Latest Home Decor Trends Lead Back to Nature

Imagine the soothing silver-green of prairie grassland. Or the deep shimmering blue of an ocean bay. Colors evoking calm and a sense of connection to nature will be on the leading edge of home design this year. Experts say the influence of nature on the latest colors and styles is an attempt to counterbalance the strong effect of technology in our everyday lives. "There is a strong desire to balance the sensory overload from technology with the need for human sensory experience," says Todd Imholte, president of Environmental Graphics. "Many of the newest motifs and colors are inspired by the botanical and organic qualities of plants, fruits, vegetables and grains," he says. For instance, floral prints in upholstery, drapes and wall coverings have made a come-back this year, and brocaded silks and jacquards evoke warmth and luxury.

Softer nature-based tones are showing up at textile and home decorating shows all over the world. Various shades of peach will be the most popular form of orange this year, and green-cast blues, reminiscent of water, are a new look. Some additional examples of naturally inspired colors are:

Tiger Lily:

a complex, multidimensional orange combining the vibrant florals of nature with the satisfying glow of a quiet fire


a pale, luminescent yellow with organic overtones, it bridges spring into winter with a softness that is almost neutral


a blue sky as seen through a glass block, with a silver influence on aquatic blues


the botanical green of dried grasslands, bridging the freshness of mustard green with the relaxing feel of forest moss

Essence of Lilac:

a translucent, pale botanical blue with a hint of lilac


an update of a classic neutral brown, edgy but luxurious

Another trend emerging in home design shows around the world is large patterns: the bigger, the better. For example, at a show in Paris, giant spring flowers blossomed across a meadow of bold yellow and white stripes and a large, curvy sofa was covered in huge red-on-red roses the size of beach balls.

Bold patterns can be a refreshing break from minimalistic furnishings, adding weight and shape to the sometimes-stark interiors often favored by architects.

Giant scale, either as a pattern or a graphic, can visually expand a small space. A large-scale wall covering can define a style and boost a room's personality from "wallflower" to "social butterfly." One easy way to transform a room and bring a dose of nature indoors at the same time is by installing a wall mural.

"Wall murals from Environmental Graphics can transform a room into whatever you want it to be, from a haven for daydreaming, or a garden for reflection, a pastel desert to a crystalline lake in the woods," says Imholte. "Wall murals are easy to install, won't hurt your walls and can instantly transform a room from ordinary to breathtaking."

One mural that encompasses both of this year's hottest design trends is "Dolphins' Paradise," an underwater scene that depicts dolphins gracefully swimming through a coral reef. The deep, aquatic blues and the play of light across the coral evoke the serenity of an escape to nature, while the mural's size, at 13 feet by 8 feet, makes an immediate and lasting impression upon entering a room.

Environmental Graphics' murals are a perfect way to add a view to a room that may not have one. Many customers have installed murals in basements or rooms that have been added or remodeled. The mural can resemble a large window by adding molding around the image to echo existing windows in the home, and adds a feeling of light and spaciousness.

Several popular murals can bring the tranquility of nature into a room, with all its warmth and color. "Serenity" shows a quiet path leading to a gated garden; "Cinnamon Bay" shows a deep blue bay surrounded by white sand beaches, and "Oriental Garden" shows a quiet stream falling over rocks among green and flowering plants.

Courtesy of ARA Content