Love technology but feeling a little disconnected from nature? According to an article in BBC News, some of us especially children might be experiencing “Nature Deficit Disorder”. Because of electronic lifestyles and living in urban or suburban environments, we are not spending enough time outdoors and feeling the sense of balance that contact with nature can bring. We seem to be relating to nature differently too. Conceptually, most of us are very conscious of the state of the planet. We think about the idea of global warming and recycling, but we don’t have a personal relationship with nature like we did in decades past. It doesn’t inform how we feel on a daily basis.
I believe that it is easier than you think to connect or reconnect to nature again. Focusing on home is the first step. Even if you live in the middle of a concrete jungle, think about bringing nature inside. To get the conversation started, here are some suggestions for filling your indoor spaces with natural beauty.
Vineyard Wood: Winemaking can be traced back to the dawn of civilization. It was refined by the Greeks and Romans. Include a little bit of natural history in your home by adding a touch of vineyard wood to your vignettes. Each piece is one of a kind and neutral enough to complement any style from modern to transitional to traditional. Wonderful for adding texture and uniqueness to any kind of tabletop in a dining room, living room, or entry way. Use sandblasted pieces for best look.
Palm Fronds: From rainforests to deserts, palm trees are found all over the world. Their branches or fronds traditionally symbolized victory and peace for many people. Cut some to accent a favorite vase at home. Stunning and sculptural. Their evergreen leaves will add a natural crispness to any design scheme.
Geodes: They are nature’s version of a treasure chest. Once opened, quartz crystals, amethyst crystals, agate, chalcedony, or jasper banding might be waiting inside. Naturally spectacular for any home.
In American schools, there are some very dedicated teachers who work tirelessly day in and day out to bring creative opportunities to students. They go the extra mile and invest personal time, energy and money to make their classrooms creative laboratories that nourish natural curiosity and inclinations. According to Sir Ken Robinson in a TED video called Do Schools Kill Creativity?, such creative classrooms are not available to every student. The American system on a whole is built on standardization with an emphasis on developing left-brain abilities in math and science. Linearity and conformity are valued. It is a system that worked in the 20th century. We are accustomed to it.
Unfortunately, that system has produced some unintended consequences. According to Robinson, such a system is impoverishing our creative spirits and energy just as we are entering a new global age of rapid change where left-brain capacities are easily outsourced to other countries. Twenty-first century professions are demanding creative visionaries who not only think outside the box but reinvent the box. How do we take control of our creative lives and nurture innovative thinking in our families?
I believe it all starts at home. Home should be a think tank to uncover innate gifts and experiment with the creative process. It should be a place to follow natural curiosity, gather information, brainstorm about interesting concepts, hone promising ideas that feel right, and discard ones that no longer serve. Let’s create beautiful, comfortable homes that nurture our creative spirits. Here are some ways to get started.
Eclectic Collections: Unusual objects and collections spark creativity and nurture adaptable and flexible thinking. Connect to other cultures and unfamiliar ways by surrounding yourself with eclectic pieces in your home. Whether it is Turkish teapots, exotic birds, or campaign pins, follow your passion. Endless fun for the whole family.
Interactive Surfaces: I love to incorporate oversized bulletin boards, whiteboards, or chalkboards into room designs. They are interactive surfaces for living that are beautiful too. Hang them over sofas, console tables, or sideboards. Prop them against walls. Use them to share crazy photos, new inventions, drawings, stories, ideas, poems, or world events. Get the whole family involved. Great backdrops powered by imagination.
Containers: Containers are wonderful accessories for the home. My favorites are usually made of handwoven materials or stainless steel. They look great used in multiples on shelves. Oversized containers look fantastic by a hearth or under a sofa table. To make the most of containers, fill them up with thoughtful activities for the family. Not only are they striking to look at but they can nurture creative abilities and thinking too. Fill small ones with art supplies, magnets, favorite collections, etc.. Put costumes in large containers for impromptu plays. Lots of possibilities for fun.
At Doux Nid, our job is to empower you to create your best home, your best nest, and a fab lab for dreaming. We want your rooms to rise up, to greet you, and to serve you. It all starts with questioning. You can never ask too many questions when it comes to home. It is a fun discovery process, a chance to uncover and think about your needs, likes, dislikes, and preferences. Find out what inspires you. Explore to know more. Here are some Doux-Nid questions to get the process started.
Design is not for philosophy. It’s for life. — Issey Miyake
Grand or not so Grand Tours
Exploring unfamiliar destinations has a direct impact on thinking. We bring back creative ideas as well as a new way of looking at the world. Don't hesitate to leave your comfortable nest.Traveling is transformative. Bon voyage!
What inspires you? What gets your creative juices flowing? Here are some snapshots to get the conversation started.