are also great options. And, of course, the natural texture possibilities are endless with baskets and other small decorative accents.

woven texturePlants

How could we talk about natural textures without mentioning the queen of them all? Plants!

Indoor plants are the trend that has never died (and hopefully never will) for so many reasons. They boost your mental wellness, add color and beauty to a room, fill up odd nooks and corners—and we just love the way they liven up a space with oodles of natural texture. Play with different plant varieties together in one room to add contrasting textures.

Stylist Tip: If a living plant isn’t in the cards for you, consider adding a few sprigs of dried pampas grass eucalyptus to a vase for some lovely texture (and it smells amazing to boot!).

woven textureRugs

If you want to know more about the many functional benefits of natural fiber rugs, this post has you covered! From a style POV, these types of rugs are also a great way to add natural texture. Jute, sisal, and seagrass are the main varieties, but you can also find options that are blended with wool for a plusher under-foot texture.

Natural fiber rugs are also an awesome choice if you like the layered look. Larger sizes are generally less expensive than their wool counterparts. Plus, they provide a lovely versatile base that’s perfect for endless layering options.

Textiles

Aside from rugs, consider adding natural textures in other textile elements in your room. This could be pillows, throw blankets, or curtains. Even a sheepskin throw is a lovely way to add a pop of natural plushness to your room. For window treatments, consider linen drapes or bamboo blinds (or both together!).

Bring Some Natural Textures to Your Home

Shop Everything In This Post