Cold winter days can conjure up images of curling up on the couch beside an open fire, or staying toasty warm with central heating. And while that can be lovely, after a while a hankering for the outside can start building.
You don't need to wait for warmer weather though. Australian builder Metricon Homes suggests bringing the outdoors in.
"The outdoors has a natural appeal for people. Spending time outside whether at the beach, hiking, or even at your local park, makes us feel refreshed and calm," Metricon Homes' Manager Tania Tonks said.
"For many people, one of the biggest benefits of living regionally is being able to take advantage of the outdoors.
"The revitalization we get from nature is still important during the winter months even though it's more difficult to spend time outside. So, why not emulate the outdoors in your home using just a few simple techniques and tricks?
"Plants are the probably the first thing that come to mind when you're thinking of freshening up your home, and they are certainly a great option to replicate the outdoors," Tania said.
"There are endless choices from the on-trend hanging basket to a large indoor palm, and even a faux plant can refresh a space. But, there are so many other ways to truly bring that outdoors feel in your home."
Here is Metricon's simple guide to bringing the outside indoors:
- Materials - through your décor and soft furnishings, make the most of natural fibres and materials. Rattan, wicker and jute are all good options for your baskets, rugs and lampshades, and will create instant ambiance.
- Flooring - opt for natural flooring, instead of man-made. There are some great Australian timbers such as Tasmanian Oak or Spotted Gum, but any wood, cork or bamboo flooring will feel warm and natural underfoot.
- Colour - using earthy tones throughout your home can make it feel more connected to the landscape. Choose neutral tones such as beiges, browns and greys as a base colour, and then weave various shades of green and ocean or sky blues throughout, in items such as cushions or artwork. You can even add a peppering of gold or yellow, to represent the sun.
- Scent - whenever the weather permits it, open the windows and let in some fresh air. Otherwise, incense, diffusers, potpourri or scented candles can bring the floral, beachy or woodsy scents of the outdoors right into your home.