Following years of quarantines, mask-mandates, work-from-home orders and all of the other isolating instances of the pandemic, many people are looking for a breath of fresh air — literally. Biophilic design and naturally wonderful expert tips from Atlanta’s top interior designers are here to help.

“After what we have all experienced over the past few years with the pandemic, people are ready to get out and breath in the fresh air,” Atlanta design firm Amy Morris Interiors told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “A light, bright and airy feel is welcome after being cooped up inside and wearing masks. People are tired of looking at the same walls and art, and want a new, refreshing change. What better way to do that than incorporating the outdoors into your home?”

Atlanta’s The Design Atelier agreed, suggesting that biophilic design — a style of interior design dedicated to making the most out of nature — is important right now.

“Bringing the outdoors in has become increasingly popular – and important – since the start of the pandemic,” the company said. “We’ve spent so much time inside and cooped up! Biophilic design not only elevates a space and creates a unique sense of layering but it has also been shown to improve mental health and productivity. There are so many different ways it can be accomplished.”

Courtesy of The Design Atelier

Credit: Emily Followill

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Credit: Emily Followill

When it comes to making the most out of nature in the home, Milton’s Stevie Interiors takes a literal approach.

“Obviously I focus on literally bringing the outdoors in, but it’s also about layers, texture and an earthy color palette,” Meghan Basinger, CEO & Principal Designer, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Swap greys for beige. Bring texture in with rugs, baskets and antiques.”

“Anywhere you have a door or a window, it’s just another place to take advantage of incorporating the outdoors into your home,” The Design Atelier added. “A good pivot door opens up the space to the outdoors more substantially, as will accordion doors, garage doors, and sliding doors.”

As the economy continues to struggle amid the pandemic and war in Ukraine, many home owners are looking to tighten their budgets. Luckily, there are plenty of inexpensive ways to spruce up your home.

“Fresh flowers always brighten up any room,” Amy Morris Interiors said. “A tree in a beautiful pot can fill an otherwise empty and neglected corner.”

“Instead of completely redesigning their homes according to the trend, people can find accents, like solid green pillows and throws, that speak to bringing the outdoors in and make an impact without rethinking their whole space,” The Design Atelier added. “A plant or branch here and there also does wonders!”

If you want to go fully natural and give your wallet a break, Basinger said it’s a good idea to go foraging.

“Take a look at your yard - what can you clip and throw in a vase on your kitchen counter?” she added. “You don’t need to spend a fortune on store-bought florals, often you have something gorgeous right in your own front yard.”

Courtesy of Amy Morris Interiors

Credit: Laurey Glenn

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Credit: Laurey Glenn

If you are willing to open your wallet, The Design Atelier knows how to get you that “wow” factor with house guests.

“When people think of bringing the outdoors in, many gravitate towards the idea of floral prints and patterns,” the company said. “I like to think of the materials being used and how the interior will complement and enhance the view outside with a neutral palette or an unexpected architectural element. For example, I like wooden beams or accents that feel natural, rather than polished and pristine. Floor to ceiling windows are also a favorite of mine. It creates a sense of fluidity between the indoors and outdoors.”

Amy Morris Interiors suggested keeping things simple for a sophisticated look.

“I like to keep things simple and sophisticated even when it comes to bringing flowers and plants indoors,” the company said. “They bring a certain pop and beautiful aesthetic without being overwhelming or too dramatic.”

Basinger, however, said that it also isn’t a bad idea to go big.

“We absolutely love to play with scale - we’re talking oversized, Manzanita branches are a favorite with our team - they are total scene stealers in a gorgeous vintage water pot,” she said.