dried flowers in a jar


We find creative ways to explore wilderness, forests, and rivers just to connect with nature. We are so inherently curious about everything from the stars to the depths of the ocean that sometimes, for some, those creative ways to explore can be extreme and even dangerous. Nature inspires us. It inspired Monet to paint, Albert Einstein to question everything, Walt Whitman to write and Frank Lloyd Wright to design.

If our home is the centerpiece of our lives, the place where we take refuge and feel safe, then it makes sense to fill it with things that we are so instinctively drawn to. Here are 8 ideas to bring nature inside in ways that are personal to you and the story of your family.


  • Wood – Wood may be the epitome of nature. So, not surprisingly, there are many ways to decorate your home with it. Stacked firewood near your fireplace is a way to make your living room cozy, quaint and gives fall, winter and holiday feels. If you are going for a farmhouse vibe, this is a great one. Even just a vase of sticks that have an interesting color or shape would be a striking addition to a corner or table. For me, some of the best pieces are ones that have an interesting story or memory to go with them. We love to spend time on the Georgia coast and each time we go there, or any beach really, we collect a piece or two of driftwood and bring them home. I have a basket on a foyer table for them and love watching the collection grow over the years. Plus, every time I see them, I think of our family vacations. The times we got away and made memories together. Something else I find myself drawn to are wooden bowls and treys. There is no shortage of these in places like Hobby Lobby. But I see them in just about every antique store I visit lately as well. I have them all over my house. In the bowls I have holding potpourri and candles. The treys hold flower vases, candles and jars of practical items, like Q-tips and floss in the bathrooms.


 Driftwood in a basket - natural home decor


  • Rocks A while back while building a dry creek bed in our backyard, I came across this big rock that looks like a heart. A perfect heart shape. I had to set it aside and just couldn't put it in to get lost in the mix of the dry creek bed. It now lives on our front porch propped up against the door frame of the front door. While yes, this is technically outside and not inside our home, I had to mention it. Inside our home, I do have a jar of rocks that sits near my kitchen sink. Not just any rocks though. Again, using something from our experiences in nature. These are rocks that we have collected during hikes that we have taken. On the rocks we write the trail and date so that they serve as a sort of commemoration of hikes that we've taken. It has become a mission on each trail to find a cool looking rock, that has a semi flat surface that we can write on. Then with a sharpie marker we write the trail and date. Just like with the driftwood they are great reminders of the adventure. When I look at them, I remember how old my daughters were when we went on the hike, funny things they said or did, unexpected things we saw. 


Rocks in a jar - hiking trail - natural home decor


  • Dried Flowers - There are so many options for dried flowers! I have a vase, a couple actually, of dried lavender that still smells amazing. I also have a wrapped bouquet of dried lavender, clearly a favorite of mine. You can also press dried flowers and put them in a frame. Recently while helping my sister-in-law unpack and move into her new home I stumbled on jars and jars of dried roses from the knock-out rose bushes in their yead. A couple of them were gigantic. I am now obsessed. And will absolutely be doing this with flowers from my yard. Although, she gifted me several of the jars we found. 


 dried flowers on display - natural home decor


  • Leaves – This one may be a mix between dried flowers and wood but has so many options that it had to have its own category. For center pieces for a Thanksgiving table one year, I bought a bouquet of flowers and separated it out into four or five different vases and jars. Then from trees around the yard, I took several small branches with bright fall-colored leaves. I filled in the jars and vases of flowers with the fall leaves and set them out on the table and a few other spots in the house. I did something similar for Christmas this year. But instead of fall colored leaves, I cut off several sprigs of a cypress tree. The tree may have technically belonged to my neighbor, but the limbs do hang over into my yard…so I don’t think you could call it stealing really. They have that beautiful, green Christmas tree look to them that was perfect. I also cut a few longer branches and used them as garland in the center of the table and on a bar in the kitchen. It looked so great, that I can’t wait for next Christmas, I just might get carried away.


 leaves for decoration - natural home decor


  • Seashells / Sand Dollars / Shark teeth - This is another way to bring in memories of your travels along with nature. Collecting seashells is one of my favorite things to do anytime we go to any beach. I love the colors and patterns on them. Finding one wholly intact and perfect is a big win. Especially for a sand dollar. One year on vacation, for whatever reason, we could not step 2 feet down the beach and not find a perfect, beautiful sand dollar. I love looking back at the pictures of my daughters holding them up. And seeing the jar full of them in my home always takes me back to that special trip. Never again have we found so many. (Disclaimer here, when you are collecting sand dollars, be sure you can tell the difference between a living one and a dead one. Or it won't be the smell of saltwater you remember.) I have jars of shells throughout my house and one jar of perfect sand dollars. I put shark teeth on here only because I very much want to find shark teeth. Even just one would be a major victory. What gave me the idea of displaying our seashells was visiting someone's house who had a huge, beautiful bowl of shark teeth that they found on vacation. So many shark teeth. It sent my husband and I on a mission to search for them every time we go to the beach. We spent hours one time looking for shark teeth. Only to come up empty handed. At this point we are convinced they aren't real, just mythical. 


 Seashells in a jar - natural home decor



  • Books About Nature - A great way to personalize your home and incorporate nature is to display books about things you are interested in, passionate about or hobbies that have to do with nature. We have a book on our coffee table about the Georgia coast that my daughter found in a little book shop. It has a vintage look to it, like something the character in 'Where the Crawdads Sing' may have written. You could have a book about gardening on display in your home. (I am a wannabe gardener with big aspirations.) Or a book about hiking trails in your area or that you dream of taking one day. How about a wild game cookbook set up in your kitchen? Or a book about bird species or the migration of different butterflies, constellations, or poems about nature. Whatever you decide or stumble on, if it is personal to you, I think it makes it all the more special.


 coffee table book about georgia coast - natural home decor


  • Antlers – When deer drop or shed their antlers it can be a very cool thing to stumble on if you are exploring the woods or on a hike. I have not yet been so lucky. But with hunters in our family, I do not have a shortage of antlers at my disposal. While shopping at Pottery Barn a while back they had a display of a beautiful wooden bowl (see, they catch my attention every time) filled with artificial antlers on a table or bench, I can’t remember which. We have a ton of real antlers and it had not occurred to me to use them for decoration! They definitely add a rustic feel. I loved the bowl full idea. You can also just prop one or two up on a shelf to act as a bit of filler around picture frames or other pieces.


 antler decor - natural home decor



  • Plants – Yep, stating the obvious here, but it is so obvious that I thought I couldn’t leave it off the list. Although, like I said I am a wannabe gardener even when it comes to houseplants, I just keep trying. I love plants so much, but we do not speak the same language and it usually proves fatal for the plants. If you are like me and would have a jungle living in your home, if only you could keep them living, there are few I recommend that are really easy even for me. Pothos for starters. These guys are so tough and tolerant. Plus, they are super easy to propagate. When a stem (or stems) grows too long, all you have to do is cut it and stick the stem straight in a jar or vase of water. It makes for a pretty plant all on its own while it grows roots. Another one that I seem to be having success with so far is the Monstera or Swiss Cheese Plant. I have had him for about six months, and he is getting big and beautiful!


 houseplant - natural home decor



Well, there you have it. These are eight of my favorite things around my home that make me feel connected to nature. I hope they give you some ideas and encourage you to get outside. Enjoy the sunshine, fresh air and see what draws you in.


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