20 Designs That Let Nature Be The Star

This one's for you, Thoreau.

Today is National Simplicity Day in honor of Henry David Thoreau’s birthday. Thoreau was an advocate of simple living in natural surroundings. To celebrate, we’ve rounded up 20 designs created to showcase beautiful, natural surroundings. 

Dining Rooms

Contemporary Outdoor Dining Room With Incredible View

Contemporary Outdoor Dining Room With Incredible View

With this breathtaking view, it wouldn't be surprising if most dinners take place outside on this porch than inside. The large dining table comfortable seats 10, making it perfect for entertaining or family gatherings. Sleek dining furniture doesn't distract from or inhibit the view.

Photo by: Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers, a member of Luxury Portfolio International

Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers, a member of Luxury Portfolio International

Rustic Open Plan Dining Room With Wooded Views

Rustic Open Plan Dining Room With Wooded Views

The floor-to-ceiling window walls surrounding this gorgeous dining room make the space feel as if it's floating among the trees. The open timber ceiling structure adds to the woodsy, natural vibe.

Photo by: FINNE Architects

FINNE Architects

Contemporary Dining Room With Mountain View

Contemporary Dining Room With Mountain View

This stylish neutral dining room features ivory armchairs positioned around a dining table and three glass pendant lights that hang from a tray ceiling. Hardwood floors and a brown leather bench lead the way to the space, while large windows offer a view of the picturesque Aspen mountainside.

From: Griffith Interior Design LLC

Photo by: Griffith Interior Design LLC

Griffith Interior Design LLC

Living Rooms

Contemporary Living Room Brings Nature In

Contemporary Living Room Brings Nature In

Not only is the fireplace kept low, but the firebox also features a glass back, creating a seamless transition from the indoors to the out. Tone-on-tone patterns are used on the throw pillows and area rug to bring much-needed texture to the contemporary space, while a classic bust adds a traditional note to the room.

Photo by: Specht Harpman

Specht Harpman

Details Bring Nature Indoors

Details Bring Nature Indoors

All the windows in this home makes the space feel as if it is one with nature. The natural light that floods into each of the home's rooms gives the occupants a feeling that nature is just within their grasp. Even the floors and the coffee table help usher in nature, with dark hardwood flooring and a live edge table that reflect the raw elegance of the home's surroundings.

Photo by: Lara Swimmer Photography

Lara Swimmer Photography

DP_SPG-Architects-Mountain-view-in-warm-neutral-living-room_s4x3

DP_SPG-Architects-Mountain-view-in-warm-neutral-living-room_s4x3

Wouldn't it be great to live here? You could enjoy the breathtaking views from the inviting living room sofa or from the patio lounge chairs on the other side of the floor-to-ceiling windows. On cool evenings, light the fire and warm up with the cozy fireplace.

Photo by: Daniel Levin

Daniel Levin

Neutral Living Room Inspired by Nature

Neutral Living Room Inspired by Nature

Designers Heather Hilliard and Fleur Keyes' concept for the San Francisco Decorator Showcase 2014 living room was designed to complement the natural beauty seen through the generous windows. The curvy furnishings harmonize with the hills beyond, and a subtle wallpaper is indicative of stratified soil.

Photo by: Jason Kisner ©2014, Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Jason Kisner, 2014, Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Living Room's Wall of Windows Lets in Natural Light

Living Room's Wall of Windows Lets in Natural Light

This HGTV Dream Home living room is awash in natural light, thanks to a wall of windows. Stone and wood features provide an easy visual transition from the outdoors.

Photo by: Eric Perry © 2013, Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Eric Perry, 2013, Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Bedrooms

Modern Bedroom Brimming With Natural Light

Modern Bedroom Brimming With Natural Light

Large windows surround this modern bedroom and fill it with loads of natural light. Crisp white walls give the space a fresh, clean aesthetic.

Photo by: Eisner Design

Eisner Design

Modern Bedroom With Ocean View

Modern Bedroom With Ocean View

The natural wood platform combined with frameless windows makes this bedroom feel like it is floating above the Pacific Ocean.

Photo by: Arianna Noppenberger

Arianna Noppenberger

Modern Master Bedroom Maximizes Natural Light

Modern Master Bedroom Maximizes Natural Light

Countless windows fill this modern master bedroom with natural light, enhancing the room's crisp white walls. An exposed wood ceiling beam and brown bedding lend warmth to the clean, fresh space. Two chairs and a small table carve out a seating area that's perfect for morning coffee.

Photo by: David Duncan Livingston

David Duncan Livingston

Bathrooms

Natural Light in Master Bathroom

Natural Light in Master Bathroom

The floating vanity benefits from plenty of natural light, creating a well-lit spot to get ready each morning.

Photo by: Jacob Bodkin

Jacob Bodkin

Black & White Master Bathroom With Ample Natural Light

Black & White Master Bathroom With Ample Natural Light

A second-floor sunroom was converted into this master bathroom, which required a bit of creativity in order to achieve enough privacy to make the homeowner comfortable. The dark grout ties in the black windows, and the white soaking tub coordinates beautifully with the white subway tile.

From: Lemon Grass Interior Architecture

Photo by: Erik Rank

Erik Rank

Neutral Modern Spa Bathroom With Ocean View

Neutral Modern Spa Bathroom With Ocean View

The best spas don't come with a view like this. This bathroom's wall made of floor-to-ceiling windows means bubble baths with breathtaking panoramas of the Atlantic Ocean.

