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How to get closer to nature without leaving home

86% of New Zealanders now live in cities. Does that mean we’ve lost touch with the natural world?

Closer to nature

No, because more and more of us have decided that if we can’t go to nature, we’ll bring nature to us, wherever we live.

 

 

Closer to nature

The owners of this home decided that they wanted to dine in the great outdoors. So they designed their dining room as a bridge between the two wings of their home, with glass doors on either side that open up to a pond on one side and a forest on the other.

 

 

 

Closer to nature

Many Kiwi families have bush or beach baches to help them get back to nature during weekends and holidays. This intriguing holiday home in Puhoi, north of Auckland, is designed to open up on all sides to the glorious native bush that surrounds it.

 

 

 

Closer to nature

The full-width bifold glass doors push back to allow uninhibited flow between the indoors and outdoors, enhanced by lifestyle features such as a hanging chair and hammocks.

 

 

 

Closer to nature

What we really like about this house, apart from the knotted timber exterior, bifold doors and outside fireplace, is the way a built-in pop-up table creates a sunken dining area. But that’s not the only surprise waiting under the boards of the wide deck.

 

 

 

Closer to nature

Ta-daaa! When the dining table is removed, the spaces for diners’ legs are revealed to really be sunken bathtubs, the perfect place to wallow in hot water and revel in the glorious outdoors. Clever, huh?  

 

 

 

Closer to nature

The owners of this home brought nature inside using a hydroponic system and fish inside the system to fertilise the water and provide nutrients for the plants.

 

 

 

Closer to nature

You don’t need a big yard to create a space where you can commune with nature, as this tiny yard proves. The cool patterned tiles provide a European look while the slightly raised decking creates a greater sense of depth and profile.

 

 

 

Closer to nature

Got an ugly block wall? Don’t paint it, get trendy by creating a vertical garden. And what a great idea to use old shutters to provide a backdrop and cover even more of the blockwork.

 

 

 

Closer to nature

There’s nothing more natural than timber and many New Zealand homes use timber floors and wall panels to add natural warmth to the living spaces.

 

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