Nature Canada

Decorating with Nature

Image of Laura Strachan

Laura Strachan, Guest Blogger

This blog is written by guest blogger Laura Strachan. 

There is a rock at the cottage that is used to prop open the doors dividing the sunroom from the main room.  It is black, shiny, fist sized rock and I kick it every single time I walk by and curse. But I would never move it. It’s always been there. It’s part of the room. Someone brought that rock from the shore outside and consciously put it there. It belongs there.

It’s surprising how little we creatures of nature surround ourselves with natural materials or fibres inside our homes. Why NOT use a rock to prop open a door?  Instead most household items are comprised of man made materials, plastics and composites, and solve problems you didn’t know you had.

Infusing natural items into your decor can bring an earthiness and warmth to your home that manufactured materials can’t. It can evoke memories of good times, favorite places and calmness. Try some of these ideas to bring a more organic outdoorsy feel to your home.

Image of driftwood DIY

DIY Driftwood Candle Holders

Eat Organic

Change up your table setting:

  • Use a piece of driftwood as a centrepiece. Turn the driftwood into a votive holder.
  • For napkin rings, tie tall grass or a sprig of rosemary around your napkins.
  • Use pinecones as placecard holders.
  • Clean and freeze riverstones to use as ice cubes in a glass water pitcher or add them to your wine bucket.

Show It Off

Luckily mason jars are in vogue so they are easy to find. Use them as canisters to house your dry natural foods such as oats, cinnamons sticks, vanilla beans, nuts, etc. and put them on view. Use your filled mason jar as bookends for your recipe books!

Create a Bathroom Oasis

  • There are some great natural stone tiles available that can be purchased for use on walls, backsplashes or floors in both the kitchen and bathroom.
  • Complement the stones with a vase of fresh greens, twigs and stones. Add some pine needles, cedar chips, lavender or eucalyptus for some natural scents
  • A nice flat piece of slate or shale makes a great soapdish
  • Make a towel rack using a fallen tree branches or a smooth piece of driftwood. This is a good DIY hook tutorial that could work in any bathroom.
Image of stump bookends

Create your own stump bookends!


Every time I see a tree has fallen, I want to go scavenging for cutoffs and logs. This wood can be put to good use indoors and out. If you’re sentimental about trees like me these ideas help keep the tree in the family.

  • Plant pots or candle holders can be made by coring out the inside of a good sized log.
  • Use large trunk slices as stool tops or end tables.
  • Smaller logs can be cut down the middle to make bookends

Take the Cottage Home

While we can’t live at the cottage all year we can certainly bring some of it home.

Collect some notable items from the cottage landscape (pinecones, sand, shells, stones) and make a terrarium or display your cottage memorabilia in a shadowbox. Layer the items exactly as you would find them in their natural landscape in a glass vase for a centerpiece.

If simply being in nature can be restorative and relaxing, then bringing its wares into our homes can provide us with a small dose of it’s benefits everyday. Using materials that nature provides us to beautify our homes can be a simple and rewarding DIY exercise (not to mention it is low cost, non-toxic and sustainable!). Collecting these unique items is equally rewarding when we take the time to admire what’s outside and see it’s potential.* So bring the outside in. The walls are just a technicality.

Show us how you use nature in your home – tweet your decor pics to @NatureCanada!

*Be careful not to disturb any growth or habitats that are in use when collecting your items!

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Canada’s wilderness is the world’s envy. It’s our duty to keep our true north strong and green.