5 ways to bring the outdoors in this fall

(BPT) - With the weather cooling down and trees changing to vibrant colors, it's no wonder many consider autumn their favorite time of year. Fall draws people outside to apple orchards and pumpkin patches and fills homes with the smells of seasonal baking.

A recent YouGov survey commissioned by VELUX found that most people (over 69%) think exposure to daylight, fresh air and nature has a positive effect on their well-being, including reducing stress. Yet according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), people today spend 90% of their time indoors. Even houses now are built to be more sealed, trapping bacteria and toxins inside, with many people unaware that indoor air can be up to five times more polluted than outdoor air, according to the EPA.

To enjoy the positive benefits of nature even when spending time indoors, why not open up your house and bring more of the outdoors in? Try these five strategies for bringing more nature into your home this fall.

1. Open your windows or skylights

Before cold weather arrives, take advantage of pleasant temps to let in fresh air and sunlight, and even enjoy viewing the beautiful yellows, oranges and reds outside. The fresh air will help you breathe easier, ridding the air of toxins, bacteria and musty odors inside.

Skylights are great options for adding fresh air and natural light, which can help make your indoor living environment healthier. Skylights are a simple home renovation project that can dramatically improve your home’s health and have changed a great deal from those of decades past. The latest skylight models and skylight blinds can open via smartphone app or remote control to bring in fresh air and control light. VELUX No Leak Solar Powered Fresh Air Skylights can be automated using VELUX Active with NETATMO, an internet-connected control system that compares online weather forecasts to temperatures, humidity and CO2 levels inside the home, automatically opening skylights to bring in fresh air if doing so improves indoor air conditions. In addition, VELUX offers a number of blinds options that can be automated with the VELUX Active with NETATMO system to boost the skylights’ thermal performance by blocking intense sunlight or providing an additional layer of insulation during cold nights.

2. Fill your home with cozy, natural scents

Use fresh herbs and spices like rosemary, sage, cinnamon sticks and cloves to create your own homemade potpourri. Or you could make a wreath using sprigs of your favorite herbs, including lavender, rosemary, bay and sage. You can add sprigs of similar aromatic dried options to fresh-cut flower arrangements, adding layers of scent, deeper colors and contrasting textures to your floral displays.

3. Bring pumpkins indoors

Autumn is not complete without pumpkins, but there’s no need to banish them to the front porch. Pick up some smaller pumpkins and other types of gourds, adding dried corn cobs to create a centerpiece for your dining room table or adding a pop of color to a coffee or side table.

Some types of edible squash are almost too pretty to eat, so why not display them for a while before cooking them? Look for visually interesting acorn, delicata and buttercup squash for your displays.

4. Leafy bouquets

Rethink your cut-flower bouquets. Take a walk outside to collect branches of colorful leafy fall foliage to add to your floral bouquets, along with flowers of similar autumn hues. Think chrysanthemums, sunflowers, dahlias and daisies in tones of orange, crimson and gold.

5. Incorporate fall design elements

Use autumn colors and shapes to inspire new design ideas. Swap decorative elements, from pillows and blankets to throw rugs and tea towels, for new items highlighting earthy tones like brown and orange. Look for items with nature-inspired designs — from leaf or vine patterns to migrating flocks of birds — that bring a feeling of autumn into your home.

Change up your window treatments to reflect the season, too. Swapping out blinds on your skylights is simple; you can easily add fall-colored blinds to match the tones of your new decor.

To learn more about adding fresh air and natural daylight into your home with new energy-efficient skylights, visit whyskylights.com.

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