The following post contains a paid advertising feature for Funnyhowflowersdothat.co.uk and Thejoyofplants.co.uk.
I think just about every other email I’ve received this year starts off with something about ‘this crazy situation’ or ‘unprecedented times’. We all know what it means. Life these days – well, life this year – has been unlike anything any of us have experienced before. We are dealing with a rollercoaster of emotions every time we switch on the news until it all gets a bit too much and we throw ourselves into whatever we need in order to calm our minds again.
I have said repeatedly on this blog over the years how important it is that our homes are our sanctuaries and why good design can create a place of peace for us, both physically and emotionally. How important it is to surround ourselves with the objects, colours, textures (and of course people!) that make us feel like we are truly home. When we do that, we have the opportunity to feel relaxed in our surroundings, able to be ourselves, able to express ourselves how we like.
We live in a busy, modern world full of stimulation and distraction, of everyday pressures that we sometimes bring into this inner retreat with our technology. Now, more than ever, there is a growing need for peace and calm amongst the chaos, a place of sanctuary where we can restore balance and retreat from the outside world. A place where we can turn off our devices and simply be.
There has been much research over the years of the healing power of nature. Whether we are trekking through a patch of woodland or simply heading to the park to walk the dog, being out in nature lifts our mood. Surrounding yourself with plants and flowers indoors has a similar effect, it triggers the same chemical response in our brain on a smaller scale – releasing serotonin (known as ‘the happy hormone’) which lifts our mood in a completely natural way.
Recognising the need to make our homes our sanctuaries and understanding the healing power of nature, Thejoyofplants.co.uk and Funnyhowflowersdothat.co.uk have launched their Autumn Winter 2020 Trend collection which encompasses a harmonised selection of sixteen flowers, houseplants and garden plants based on the style trend of Inner Retreat which I wanted to talk about today.
So how do you create this relaxing getaway at home? One of the things that really attracted me to this trend was its use of not just plants and flowers but also the colours that we surround ourselves with. Think pastel tones, a touch of pink, plenty of white and natural shades with soft textures and subtle forms – a light and tranquil space to help us rebalance and providing us with a sense of calm and tranquillity.
I’ve had many remarks over the last 2 1/2 years that we’ve lived in this house that my style has changed compared to our previous home but it’s actually not the style that has shifted (I’m still all about that ‘eclectic boho glam’ look!), it’s simply the colour palette. I’ve moved away from the harsher high contrasts of black and white and bolder, more saturated colours and towards those that provide me with a feeling of peace and calm. I wanted this home to feel like a retreat and so in my own experience, these colours have given me that sense of tranquillity in my home.
Thejoyofplants.co.uk have recommended specific plants to create this Inner Retreat: Beaucarnea, Succulents, ferns, Orchids, Schlumbergera and Kalanchoe; all plants which echo more rounded shapes or those with soft delicate or velvet-like leaves. In the space surrounding these plants including your pots and vessels, incorporating natural and matt textures or those made of glass will create an instant soothing style in your space.
For flowers, Funnyhowflowersdothat.co.uk encourage looking out for gypsophila (aka the humble carnation), anthurium, chrysanthemum and Cymbidium. Viburnum and lilac offer fluffy clusters of small, delicate flowers and it’s that delicate and airy volume and again, those rounded soothing shapes that are key to getting the look.
You’ll see in the images how I’ve also incorporated a few more things to allow me to really create that sense of calm in this corner of my home. If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you’ll know I adore candles (in fact I’m in the process of launching my own line) so if you love the soft flicker and aroma of a candle, it’s just another way of creating that peaceful feeling in your home.
I also feel strongly about turning off your laptop/mobile/devices from time to time. Picking up a notebook and journaling whatever thoughts are tumbling around in your head is a great way to get them out of your mind and allow your brain a chance to be quiet. Or pick up a book and get lost in someone else’s story.
Cosy blankets and cushions are always a welcome touch when creating your own inner retreat. Look out for soft touchable fabrics – I’m particularly fond of Mongolian sheepskin but good quality faux fur and soft knits or bohemian-style textures are great too.
One last tip to look after your plants and flowers is a humidifier in your home. At this time of year, we all have our heating going throughout the day and this can be really drying for plants so a humidifier will give your plants a little boost. If you don’t have one, a small spray bottle with plain water will also do the trick.
Are you ready to feel positive, energetic, happy and light? That’s the power of bringing nature into our homes and welcoming the healing energy that they bring. A beautiful fresh bouquet of flowers will instantly raise our spirits, plants and herbs can help us to sleep better, others can help heal wounds or stop infections, reduce skin problems and headaches, increase our creativity and provide a welcome connection to our Earth. If you want to read more about the Inner Retreat trend and see the lookbooks, check out Funnyhowflowersdothat.co.uk and Thejoyofplants.co.uk for even more information.