A great way to enjoy the outdoors and nature all year round is to create a garden style living room. A light and breezy sense of nature is fairly easy to create with a little planning.
First thing to consider is a color pallet. Look to nature for inspiration. Some possibilities could include moss green, sky blue, or sunny yellow. White could be a possibility if used carefully, but it can be hard to keep clean and can also look stark and empty. It would be better suited for accents than for the base of the whole room. For example, you could paint a chair rail and bead board white and the top of the wall a mossy green.
When selecting furniture, think about using floral prints and natural materials, like wood or wicker. You could even use actual outdoor furniture as long as it doesn’t make the room look too cramped. The main thing is to not block the traffic flow. What good is nice furniture if you have to climb over it to get around it?
The key to bringing the outdoors in is the lighting. The outdoors is bright and well lit so a garden room should be too. Try using fluorescent bulbs instead of incandescent. They create a whiter, more natural looking light and save energy and money in the long run, too.
An obvious addition to any garden room is, of course, plants. Your choice is very dependant on your room, your area, and your personality. If the room does not get much natural light, make sure you get plants that are tolerant of low light. Also make sure the size of the plant works with the scale of the room. A tall ceiling need tall plants and small plants need to be used for smaller rooms. Even though you are keeping them indoors, your area’s climate will still be a factor. Humidity and light can be difficult to control so look for plants that work in your general climate. When shopping for plants, make sure you are getting plants that fit who you are. Remember that live plants will take some care and some are much easier that others. Some good examples that will work just about anyone and for anywhere are lucky bamboo, ficus, bella palm, and peace lilies.
A truly outstanding room is really made with carefully chosen accessories that pull everything together. An area rug will help define the seating area. Look for natural fibers like sisal or jute. Lamps can add more focused lighting and compliment furniture. An iron plant stand or large urn can add height to a smaller plant. A vase with a floral arrangement really anchors a table to a room and can bring in the scent of the garden. A few decorative candles can create a sense of evening and also add the smell of flowers to the room.