Wednesday, November 14, 2012

My Apartment Challenge :: Inspirations :: part 3

Living room, via Living Etc. Magazine
The first element for a great interior that I discussed was balance.  Now we're moving on to the use of natural materials.  I love nature.  I live in the city so I don't see much of it out my windows.  That means I need to work to incorporate it into my life.  One way to do this is by filling my home with, you guessed it, natural materials.  Sisal, wood, plants (so important), stone, hides, wool, etc.  Beyond reminding me of nature, they also add GREAT texture, which helps with contrast (which we'll talk about later) and balance.  They just make a room feel more layered, interesting, and alive.

Look at the picture above.  They have a tree growing out of the floor in that living room.  That is pretty fantastic.  It's not really a possibility for most of us, but we can get potted plants and potted trees.  And you should.  A plant is basically a living sculpture.  Plus they help purify the air.  Don't have a green thumb?  You can find lists online of the easiest plants to care for.  Just try it.  I have plants that I've had for ten years.  They're like part of my family at this point.  ANYWAY...  In addition to that tree, they also have some nicely grained wood forming the frame of that fab navy velvet sofa (great contrast), and those pressed concrete walls.  Maybe it's a little extreme, but to me it all works and I would love a chance to explore that room.

And below we have another shot which shows a unique use of rope, another natural material.  Gives great texture.  Plus there's lots of wood, great views to lots of trees outsides, and cut flowers on the table.  I love that ceiling treatment.  Here on the excellent blog The Brick House, is another amazeballs use of rope.  I have such a crush on those rope walls.  Someday I will build some.

Home of Athena & Victor Calderone, via Elle Decor.
Now we move on to this last beauty.  The beautiful horizontal wood panelled wall treatment really anchors the room, and provides a nice contrast to the verticality that results from those high ceilings.  We have plants again, both inside and outside.  Natural fiber rug, fur pillows, rustic wood furniture, wool blankets, leather, concrete floors.  All of this makes for a really visually interesting room.  You don't have to go crazy with color to make a room really interesting.  Add on layers of different textures and there you have it.
Home of Mark Egerstrom, via House Beautiful.

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