How to create a nature-inspired kitchen
Design & Decor Ideas
Authentic and calming, nature-inspired kitchens aren't about flower motifs and animal silhouettes. There is no one way to create a nature-inspired design in your kitchen, but there are trends to choose from that will make the room feel like an extension of the outside world.
1Find a natural colour scheme
There are three main ways to choose a natural colour scheme for the kitchen: using earthy analogous colours, using whites and creams or choosing a defining a colour palette based on an image from nature.
Analogous colours are three colours that sit beside one another on a colour wheel. A nature-inspired kitchen colour scheme would usually focus on three shades of green or brown, but could also include varieties of yellow and blue for a bolder scheme.
To borrow a colour scheme directly from nature, find a snapshot of a natural, unaltered image, such as a close-up of a plant, or a long-shot of a shoreline. You'll find a wide selection of colours in this type of image that you can use to create a varied scheme that blends seamlessly across the room. Colours rarely clash in nature.
Finally, you can choose to create a broad colour scheme in the room with shades of white and cream. This will allow the accessories and additional features in the kitchen to stand out against the plain backdrop, and will create a soothing and uncluttered space.
Read our guide to choosing a colour scheme for more ideas.
2Choose the right materials and textures
The textures and materials you choose for your kitchen can enhance the scheme. For a nature-inspired kitchen, use naturally occurring materials wherever possible, such as wood and stone.
Wood, available in a wide variety of shades and tones, can be either exposed or painted, depending on your preference. Cabinets and drawers are a subtle place to add wood to the room, painted in cream or sage green for a soft finish. Untreated wood worktops can finish the room, in a light oak for a bright finish, or walnut for a deeper, sophisticated effect.
Stone, meanwhile, is much cooler than wood in texture and tone. Stone, or stone-effect, flooring in either grey or off-white looks particularly striking, recreating the effect of traditional working kitchens of the 19th and early 20th century. You could also create a statement wall by laying exposed stonework on one side of your kitchen.
3Use soft lighting
A natural kitchen needs to be flooded with light, but rather than installing harsh, bright electric lights, the effect needs to be soft and gentle.
Natural sunlight is the easiest way to achieve this. If you're doing a complete remodel, installing things like larger windows and skylights will do this easily. If you have an outside door in your kitchen, consider using glass panels to encourage even more natural light to flood in.
Making space for new windows isn't always possible, but simply making sure your windowsills are clear and your window coverings are bright, can get you closer to that bright, natural kitchen feel.
And there are ways to install electric lighting that that suit a natural-style kitchen. Task lighting is essential for keeping your main preparation and cleaning areas bright, while pendant lighting could help to fill the room with light from a strategic spot, such as a breakfast bar or kitchen island.
If you choose pendant lighting, complete the natural effect by selecting minimalist lightshades. Glass is a pretty choice that can suit the theme, while shades in uniform grey, brown or blue will add colour that fits with the overall scheme of the kitchen.
For more inspiration, check out our kitchen lighting guides.
4Try food as decoration
There's nothing more natural than the ingredients we use to create delicious food. Spice, herbs, grains, fruits, and vegetables are all weekly kitchen staples, so as well as using them to cook your favourite dishes, store and display them as decoration to enhance the nature-inspired kitchen décor.
A wooden spice rack placed against a wall or on a counter will add a rustic twist to your kitchen design, with the colours of each of the spices adding to the overall effect of the room. A small indoor herb garden on the windowsill will create a similar, unruly effect. And, when properly cared for, it will provide you with fresh herbs all year round.
For fruits and vegetables that don't need refrigeration, store them in baskets dotted around the kitchen. Most eggs produced in the UK can also be stored at room temperature, so ditch the cardboard box and display each egg on a rack or in a wired egg house.
Bring nature into your kitchen using colours, textures and decorations, and enjoy a soothing atmosphere to unwind in every day. Looking to learn more about kitchen design? Get inspired with our design and décor guides.