Home interior design ideas inspired by nature
Interior design has universal elements, no matter where in the world you may be. In New Zealand we are somewhat geographically isolated, and with that isolation comes a strong focus and inspiration from nature and rightfully so, there is no better example of beauty, harmony and balance than that which is found in nature.
We have come up with a selection of quick tips and guidance on
what inspires and what should be considered when designing your
interior this side of the Tasman.
Look to nature and seasonal change for colour palette
Take some colour palette inspiration from the four seasons -
spring, summer, autumn and winter.
New Zealand summers consist of bright blue skies, vibrant green
grass and trees and the yellow rays of full summer sun. Autumn
brings in change and if we look only at leaf fall, we see it
includes radiant oranges, reds, yellows, and greens: simply look
further and more deeply afield for extra inspiration.
Winter is more than just grey. It is stark, harsh and
contrasting - think of bleak cold days, warmed by a cloudless sky
and all day sun. The contrast of black and white provides an
elegant combination for a kitchen or bathroom. Alternatively
brighter and warmer tones provide solace for the winter
Hues and tones give us varying degrees of
Tonal colour is dramatic and no where is it done better than in
nature. If you look at the tonal variations in a leaf you will see
light around the edges that gradually darkens towards the centre.
Apply this palette extension in your home through direct tonal
variations or hombre style applications.
A mix of textures is as important as a mix of
Rough boulders, smooth pebbles, rigid bark and sleek grass.
Incorporate similar contrasts and textures in your own home; a
rough wooden table in the kitchen with a sleek marble serving
platter or elegant candle holders, slate floor entrance, soft
cushions and throws.
Offset the harsh with the soft and never have too much of one
and not enough of the other. If in doubt reference Mother Nature,
she gets it right every time.
Take the way things 'make you feel' into
design is more than having a strong sense of style; the way we
place furniture and therefore structure our everyday living affects
how we feel. It's in part the concepts of balance and symmetry that
make interior design, here in New Zealand, a strong part of a
successful interior plan.
Symmetry for example, with straight, clean lines keeps design
simple. While our eyes take in separate pieces of information, our
brains sum it up into simpler more understandable patterns, so we
take in a room in its entirety then we focus on the individual
design elements within.
Balance and symmetry means our brains have less to process and
repeated patterns allow us to process the individual elements
faster. Because we easily understand symmetrical spaces, we often
think of them as more aesthetically pleasing.
So try incorporating patterns: two bedside tables with two
bedside lamps, three evenly spaced kitchen stools or facing couches
with a centred coffee table. Whatever it may be, your brain will
love and thank you for the symmetry.
This is where the services of an interior designer can really add value
to your overall theme and help you to select furnishings that have
a scale and proportion that complements your interior. A mistake
that often occurs is the selection of furnishings that are too
large or too small for your space, compromising the balance of your
Why not shake it up -
asymmetry keeps things
Too much of anything, even if it is good can be a bad thing.
Asymmetrical balance can give depth and visual interest to your
room, when incorporated with existing symmetrical patterns. The
overall affect delivers a more relaxed and authentic feel that is
perfect for seeking that homely feel we Kiwis love.
Choose elements that are placed equally distant from the room's
centre point and place the objects where you think they should be
and then take a step back to view the room as a whole. You'll
instantly get a sense for the flow of the space and be able to
tweak your asymmetrical element so it shines.
Keep in mind that asymmetry can be big or small. Pivot a chair
to add an intimate touch or creatively arrange a couple of coffee
table or bookshelf ornaments.
Find your comfort zone
In an ideal world, you would never have to choose between
comfort and style. Unfortunately for us that is not always the
case, so choose comfort where you need it most. Make comfort a
priority for big functional items like furniture for lounging.
There are wonderful New Zealand companies like Designers'
Collection that make their own furniture designs to order
enabling them to tailor cushioning to your own personal
The choice and placement of furniture and the way a room "feels"
is often just as important as how it looks and successful New
Zealand interior design is all about the balance of comfort and
Engage professional advice
A large part of an interior
designer's job is to make spaces functional, safe, and
beautiful. They not only work with fabrics and paints but they must
also determine space requirements, layouts, read blueprints and be
building code and regulation knowledgeable. If you are designing a
new-build or looking to refurbish and design an existing room an
interior designer's skill and expertise in these areas becomes
Designers will work with your
budget. If you want help with a whole house, one room, or simply
selecting a wall colour, most are willing to offer advice and
support for any project. You just have to pick up the phone and
start the conversation, ask them if they are willing to take on a
small, budget-friendly job. It may end up being the best thing you