From the rise of homesteading to indoor gardening, people across the country are finding ways to get back to their natural roots. While some people have the privilege of wide swaths of land to plant on, others have found some ingenious ways to bring the beauty of nature right into their kitchens. If you’ve been feeling the pulled to the wild side, here are some unique (and attractive!) ways to bring the best of the great outdoors right into your home.
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Wondering what to do with that random wall space in your kitchen? How about forgoing basic wall art for something a little more exciting? Living walls are becoming all the rage as people find more utilitarian ways to spruce up their extra wall space. If you’re an avid cook, a wall may be the perfect place to plant a fairly extensive herb garden. Skip the trip to the grocery store and pick your basil right from the wall!
If you aren’t interested in growing your own food, there are still benefits to having a living wall in your kitchen. In addition to being an eye-catching conversation starter, plants can improve the air quality of the room while also boosting mood.
Most of the plants you find in kitchens are fairly small, usually placed upon a windowsill or countertop to spruce up the space a bit. But why stop there? Large, billowy plants are finding their way into even the smallest of apartments. If you have a spare corner with sufficient sunlight, a massive oversized plant (or two) can transform the entire look of your kitchen. While living walls may require a bit of installation, plants can easily be moved from place to place, making this natural tip one that you can act on right now. A single trip to a nursery or home goods store is all it takes.
Lots of little plants
Maybe large, oversized plants are bit much for your taste, but you’d still like to capture the energy of living plants in your kitchen. Rather than going for plants that are overbearing in size, you may prefer to have lots of smaller, easier to manage plants around your kitchen. Depending on your taste, you can keep it subtle with a handful or small plants such as succulents, or you can create the essence of a plush forest with multiple plants of different sizes dispersed around the room. Just keep in mind that a dozen small plants will require more attention and maintenance than one or two larger plants.
It isn’t at all new to use wood in kitchens. From cabinetry to countertops, wood is indeed a staple of the kitchen space. However, most of the wood you find in kitchens have been carved, sealed and finished, giving a clean and crisp aesthetic to an otherwise wild material. If you’re the type to push the envelope, you can take the nature look to another level by keeping the wood in a more natural, unprocessed state.
Live-edge wood keeps the shape of the wood as it would be found outdoors, giving it a more rustic, earthly charm. You can use live edge wood as a countertop, shelving, or table to give your kitchen a serious outdoorsy feel.
Natural cloths & cloth-like materials
Grasscloth is a natural material originating in Asia made with a variety of hand-sewn vegetable fibers such as seagrass, jute, hemp, nettle, or flax. The plants and techniques used may vary from region to region, with grasscloth products being exported from nations around the world. The thick, rigid fibers create a strong, durable cloth that can be dyed with an endless variety of colors and patterns, making it an attractive and sustainable option for wallpapers.
However, grasscloth wallpapers can be somewhat pricey, so if you’re bound to a budget, you may want to incorporate it in other more affordable ways, such as a placemat or table runner. If money is no object, then wallpapers or even furniture such as bar stool seats made with natural plant fibers can really bring your kitchen design alive. This is especially the case with rustic, coastal, or tropical kitchen designs.
Subtle, natural kitchen decor
Incorporating nature into your kitchen can be done in many ways, depending on your style preferences and budget. While it may be attractive for some people to quite literally bring nature into their homes, for others, more subtle interpretations of “nature” will suffice. Anything from bowls and plates to artwork and decor can capture the essence of nature in your kitchen space.
If you adore the vibrant green hues of plants but don’t have the time or energy to maintain them, then synthetic decorative plants or even decor with artistic renderings of plants can have a similar aesthetic effect. Or, if your vision of nature is more beach than forest, coastal elements such as driftwood or seashells can capture that aesthetic.