• Helga Brauer


Updated: Oct 14, 2018

When designing a space, I think it's very important to introduce at least a few natural materials into the design. Have you ever entered a stone shower and felt like you were in a spa? Have you ever entered an apartment that has a few living plants and thought that the plants made the space feel a little more fresh? When I design my own living spaces, I've never really felt compelled to use a lot of rustic materials, it's just not my personal style. But I am a firm believer that too much plastic, fake wood, and metals can change the vibe in any room.

Nature At Home

I love using natural materials in design. They not only create harmony in a space but are also much more durable than plastics and other synthetics. There are so many cool ways to incorporate natural materials in your space like iron, bamboo, rattan or wicker furniture, sisal and jute rugs and even stone backslashes. If you’re into Feng Shui, one of the principles is the use of the 5 elements:​

  1. Wood - Represents growth and creativity and increases intuition.

  2. Earth - meant to ground and stabilize, as well as calm and create peace in a space.

  3. Fire - represents transformation

  4. Metal - Influences the intelligence. It creates power of the mind and sharpness

  5. Water - Represents renewal and clarity of the mind. It’s great for relaxation

These elements are used to balance the energy in a home, and is said to radiate good energy, while creating a peaceful space for it’s inhabitants.

If you’re not into Feng Shui, a more tangible benefit to using natural materials is sustainability.

Natural stone can last a lifetime if cared for properly. It’s incredibly durable and won’t fade or crack if cleaned with care. Even wood is very durable and can really take a beating, while requiring very little maintenance. It can last much longer than other manufactured furniture materials. Even jute textiles are so resilient as long as they are kept away from too much moisture, and best of all, they are highly degradable.

There are so many reasons to try incorporating natural materials into your home design, but the strongest reason of all is that they not only look really cool, they are also timeless.

River Tables

River tables are a really great way to add nature through artistic expression. These great pieces are made with glass or poured resin create an illusion of a beautiful river without actually using water. I absolutely love these tables because each piece is so unique and unlike normal coffee tables and console tables, they can be displayed without any decor sitting on top of them as they are their own piece of art.

Bamboo Shades

I absolutely love bamboo shades. They come in so many different tones and different levels of light filtration, from soft light filtering to black-out. Bamboo is considered to be one of the most eco-friendly materials used for window treatments. Due to the bamboo plant's high resilience and speed of growth, its use as a substitute for hardwood is a great way to save hardwood forests and the wildlife that rely on those trees for habitat. Another great aspect of using bamboo shades are that they are so versatile and can pair with so many design concepts because of how inconspicuous they are. and if you're into feng shui, bamboo is thought to bring luck into your home.


Helga Brauer

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices | New York Properties

Licensed Real Estate Salesperson

Licensed in New York State

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