Photo by: Robert Paul Properties, a member of Luxury Portfolio International

Robert Paul Properties, a member of Luxury Portfolio International

Naturally Lit Double Shower

Naturally Lit Double Shower

This bathroom's coolest feature is the shower area. Lit by overhead windows and equipped with double shower heads, this area of the luxury bathroom is the perfect place to relax after a long day.

Contemporary Master Bathroom With Ocean View

Contemporary Master Bathroom With Ocean View

Marble sheathes the floors and extends onto the tub deck and shower wall of this contemporary master bathroom. Large wrap-around windows provide spectacular views of the ocean beyond. Water from two waterfall faucets appears to pour into the tub from the ocean itself.

From: Studio 6 Architects

Photo by: Studio 6 Architects

Studio 6 Architects

Kitchens

Modern, All-White Kitchen with Natural Light

Modern, All-White Kitchen with Natural Light

White walls, white countertops, even white furnishings allow this modern home's focal point to become the view outside its broad picture windows. Sliding doors provide access to an elevated patio with wood decking and a sleek, modern pool.

Photo by: Eric Staudenmaier

Eric Staudenmaier

Contemporary Kitchen Sink With Brown Subway Tile & Large Window

Contemporary Kitchen Sink With Brown Subway Tile & Large Window

This contemporary kitchen brings nature indoors with oak wood floors and white quartzite countertops. The stainless steel appliances and subway tiles provide modern, yet functional accents. The large window makes for a welcoming environment, and even makes doing dishes a pleasant task.

Photo by: Jacob Bodkin

Jacob Bodkin

Red Modern Kitchen with Stainless Steel Countertops

Red Modern Kitchen with Stainless Steel Countertops

This modern kitchen has plenty of windows to wash the space in natural light.

RS_Designer-Jane-Ellison_h
From: Jane Ellison

Photo by: Stuart Lirette

Stuart Lirette

Foyer

Minimalist Foyer Takes Advantage of Natural Light

Minimalist Foyer Takes Advantage of Natural Light

A clean-lined console table in the entry sets the stage for the streamlined, modern aesthetic of this California home. Sheer curtains filter light and offer privacy, while expansive windows take advantage of the sweeping hilltop views.

Photo by: Nic Lehoux

Nic Lehoux

Design Trend: Nature-Inspired Decor

See All Photos
Bring a touch of Mother Nature into your home with nature-inspired furniture and accessories.

The New Florals

"I'm seeing more and more florals inspired by historic botanical books, especially in cotton prints and wallpapers," says interior designer Lori Dennis. "It's like chintz in a new way." This isn't Grandma's floral wallpaper: Think large-scale patterns, vibrant blooms and big, bold hues. Photo courtesy of Romo

Photo By: Romo

Modern Floral Fabrics

Big, bold floral prints work equally well on curtains and bold-hued throw pillows. Photo courtesy of Romo

Turn Over a New Leaf

It's not just florals that are making a comeback: Plant-based motifs, like these block-printed ferns, are cropping up everywhere from bedding to wallpaper to throw pillows. Designer Jennifer Jones uses this slate wallpaper to add character and whimsy to this master bedroom without going too bold.

New Takes on Old Patterns

Look for fresh, pared-down versions of classic patterns. This organic bedding from Dwell Studio takes the concept of Old World chinoiserie down to the essential elements — birds, bare branches and flowers — to create a modern look.

© 2011, HGTV

Modern Rustic

A sexier sibling to large, unwieldy rustic pieces, streamlined furniture that embraces natural curves and imperfections is cropping up all over furniture showrooms. "It's a melding of midcentury lines in natural materials, like a bench made of a log that's split in half, with metal legs," says design forecaster Stacy Garcia. This lamp, with its slim, modern shade and rustic driftwood base, perfectly embodies the trend. Design by Emily Henderson

Midcentury Lines, Natural Materials

This year, furniture makers are reimagining classic midcentury pieces in natural materials. The familiar shape of the iconic sunburst mirror looks fresh and unexpected when fashioned from reclaimed mahogany.

© 2011, HGTV

Rough-Hewn Wood

Forget smooth finishes — rough edges are in. From transformed wood pallets to reclaimed wood, it's trendy to celebrate wood's imperfections. This rough-hewn headboard in the 2011 HGTV Green Home is made from locally sourced pine.

© 2011, HGTV

Bring On the Faux Bois

Patterns that imitate the look of wood, known by the French term faux bois, are playful, current and right on trend with the resurgence of natural motifs. Since the color of wood is fairly neutral, faux bois wallpaper adds a surprisingly subtle texture to a room. Try a bolder print for a smaller piece, like a lampshade or this throw pillow.

Basket Weave Moves Indoors

Wicker and basket-weave pieces are common for the patio, but furniture makers are finding new applications for the woven look: wicker bed frames, patterned metal light fixtures and even painted furniture that mimics the look of caning. Create an outdoors-in vibe in your home by refreshing an existing basket-weave piece with metallic paint, like designer Erinn Valencich did here.

From: Erinn Valencich

Sculptural Accents in Modern Packaging

Nautical accessories always look chic in beachy homes, but try them in stark white for a more modern take. Designer Erinn Valencich used coral-inspired vases and a barnacled lamp base to add textural interest to this bedroom nightstand.

From: Erinn Valencich

Found Objects

Found objects like driftwood look especially current when surrounded by a modern space. A round mirror bedazzled with patinaed driftwood twigs lends an organic vibe to this graphic powder room. Design by Brian Patrick Flynn

A Touch of Whimsy

Sometimes a sense of humor in an otherwise tailored space can create a not-so-serious feeling. The juxtaposition of a white resin moose head against this bedroom's tailored walls creates a lighthearted element of surprise that's perfectly on trend. Design by Brian Patrick Flynn

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