There’s no doubt that over the past few years we’ve come to appreciate our freedom. Quarantines, isolation, and social distancing meant we spent months inside, and after a summer of freedom, the looming dark nights bring a sense of foreboding. Those of us who work out of the house often leave for work in the dark and return in the dark, and get to enjoy little of the outside world.
Whether you’re trying to resist the winter blues this winter or are lucky enough to be reading this years after the pandemic is over, there’s no denying that UK winters can be hard to deal with. The best way to ward off the seasonal blues is by bringing nature and cosiness into your home.
Here are some of our favourite ways to ward off cabin fever this winter:
11 Ways to Bring Nature into Your Home This Winter
1. Surround Yourself with Flowers
Cut flowers are a big expense if you buy them regularly, but they’re an ideal way to bring a splash of brighter seasons to your home with a subtle smell and no concerns about how you’ll manage to keep them alive. Either pick up a bouquet when you shop for groceries each week, or splash out for a flower delivery service for a few months.
If you can’t do that due to allergies or because it feels like throwing money away, choose artificial flowers. Artificial flowers look more realistic than ever before, are affordable, and you can continue to use them week after week, month after month, and year after year. If you can, have a couple of sets of artificial flowers you can rotate throughout the winter so you still get that fresh new look by switching up the arrangement every few weeks.
2. Create an Artificial Herb Garden
Everyone has a kitchen windowsill to spare, so make the most of yours! Keeping herbs alive on a kitchen windowsill isn’t an easy feat, especially when the world outside is frosty and they’re close to the glass. A great way to get the greenery without the work of trying to keep those supermarket herbs alive (which is almost impossible, even for people with a green thumb) is to create an artificial herb garden.
Grab a couple of planters that suit the style of your kitchen (baskets, woven, slate, and terracotta pots always work well) and buy artificial herbs to fill them. One of each type of herb looks natural, and all the same type of herb offers uniformity which suits modern kitchens. If you like the idea but would prefer not to use herbs, artificial lavender offers a similar look with delicate, purple or white flowers.
3. Windowsill Garden
Even in a small space, you can simply use a windowsill to create your own little makeshift garden. Collect any quality artificial plants you love the look of and fill your windowsill with adorable and stylish pots and a range of different types of plant from wall to wall. An artificial fern is a particularly great option if you are looking to bring nature inside as ferns are often found in beautiful, luscious woodlands and glorious heaths.
4. Turn Your Home into a Jungle
You don’t need plants that can thrive indoors to turn your home into a nature retreat – artificial plants look real and aren’t picky about where you put them. Filling your home with greenery is one of the best ways to bring natural beauty indoors and enjoy lush, green foliage when the days are short and almost all of the plants outside have turned brown, skeletal, or melted away for the winter. Take a tour of your home with a notebook and note down any areas where you could add an artificial plant (or three!). Here are some of the locations we love:
- Hallway corners
- In empty corners in the kitchen
- On bookshelves
- On dressers
- Up the edge of the staircase (this one looks incredible but isn’t for those with kids or big pets!)
- Outside the front door
- In the dining room
- On the top of the kitchen cabinets
- In the bathroom (yes, you can do that easily with artificial plants!)
- On the coffee table
- On the dining table
- On windowsills
- On plant shelves (dedicate an entire shelf to cute pots and artificial plants)
The best thing about using artificial plants is that you can choose a plant that fits perfectly in a location and it won’t ever change. For example, we love the look of one of our artificial olive trees in an entryway, but a real one wouldn’t survive or fit for more than a couple of weeks, if at all. Real plants often spread wide, but artificial plants give you the opportunity to fill narrow areas with beautiful foliage.
5. Create an Artificial Terrarium
Are you a fan of the look of terrariums but don’t have the skill or desire to keep them maintained? Then an artificial terrarium is the ideal solution. When you’re looking for ways to bring a slice of nature into your home, there’s no better way to do so, and unlike the extremely expensive live versions, you can put an artificial terrarium together in as little as 10 minutes (it depends how elaborate your design is!) and then you’ll have a slice of the world inside your home. Here’s what you need to do:
- Step 1 – Select Your Vessel: First, choose a container to house your artificial terrarium. Since you don’t need to worry about keeping the plants alive, this can be any style, size, or shape provided it has enough glass. Large vases you can pick up at the supermarket or at discount homeware stores work wonders, but of course you can also get something purpose-built.
