Your Home – Decorating in the Colours of the Earth

In the northern part of China, lies the Louess Plateau, a region that has garnered attention and adulation from across the globe. The region itself looks like any other; its earth is covered in a dusty blanket of soil as it extends into the upper and middle reaches of China’s Yellow River. In the summers, the plateau is awash with sunshine while the winters are fiercely cold and dry. But that’s not all. The Louess Plateau is famous for something else – its unique dwellings, known locally as yaodongs.

Yaodongs, otherwise known as earth shelters, are unique to the Louess Plateau. They are usually carved from the side of a hill or built by hollowing out the top of a central sunken courtyard. Yaodongs work as effective insulators, keeping homes warm in the winters and cool in the summers. But most of all, they are a reflection of a traditional Chinese belief; that human beings and nature share a symbiotic relationship. 

Yaodongs are the best example of bringing nature indoors, but nature-themed homes are possible in other forms, shapes and sizes.  By infusing woodsy colours, fresh plants and wooden panelling inside the home, it’s possible to spread earthy vibes indoors. Brown is the new black and we’re sure you’ll agree!

Wooden panelling can warm the living room or add spiritual simplicity to a bedroom wall. It can bring the texture and feel of the natural outdoors into your home. This doesn’t necessary mean that you have to stick to factory-manufactured wood panels. An alternative to panelling is walls featuring pieces of wood in various sizes. This can bring a welcome change to homes normally characterised by straight lines and tonal colours. Extending wooden panelling along the centre of your floor can add an eclectic twist. 

Wooden panels were originally developed to insulate rooms in stone buildings. In a tropical country like ours however, it has taken on a more decorative purpose. Wainscot and Boiserie are forms of panelling that are more ornate and intricate. Wainscot involves riven oak boards repeatedly panelled in lines, whereas Boiserie is composed of delicately carved panels. Nowadays, both of these erstwhile aristocratic panelling methods can be replicated in modern homes with wood laminates and veneers. 

Bamboo is frequently used in India for a range of industries; including construction, medicine and textiles. Though it can produce beautiful furniture, it is seldom seen in urban households. Bamboo furniture is minimalistic and functional, and can serve as light additions to compact apartments. 

Nature’s lush foliage offers colours like rust, green, brown and orange. When these shades are breathed into fabrics, they can present a parade of bright colours that will come alive when the morning light flutters in through your windows.

They say that green is the colour of renewal and growth, of balance and harmony. The colour has a spectrum of shades that relate to our array of moods. A soft mint for peace, an emerald green for spirit and a lime green for vitality. The colour draws energy from nature, and including it in your home can envelope you in a wonderful freshness. Use it for your walls, bed covers or rugs. 

Of course, there is nothing that can match the prospect of having plants in the home. Visit a good nursery and pick a potted plant that you can keep near a window. Ample sunlight is important for your plant to grow.

Touches of nature reign supreme when compared with other décor styles. It’s both ironic and fortunate that a minimalistic approach can maximise style. When are you seating your home in nature’s lap?

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