Thursday, Dec 7, 2023

Bringing the Outdoors In

If you’ve spent any amount of time inside recently, you probably have a great appreciation for the restorative power of fresh air and sunshine. If you’re lucky enough to have some green space of your own, you might be looking for ways to better appreciate that. Here are some ideas for how to bring the outside inside.


Anywhere you can safely change your door to let in a little more air and light is a good idea. Change out your heavy, dark doors for a cedar screen door to open up your space and let in more of the great outdoors. Just make sure you’re not letting in too much of the outdoors. Make sure that doors close tightly to keep intruders out and that they can be sealed against cold weather and storms.


Similar rules apply to windows with this added caveat: window treatments can do a lot to make a window feel more open. Setting curtains slightly out from the sides of your windows and hanging both curtains and valences a little higher will create the illusion that your windows are larger. As a main source of sunlight and also an excellent way to get fresh air in your home, windows and window treatments are an important way to let the outdoors in a little.


You can also literally bring a piece or the outdoors in with a plant. Even in small, low-light apartments, there are plants that will be able to thrive and give you a small green space that you can call your own. You can grow herbs in your kitchen window and certain vegetables like celery can be regrown from the scraps if you’re careful about how you do it. Even the most black-thumbed gardener can probably keep a pothos alive or grow a snake plant in their office.


Another way to bring the outside in is by keeping a pet. A cat makes an excellent companion even in relatively small spaces, and a dog gives you a readymade reason to get out in the fresh air every day. There are other pets, all of which can bring a little life and livelihood into your home, even on the darkest and dreariest days.

By bringing the outside in, you make your living spaces feel larger and more open. You also improve the overall mental and physical health of your family. If nothing else, it’s a way to stay sane when you’re stuck home.