- Step 2 – Select Your Greenery: Your next step is to choose your greenery. Succulents are most often made with forest-like plants (including those that are more tropical in style) or succulents. We’ve got a wide range of artificial plants to choose from, or you can repurpose artificial plants you already have in your home. For a forest-like look, use artificial ferns and mosses. For a desert-like look, use succulents and/or cacti with sand or pebbles.
- Step 3 – Choose Your Base: We touched on this above, but now is the time to choose your foundation. Use some loose gravel or play sand in the base of your container to give you something to stick your artificial stems and plants into. Add half of your chosen topping material, such as moss, bark, pebbles, or sand.
- Step 4 – Add Your Plants: Now you can arrange you plants. Add extra stones to help you arrange them as needed. When you’ve put them in, fill in any spaces or cover up the bases of the stems and plants with more of your topping material as needed.
- Step 5 – Enjoy!: That’s it! That’s all you need to do to build your own artificial terrarium. No need to water, no need to worry about pruning, and no need to worry about light. All you need to do is just it down from time to time.
6. Fill Your Home with the Sounds of Nature
Research has shown that simply listening to the sounds of nature reduces stress levels can be reduced, and mental health can be improved. Being immersed in nature has been widely proven to relax the mind and body and generally benefit our well-being.
Try playing ambient nature sounds while doing chores, making dinner, or getting ready for bed. Relaxing nature sounds are an ideal way to unwind for bed, especially when it’s been dark for so long that you’ve lost sense of time. There are calming apps for your phone but using your preferred music streaming service or free videos on YouTube will be the most cost-effective.
7. Use Daylight Lamps
One natural element we miss in the winter is light. On the shortest days, we’re lucky to get more than 7 or 8 hours of light, and if you live up in Scotland, the days can be extremely short. Winter light is weak, too, so we need all the help we can get to get our vitamin D needs and feel at ease. Daylight lamps work to provide you with natural light no matter what time of day it is. Daylight bulbs are much better for the eyes than traditional or LED bulbs by preventing eye strain and they can also help to ward off low winter moods such as seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Natural light helps to maintain a good mood and works to improve sleep.
8. Take Yourself on Virtual Nature Tours
With so many channels and streaming services on offer these days, there is no end to the number of nature documentaries on offer. Check out YouTube, Netflix, Disney+, or nature organisations for videos, documentaries, or virtual safaris that you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home. For simple scenes of beautiful outdoor spaces across the world, check out Moving Art on Netflix.
9. Try Colour Therapy
If you don’t have the time to spend hours watching documentaries and videos or find it difficult to separate the nature sounds from the urban living going on outside your window, try creating a visual calm instead.
Simply by making your desktop background a natural scene or hanging artwork of a forest above your computer screen or desk can help you to remain more relaxed and de-stress. Create or download phone wallpapers with beautiful scenes.
If you have the time, and can afford to, you might want to think about redecorating with typical colours from nature, such as greens to represent foliage and grass, blues to represent the sky and oceans, and yellows to represent the sun. Each colour evokes a different feeling within our brains so it’s simply a case of looking at some swatches to determine which colour makes you feel happy and calm.
With this baseline, you can add décor including art and fabrics that connect with the colour you have chosen, such as trees, flowers, or waves.
10. Decorate Your Home with Natural Materials
If redecorating your home is a bit more work than you really wanted for the winter, simply adding natural materials around your space will help to bring nature inside.
Incorporate natural or reclaimed wood, rattan, wicker, and stone into your home décor to bring the outside in. Look for wicker storage or plant holders, wood shelving or furniture, and stone coffee tables or small décor pieces to quickly make a difference. And don’t think have to spend a fortune as you will be able to find many special pieces at charity shops, antique shops, or on Facebook Marketplace.
Even things you have collected from past holidays or trips, such as seashells, interesting rocks, or even jars of sand add to your home, and it will induce a happy memory every time you see it (just make sure you are allowed to take it home with you).
Although nothing will ever be able to replace the feeling of calm and well-being we get when actually being outside, surrounding ourselves with nature-inspired things can be enough to reap the benefits. By stimulating all the senses, looking at nature scenes, listening to sounds of nature, and smelling natural things, we can work to enjoy nature all day long, even during the long winter months.
11. Install an Artificial Green Wall
If you’ve got a blank wall that could be better utilised, consider creating a green wall. While a full green wall makes a statement, even a few panels will infuse your space with nature. A green wall is a panel with foliage attached to it so it is essentially a foot square (or another dimension) of lush foliage. See our living wall panels here.
Winters in the UK can be hard, with dingy, grey days and long nights. If you normally struggle in the cold season, try filling your home with lush artificial plants that will keep your home bright year-round. Explore our range here.