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A Garden Within
May 10 2009
A garden-like atmosphere fills your home with freshness. The idea of bringing the tranquility of the garden indoors is not new. Gardens, both outside and inside, have been a form of earthly paradise since the time of the ancient Persians.

How do you bring the garden indoors? Start with a flood of natural light. Lift the blinds, dump the drapes. Sheer muslin and handkerchief linen curtains, pulled to one side, allow all the golden rays of the sun to penetrate. Even a simple matchstick blind looks magical when light pours through.

The soothing sound of trickling water adds a garden feeling.
Gardens aren't just about flowers—they are also about drama. Just as small, fiddly trinkets will be lost in a garden, when considering accessories for your garden-style room, be bold. Indulge in a six-foot-tall topiary or hang a massive twig and vine wreath.

The color of your garden room is up to you. Thrift store finds can look handsome with a coat of white paint. White is an easy way to tie your furnishings together and to create a background where your accent colors shine. A tip: look for complex, warm shades of white rather than sterile-looking, blue-tinted whites. Cool whites can end up looking antiseptic and unfriendly.

A warm yellow glow, either in accessories like pillows and lampshades, or washed across walls, can illuminate your garden-style room in every kind of weather.

And don't forget green! Green is a garden's neutral. Any green will do: chartreuse, emerald, forest, khaki, lime. Layer your greens and your room will look like a garden come alive.

A warm yellow glow, wicker blinds, and a row of framed botanical prints creates a tropical refuge in this garden-style living room.

Consider using a trick gardeners use to edit their gardens—take black-and-white photographs of the room you're decorating. This will help you look at the elements of your room with an unbiased eye. Suddenly, you may find yourself thinking 'What if I painted the ceiling green?' or 'What if I moved the grandfather clock to the hall?'

Texture is an important element in creating a garden-look. Recall the richness of the earth in fabulously textured accessories: twig baskets, clay pots, rustic wood frames and sculptures.

Finally, gardens deserve abundance. Fill your garden-style room with all your favorite flowers. If your imagination is greener than your thumb, silk flowers can be striking. But don't stop there. Choose floral prints for your chairs, hang floral still-lifes on the walls, apply floral decoupage to your cabinets. Everything that grows has a place here. With paint, fabric, and ingenuity, your garden-style room will become a little bit of paradise.
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