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Inside Mother Nature’s home

Want to do something different for your next home makeover? Step forward mother nature.

11/06/2018

For hundreds of years, fashion and design has drawn on mother nature for inspiration. As it follows us where ever we go and comes in many different forms, it has become the perfect muse for many major fashion houses. From an Ellie Saab gown in 2012 drawing on the Pink Lake in Australia to Bottega Veneta’s Stormy Sky dress in 2010, and many more; they all look to celebrate and honour it in their own powerful and extraordinary way.

The most recent celebration of it can be found in London’s Victoria & Albert Museum and its ‘Fashion from Nature’ exhibit. Running from April 2018 to January 2019, the exhibition showcases items of fashion – from as far back as 1600 – alongside nature, and innovative new fabrics and dyeing processes. Highlights include a muslin dress decorated with hundreds of beetle wing cases and a hat made from suede and Himalayan monal pheasant.

It is in exhibitions like this, that you should look out for when you want to refresh your home.

Luckily there are many different categories to use for inspiration, which also means you are likely to find one that already suits your current colour scheme and furniture. For example, natural patterns seen in sea creatures, scales and feathers, flowers, and land animals to name a few.

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Traditionally, patterns are thought of as something that repeats itself again and again – like a wallpaper pattern. But patterns created by nature are unique and, most importantly, pure – like a snowflake.

And as nature is all around us, it means you can create your own interpretation of it and how you wish to showcase it in your home.

If colour is your thing, a water coloured painting is a great way to illustrate your personality. Fern leaves and feathers make for great water paintings, as do butterflies. Create your own pattern by going with the flow and avoid restricting your imagination.

Source a great carpenter and commission an all-natural solid wooden kitchen table, if you really want to add some of nature’s greatest patterns into your home. The spillages and marks it accumulates over the years will only add to its character and uniqueness.

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For elements of darkness and mystery, look for animal prints like a zebra’s or mirrored images of inanimate objects. Horst P. Horst’s Patterns from Nature is a great source of inspiration for this kind of tone. The book is a series of straight, close-up, black and white shots of the objects ranging from cauliflower to coral.

Another way to bring more nature into your home is with seashells. Not only does each one have its own intrinsic pattern, they are also highly accessible and incredibly versatile. For example, instead of discarding finished candles, melt down what wax you do have left into a large shell, add a wick to it and you have a whole new candle. You can also add a drop of sea-breeze essence to give it a more authentic feel and smell.

And finally, not to be left behind, fabrics are also creating more natural options. For example, lotus-effect surfaces; perfect for your upholstery. As will the materials from crab shells researchers are currently looking into, due to its self-repairing abilities.

Whatever route you decide to take to bring nature into your home, remember that you can source ideas from all around you. And the patterns you find are yours to be interpreted. It is a great way to move away from current trends that are saturating the market and do something different.

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