A forest in the living room
I think I am standing in the woods! No, it is an afforested living room. Because furniture and accessories made of natural materials are all the rage. And for good reason as residential psychologists are well aware: in the globalised modern world that is dominated by technology, more and more people feel a longing for the natural, the primordial. Nature is synonymous with „real,“ „pure“ and „genuine.“ So we take nature into the home.
Those who surround themselves with natural materials in the home also garner attention for a very different, much more pragmatic reason: healthy living, plain and simple. If left untreated, natural materials do not give off any pollutants into the air unlike so many other artificial high tech materials. Above all, unpainted wood creates a pleasant, warm room atmosphere with its vibrant grain and is completely unobjectionable. Besides, massive wooden objects are sturdy and durable. No wonder many interior designers (re)discover this furniture and flooring material with a long-standing tradition.
Wood is also one of the most environmentally friendly materials since it essentially acts as CO2 storage. During its growth, a tree extracts some two tonnes of CO2 from ambient air that remain bound in the wood when it is processed for residential purposes. It is even more climate-friendly when a piece of furniture or a wood plank floor is recycled, thereby prolonging its life cycle.
A tip on how to recognise particularly ecological wooden products: pay attention to the seal of approval. For instance, identify wooden furniture from sustainable forest cultivation with the PEFC label for mainly domestic woods or refer to the international FSC label which also applies to tropical plantation wood.
Even so, natural stone is a primal material used not only outside as patio tiles, for example – it is also increasingly used in interior spaces. The trend at the moment is extreme: light granite and limestone are mainly paired with identifiable black and white stones. White marble and black slate, for instance. The surfaces are often structured, perhaps brushed or blasted.
Still, everything decorative is not always 100 per cent natural. The tendency to imitate natural materials is namely unbroken. Concrete slabs make deceptively real stone tile imitations as wall decorations while laminate haptic wood surfaces or wallpaper make a convincing brick wall or forest panorama. New photorealistic production methods make it all possible.
One of a kind pieces are the latest accessories trend since apartments are the expression of personality more than ever before. From handmade relics to the individualisation of a favourite poem or family photo – one’s suitable personal style is selected to a T. The more unique the accessories, the more blurred the boundaries between decoration and art.