Designers offer tips for bringing Mother Nature into your city home

Don't block all of your natural light with window treatments. Adobe Stock

City life is full of that exciting hustle and bustle, but it often lacks all the greenery that humans crave. Incorporating nature into your home can be the perfect way to make sure you’re getting your daily dose of the great outdoors.

We asked Massachusetts designers to offer tips and tricks to make your city home a little greener and a lot more lively.

Interior designer Barbara Vail recommends making the most of the space you have when you are a little short on room. “Incorporate as much as you can into vertical spaces by placing small plants on bookshelves, hanging planters, or putting plants directly on the wall,” Vail said.

There are many benefits of plants beyond making a room look pretty. “People want to bring plants into the home not only because they look great, but [because] they reduce stress, improve concentration, and purify the air.” Try for as many plants as you can, and have at least one larger plant, Vail said, even if you have a small home.

Not to worry if you don’t have a green thumb or if you travel a lot; you can still incorporate nature through large pieces of artwork or fun removable wallpapers, Vail added.

Interior designer Jennifer Glickman suggested a change in lighting. In the city, natural light is not always great in the older buildings, “so take advantage of as much natural light as the space allows,” Glickman said. Opting for high quality light bulbs that make your interior feel as if it is flooded with natural light goes a long way as well, she said.

Maximizing natural light by choosing and installing the right window treatments has a large effect on creating a light and airy vibe, she said. “If you’re going to hang window treatments, don’t block all of your light.”

A home that flows also brings in that sense of the outdoors. “Making your flow of paint from one room to the next to feel as open and consistent as possible makes it feel open and airy and helps to continue that outdoor-indoor feel,” Glickman said.

Shannon Tate-Giordano, on the other hand, takes broader approach to creating a nature-filled home. “I think that that there’s such an opportunity to create this like tiny little oasis for yourself when you have a smaller space in the city,” she said. “It just feels like a really fun challenge to pare down and see what really makes you feel the best and really only surround yourself in those things.”

Tate-Giordano recommends bringing in nature through plants, texture, sounds, and smells. “Hitting all of your senses with the music and the smells and maybe what you’re eating and what you’re wearing and what your environment is like. I think everything plays into it. Everything,” she said.

Whether you use large plants or greenery-inspired patterns to capture that outdoor feel, all of the the designers agreed that bringing nature into the home has many benefits.

“I think that everybody — in New England especially, or anywhere that has winter —you realize how much more alive and awake and happy you feel when it’s sunny outside. So I think that it’s really nice to bring that feeling indoors,” Tate-Giordano said.

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