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Home-improvement ideas: bring natural elements into your home

One of 2018’s key design trends is reflecting nature in your home. We take a look at some ideas on how the living world can provide inspiration.

In this article

1. Water-inspired colours and natural fabrics

Use nature-inspired shades of blue and green to create a peaceful feel in your living space. Greens have been growing in popularity over the last couple of years and this trend is set to continue. Water-inspired colours, ranging from brights, such as turquoise and teal, to strong dark blues and greens, show bold is back for those who wish to embrace deeper hues. Metallic highlights on furniture or soft furnishings provide effective accents to these bold tones.

If you prefer a minimal Scandinavian look, adding soft furnishings, such as throws, cushions and blankets, will add warmth and comfort. You want to feel cosy and welcome, in line with Hygge principles, so you can snuggle up when it’s cold outside. Use different textures of wool and cotton to provide contrast in a neutral colour scheme, or contrast colours to add spice to your surroundings.

If you’d like to redecorate, you can find a Which? Trusted Traders endorsed painter and decorator in your area with our easy-to-use search feature. All Which? Trusted traders undergo a rigorous assessment process to ensure they operate their business correctly.

2. Plants

Adding house plants instantly creates a more natural environment. You don’t need to be an expert, but try to choose appropriate plants for each location – for example, ferns love the shade whereas geraniums need some sun.

Cluster plants together using a variety of containers for a stylish display. If you want to add colour consider flowering plants, or use bright planters to complement more leafy varieties. Use contrasting heights and styles of plant to draw the eye and create a point of interest. If you’re short on space, hanging plants on the wall saves your shelves.

If you’d rather not have plants in your property, you can still create a floral feel using prints. Floral designs rarely go completely out of style and they’re certainly a feature for 2018. Fancy some floral wallpaper? Give one of our Which? Trusted Traders-endorsed decorators a call.

3. Rustic bathrooms

Bright white bathrooms can feel a little clinical. Adding wood as a contrasting texture into your bathroom design gives a more rustic feel. If you’ve got the space, a vintage chair or cabinet would do the trick – in smaller spaces a wooden floor, splashback or bamboo picture frame could help to introduce a touch of the natural world into the bathroom.

If you’re interested in a new look for your bathroom, why not get in touch with one of our Which? Trusted traders that specialise in bathroom design and fitting.

If you want to reduce water consumption, installing water-saving measures such as low-flow taps, showerheads and toilets could work for you. Or you could consider a sensor taps, which turn off automatically when they don’t detect movement. One of our accredited plumbers could give you a no-obligation quote.

4. Eco-friendly home improvements

If you’d like to make your home more environmentally friendly there’s a whole raft of improvements available – both big and small.

Part of being more environmentally friendly is about reducing the amount of resources you consume. Whatever your home improvement, you can look at using reclaimed materials or those that are in plentiful supply. Consider using bamboo or reclaimed flooring, for example, rather than rare hardwoods. You might also want to look at upcycling some of your existing furniture – reupholstering good-quality furniture rather than buying new is a great way to bring it back to life.

If you’re thinking about larger home improvements, you might want to look into solar energy or improving your windows to reduce heat loss. But you don’t have to bust the budget to make a big difference. A Which? Trusted Traders-endorsed handyman service could help you install draught-proofing around your windows and doors, or upgrade your insulation.

Being more energy efficient works in your favour, as it’ll help cut the cost of heating your home. Check our article on modernising your heating controls for more ideas about how to improve your boiler performance. A Which? Trusted Traders-endorsed central-heating engineer will be able to advise you further.

5. Open up your home to nature

The natural world, with the changing seasons (and even the British weather) means the view outside our window changes throughout the year. If you’ve got a garden, you might be able to make the most of it by opening up the back of your home.

Modern glazing allows you to stay warm or cool while looking out on to your garden – whatever the weather. Bifold doors are increasingly popular, or you might want to consider a conservatory to extend your living space.

A specialist glazing company can advise on the best method of opening out the back of your property. You can find conservatory specialists and glaziers that are endorsed by Which? Trusted Traders on our online database.

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