Bringing the outdoors in

I am forever banging on about taking the indoors out -  decorating your garden as you would say your living room but how about the reverse bringing the outdoors in. At this time of year when we tend to spend less time in the garden (apart from me with my all weather outdoor kitchen remember) adding elements that connect us to nature help soothe the spirits I find. The obvious way is adding plants but there are other things you can do as well, such as: Add some natural fibres - like wicker, rattan, hemp and jute. I do this with baskets which I laden with logs and plop next to fireplaces all over the house. It shouts immediate comfort. If you don't have working fireplaces then baskets piled with heaps of papers or blankets is just as lovely. Some of my lampshades have these crazy raffia shades which I am obsessed with - again they add that outdoorsy note and have taken every room they are in to totally another level! At this time of year I'm often at the flower market on the hunt for branches covered in lichen which look truly beautiful plopped in vessels. Not those straight up twigs you see in glass vases that have been knocking around for years and should be banned - I'm talking bent over branches that are textural and beyond beautiful. My console below with branches from the flower market: c Think about scent - pot pouri (there is only one in the world worth considering, Santa Maria Novella), woody incense - candles that fill the air with the scent of damp earth, wintery walks in the forest wind, rain (does that sound odd) - you know what I mean right? For me and this is purely personal - I've left windows as unadorned as possible. No heavy curtains enclosing the space, windows in this house apart from the bathroom and bedrooms (where simple sheer blinds hang) are always left open. At night both front and back gardens are lit, which is one of the most transformative things I have done because it extends the space, the eye goes beyond each room into the outside. Of course there is no point doing this if you are overlooked, since I've spent the whole summer feeding the trees and plants with everything under the sun its now a bit like living in a forest here. No one can see in and we can't see out. Love it. Decorate with veggies and fruit. I've got pumpkins and squashes on my kitchen counters both the indoor one and the outdoor one. I've also got little bowls of lemons, limes, and big bowls of apples and pears which are both aromatic and intriguing - making the kitchen look far cooler than it really is! So that's me done, I got carried away with tips how is that is possible at 6.15 you may ask - God only knows. Obsessed do you reckon? Possibly I am, but I love it so maybe that is not so bad! c3

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