Welcoming the outside in with natural materials and woven textures can bring a wonderful sense of calm to any interior.
Materials like rattan, jute, raffia and bamboo are incredibly hard-wearing and versatile in design – used across lighting, furniture, dining and decorative accessories by many interior designers.
These are my favorite ways to incorporate natural materials and use texture in interior design.
1. Introduce restful textures in a bedroom
Organic textures and muted tones are particularly restful and very fitting in a bedroom. Combine these natural accents with fresh white linens and neutral soft furnishings to create a nature-inspired bedroom or alternatively use woven materials to soften a playful, pattern-heavy scheme.
I love using raffia lampshades in a bedroom – the fine weave gently diffuses the light, giving off a warm glow which is perfect for creating a relaxing ambiance. Style these as a pair on matching lamp bases for a smart, clean look or mix and match styles for something a little more laid back and asymmetrical.
Ground your relaxing bedroom scheme with a jute rug – this will tie the artisanal pieces together and give your room a textured and harmonious finish.
2. Create an inviting atmosphere in a dining room
Incorporating natural materials in a tablescape is a great way to add depth and textural interest.
Jute or rattan placemats work particularly well – style them on geometric or floral tablelinens to ‘dress up’ your table or lay them on a bare wooden table for an informal dining scheme.
Build your tablescape with stacks of fresh white ceramics or mismatched pieces and finish with a rattan hurricane for candlelight or a large vase of green foliage. Adding flowers and foliage to a dining scheme will bring the outside in if you are dining indoors or enhance your experience if you are dining al fresco.
To make a statement and bring a dining scheme to life, opt for a large rattan or bamboo pendant shade. They work particularly well when styled in pairs down the center of a dining table or kitchen island, giving a modern yet artisanal touch and elevating any interior, whether traditional or contemporary.
3. Bring natural texture outdoors
Summer is the perfect time to experiment with inside-outside interiors – using woven materials and seasonal accents to bring life to a terrace or sunroom which has been paid little attention through the winter months.
As an incredibly dynamic material, and one which ages beautifully, rattan is extremely popular amongst interior designers in these areas. Being lightweight and hard wearing, rattan furniture is a great option if you’re looking for pieces that can be used both indoors and out.
Style a rattan chair or sofa in a backyard or on a terrace with patterned textiles, and then move it indoors to a sunroom or living area when the seasons change.
A rattan coffee table is the perfect summer staple for outdoor entertaining while working equally well as an ottoman at the end of a bed or as a bench in a hallway. I love combining rattan with a mixture of upholstered, painted and polished pieces for a charming, eclectic look.
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Birdie’s creative journey started when she worked at Percy Bass, an interiors shop and design service on Walton Street. Birdie then went on to join Imogen Taylor’s team at Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler’s old premises in Mayfair. Many buying trips later and with a decorative antiques course from the V&A Museum under her belt, Birdie decided to set up her own antiques business. Establishing the business in Norfolk in 2014, Birdie initially focused on sourcing homeware from Scandinavia, pieces that weren’t easily found in the UK, before creating her own designs. Birdie writes for Homes & Gardens about interior design.
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