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The great outdoors

Bring the outdoors in and make your home feel full to bursting with nature-inspired flourishes.
If you’re looking for decoration that sparks conversation, it would be hard to do better than a realistic recreation of a tree thrust into the middle of your living room.
If you’re looking for decoration that sparks conversation, it would be hard to do better than a realistic recreation of a tree thrust into the middle of your living room. [ VICNT | Getty Images/iStockphoto ]
Published Oct. 18

By Erin Feitsma, Times Total Media Correspondent

Henry David Thoreau went to the woods to live with intention in the natural world, but all you have to do is walk into your living room. That is, if you bring touches of the outdoors inside. While nothing could truly compete with the forest in all its splendor, there are ways to bring the outdoors in, making your home feel full to bursting with nature-inspired flourishes. Consider incorporating some of these ideas in your home to infuse your space with décor reminiscent of your favorite outdoor escape.

Family tree: Two words: fake trees. On the one hand, you have typical fake trees, which are petite, can be purchased during a Target run and won’t frighten pets or small children with their sheer scale. And on the other, you have the all-encompassing force that is life-size fake trees, which scrape the ceiling with their imitation branches and mimic some of the foliage you’d find outdoors. If you’re looking for decoration that sparks conversation, it would be hard to do better than a realistic recreation of an oak tree thrust into the middle of your living room. But only if you’re, you know, looking to branch out.

The starry night: For a touch of the cosmos on your ceiling, utilize products that mimic a twinkling night sky. A projector, decals, murals and even fiber optic ceiling panels can create the illusion of a starry sky above you for a galactic and otherworldly feel in your home. Stellar!

Fountain of youth: For the aquatically inclined, never be far from the soothing sound of running water with your very own indoor fountain. Your home fountain can be small or substantial – it all depends on what you’re looking for. Add a touch of tranquility to your bathroom with a tiny fountain or go all-out with a large, multilevel piece in the foyer that your guests will want to toss pennies in for good luck.

Make the “moss” of it: Bring your home décor to life, literally, with a live moss wall. Eschew the ordinary and allow a wall of rich, dense foliage to give you the feeling of being surrounded by greenery (“It’s aliiiiive!”). Live moss walls can live for nearly a quarter of a century but will need ongoing access to resources like water and fertilizer, plus a whole lot of TLC, to thrive.

Are you well-meaning but accidentally kill every plant you come in contact with? Right this way. Say goodbye to your plant problems and hello to an artificial moss wall, which won’t need the regular maintenance that its live counterpart requires. Bonus: Moss walls can serve as excellent backdrops if you like your social media pictures to incorporate a touch of bulbous vegetation.

Window shopping: If all else fails, one way to feel as if you’ve brought the outdoors inside is to invest in wide, beautiful windows or a skylight, for clear views of the landscape all around you. On a budget? Make use of the windows you already have. Glimpses of natural beauty beyond your doorstep, such as a tree growing by your bedroom window, can make you feel close to nature, even without making any changes. If cooler weather in Florida ever kicks in, you can even switch off your air conditioning and crack open a window or screen door for even more beauty brought in from the great outdoors.

Times Total Media is the sales and marketing division of the Tampa Bay Times. Contact timestotalmedia@tampabay.com with questions.

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