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inspired by nature book cover

by Patricia L. Garcia

learn to appreciate nature, and how to bring it indoors

Would I be lying if I said I didn’t attempt to make a lovely bouquet of fresh wild mustard flowers for my mom after reading Hans Blomquist’s Inspired by Nature: Creating a Personal and Natural Interior? Absolutely. By the way Blomquist speaks of nature in the book — and the influence it has had on his design style — one could not help but be enthralled with the nature around them, even the “weeds.”

Influenced by a childhood appreciating the natural world, Blomquist explains that everything in nature can beautify the home, from wasps’ nests (without the wasps, of course!) to bird feathers to branches with withered leaves and flowers. “Some of the best things in life are free — especially everything that comes from nature,” he writes. “There is such a treasure chest out there in every season, but particularly in spring when the natural world around us simply erupts into leafy greens and delicate blossoms, and it is all there for us to enjoy on a country walk or when driving through the countryside.”

If you want to bring the outdoors indoors, it’s easy enough to simply go outside and find the right item to create the mood you want to evoke, Blomquist writes. There’s no need to overthink the process, simply choose one natural element you like and then build around it. Go big or go small — it’s your home and you know what works best. But, if you want more curated examples from which to start, Blomquist includes a variety of homes that embrace a natural style in vastly different ways, from a rustic and modern home in Marrakech to an American wooden farmhouse.

The book hails nature as the ultimate design element, as well as vintage items, such as old work benches and rusty metal pieces. Natural textures, such as suede lampshades, can elevate an otherwise sterile space into one that is both livable and breathable. This book is a great reminder to readers both in rural areas and in concrete jungles to stop and smell the flowers (even if they are weeds) and appreciate every bit of nature around them.