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Bring the outdoors in (in four easy steps)

Faux Combe Lily Bunch by Willow Crossley for OKA.

Longer nights and brighter mornings, the arrival of spring and the onset of summer, means many of us are coming out of hibernation mode and looking forward to spending more time outside.

But busier lifestyles, smaller living spaces and the unpredictably of the great British weather often means we don’t always get to spend as much time dining alfresco or getting out in the great outdoors as we’d like to.

As a result, bringing the outside in, which can be effortlessly achieved within homes of all shapes and sizes, has been a major interior design direction over the years, and this year is no exception.

Here, award-winning Midlands-based interior design studio, Cream & Black, reveals the latest tips for embracing the trend this year – in just four simple steps:

STEP #1: Create a room with a (natural light) view

Use windows to their full advantage. Not only are they a key design feature, they’re a feature that instantly brings the outdoors in.

Don’t be afraid to refresh the layout of your home, so that you can benefit from copious amounts of light. Add window seats and prevent your window dressings from covering up your windows. Replace curtains, shutters and blinds with glazed windows or doors, which allow the light to come in, while still providing a sense of security and privacy.

STEP #2: Use faux foliage

There are so many great quality faux plants and flowers now out there on the market – they’re a real must for adding a touch of greenery to interiors, as well as a contemporary edge.

Faux foliage involves zero upkeep and keeps rooms looking fresh all-year round. Freshen up living rooms and dining rooms with the OKA Willow Crossley collection, with its wild and wayward beauty that reflects the unrefined beauty of nature. Alternatively, why not make your own arrangements with Hudson Home?

Plants don’t just have to be put on tables, window sills or shelves either. Use every single element of the space available to you by positioning hanging plants at different ceiling heights to add more variety and depth.

STEP #3: Keep things natural

As well as making the most of the natural light, consider using natural materials, such as wood, rattan, wicker and terracotta.

Not only are they hugely effective at breathing new life into spaces, they are incredibly calming and can be extremely tactile too. Balance out harder and softer surfaces by playing with different textures and tones, such as using natural grain to add subtle movement into a space.

STEP #4: Continue the theme in your colour scheme

Wallpaper, fabrics and artwork can all be used to inject a sense of the outdoors into any interior space.

Think prints with leafy and flowery foliage, patterns with bird and other animal designs and stone and brick-effect patterns. Use colour to mimic the colour scheme of plants and nature. For instance, by layering bright colours or floral designs on top of green sofas and chairs, or putting a flower design rug right in the centre of a room

www.creamandblack.co.uk

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