Kati Curtis Design

How to Integrate the Outdoors into Your NYC Interior Design

Bringing the outdoors into your NYC Interior Design

Now that we’ve all been trapped indoors for a while, we’re really starting to appreciate the outdoors more and more! Especially living in NYC, green space that’s not Central Park can be a bit hard to come by. One of the top requests we get from our clients is “how can I bring the outdoors in?” Today we’re talking about some of our favorite ways to integrate the outdoors into your NYC interior design. Take a look.

Indoor Gardens

Indoor gardens are a great way to bring some nature into your home. Plants can be placed on window sills, bookshelves, or even installed into a vertical wall garden. If you’re not exactly a green thumb, take some time to research some low maintenance plants. Succulents, cactus, and air plants give off a more tropical, Southwestern feel. Whereas ferns and ivies are a bit more classic and have an almost ethereal feel to them. You can use plants to bring in some added color, or keep it green and fresh with mainly greenery. Indoor gardens also bring their own beautiful fragrance to the home, and just add a layer of freshness to the space. Take a look at some more great tips for finding the perfect plants for you from Good Housekeeping here!

Natural Materials

As a LEED AP, I always try to incorporate lots of natural materials into my designs- not just for looks but to make the earth a better place! Some of the best materials to use to bring in some outdoor feels are bamboo, organic cotton, linens, and even rattan. Wood tones and creamy linens help to brighten up the space by reflecting light, and natural materials can really make your home feel more open and clean.



Lighting is everything when it comes to a home. Especially in small NYC interior design, the use of light can really open up an otherwise small space. Incorporate smart blinds and sheer drapes to let in as much light as possible into each room. If your home doesn’t naturally have a lot of windows or smaller windows, you can also use candles and non fluorescent light bulbs to mimic natural light. Give your space lots of opportunities to reflect light to make a smaller amount of natural light go a long way.

Skylight in West Village Apartment


When it comes to design, many people tend to think of sight and touch primarily. But scent is also a huge sense that should be engaged in the design too! We love to use aromatherapy to really heighten our design experience. Incorporate essential oils and candles to really set the tone and bring in those fresh flowers or salty air that you’re missing.


As mentioned earlier, lighting is everything. Depending on your home, adding skylights can be a really great way to add some more light into your space and brighten it up. Not only does it bring in some beautiful light during the day, but you may even catch a glimpse of the stars at night when you look up. Utilizing your ceiling is really such an underrated to bring in the outdoors to your NYC interior design.

Bringing the outdoors into your NYC Interior Design

Nature Inspired Wallpaper

Wallpaper presents such a great opportunity to bring nature into your NYC interior design. There are so many different designs available, from subtle florals to graphic landscapes, that can help make you feel immersed in nature, despite really living in the concrete jungle. Whether you prefer more vintage or a modern feel, there’s so many different options available, and you can even get customized wallpapers to fit your unique home. A great way to add color and texture to any room!

Herb Garden

Earlier we mentioned indoor gardens when bringing the outdoors in. Why not take advantage of the garden to grow your own herbs or produce? Herb gardens can be a really great way to incorporate nature into your home- and who doesn’t love fresh herbs when cooking? We lrecently discovered Lettuce Grow, which is a sustainable, self watering vertical garden system. If you are blessed to have a terrace or private outdoor space in your home, this system is a perfect fit and is very compact! Otherwise, feel free to get creative with colorful pots and a unique trellis to make your garden fit your needs.

Kips Bay Decorator Show House

Strategically Placed Mirrors

Last but not least, mirrors are the perfect addition to bringing the outdoors in. Not only do they reflect light to make your space feel bigger and more open, but, when placed correctly, they can make your room feel more immersed in nature. Position your new indoor garden opposite a large mirror to reflect back the beautiful greenery, or simply hang across from a window or your nature inspired wallpapers. Multiplying the impact of what you’ve created really makes such a difference when designing in a small space.


We hope this helps you in bringing in a bit of the outdoors to your NYC interior design. For some tips on how to make your home not just green, but clean, take a look at this blog post with our top ideas to create a healthy home. In the meantime, make sure to follow us on Instagram to be the first to know what we’re up to.

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