It’s sometimes easy to forget, but us humans weren’t supposed to be tucked away inside for long periods of time. We’re supposed to be in the great outdoors, with the trees and the animals. But alas, that’s not so realistic in this day and age; many of us have to live in cities, and that, more often than not, means living in an apartment – which is basically intrinsically opposite to being out free outdoor selves. But just because we only have a tiny space, that doesn’t mean we have to live completely cut-off from the natural world. By making just a few adjustments to our apartments, we can make it feel like we’re living in an exotic tree house (OK, not really, but you get that idea).
If, when you look around your apartment, all you see is metal and plastic, then it’s time to rethink your furniture – and switch it out for something more natural feeling. Instead, look at adding wooden tables, or stone finishes to your surfaces. In the process, you’ll also be making your apartment feel much more homey! When it comes to your comfort items, such as your pillows and throws, opt for linen and cotton. Needless to say, that’s another way to seriously increase the homey comfort levels, too.
Lighting the Way
We were once cave-dwellers, but only during the harsh winters: during the spring and summer, we’d happily spend all our days outside. But even when the sun is beating down hard, many of our apartments can feel like the dark pit of a cave. Well, there’s one natural way to make it brighter and better: let the light in! You may be a little bit challenged to get sunshine in, but people often have more options than they think. For starters, make sure there’s nothing like an air-conditioning unit covering the window space. Also, make sure that your curtains are drawn all the way back! If that won’t do it, then non-harsh, soft overhead lighting will brighten the space up.
Plants Around the House
There was a woman in New York that had a terrific idea. She decided to ditch her roommate, and then proceeded to replace her with hundreds of plants! She basically created an awesome jungle vibe in her small apartment, and all she had to do was buy several hundred plants. Easy. OK, maybe you don’t have to go all the way to that extreme end, but seriously, take a look at adding a few big plants around the home. If nothing else, they’re much nicer to look at than, say, a television.
On the Balcony
You don’t have the space to plant your own vegetable garden, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fresh veggies – or at least, it doesn’t if you have a balcony. Buy a hydroponic system for gardening, and you’ll be able to grow your own. And what’s more, the system takes up virtually no space, and requires next to no time – indeed, you only need to water the system once a fortnight. Take a trip away, and when you come home, your plants will still be going strong. Your apartment will feel like a real nature wonderland when you’re able to pick your vegetables from the balcony, and then incorporate them into that night’s meal.
Stock up on fruit and Veg
Even if you’re not fully committed to growing your own vegetables, you can still get the farmhouse vibe going in your apartment, just by stocking up on plenty of fruit and veg, and then keeping them on display in your (hopefully now wooden) kitchen. For this, ditch the supermarket – the veg will be pre-packaged and will have travelled too many miles to be as delicious as it should be! Instead, head to a farmer’s market. You’ll be boosting the local economy, getting the best possible veg, and it’ll likely cost you less money, too.
Part of making your apartment your own is decorating it with items you love. Without them, it’s just a bunch of walls and a bed, and yeah, your personal belongings. Boring! When it comes to decoration, look for natural features to brighten up your home. Things like seashells and pinecones make a subtle, yet impactful addition. Plus, going on the hunt to find them gives you a chance to get out of the city and take a stroll along a beach, or through the woods.
Open up the Windows
Sure, keep those windows firmly shut when the winter chill is in full force, but when spring comes? Open those babies up! There’s nothing quite like having a soft spring breeze making its way through your small abode. It’ll make everything feel fresher, making even the dingiest of city dwellings feel a little bit more like a beautiful field out in nature. You can buy air fresheners that have names like ‘summer breeze’; ditch the bottle and let the real thing do all the work.
If you love nature, then you might want to avoid looking at some of the home cleaning products and items you use to keep your apartment spick and span and in full working order; many of them are bad for the environment! As such, why not let the natural world into your home in another way, and only use eco-friendly products? You can buy biodegradable waste bags, organic pillows, fair trade towels, and much more. You won’t just be making your home more natural; you’ll also be doing your bit to support the sustainability industry, which will be crucial for fixing many of the earth’s problems.
Art and Photographs
Finally, if you can’t get into the outdoors as much as you’d like, why not hang up photographs and art connected with nature? It won’t be a substitute for the real thing, but it might just function as an important reminder that there’s a more beautiful beyond the concrete jungle that is the city that you call home.