12 ways to work a woodland theme into tranquil retreats

Design ideas inspired by country walks and wildlife are for keeps, says Sam Wylie-Harris.

Our wonderful woodlands and the wildlife that inhabits these precious places never fail to delight – so it’s hardly surprising they fire our imagination, and leave us wishing to bring a bit of the magic home.

Thankfully, many designers have the same idea – and are busy creating artworks, furnishings and tableware inspired by woodland wonders. Keen to fashion a calm, idyllic setting where you can be at one with nature indoors, and harness that sense of wellbeing you’d gain from going on a lovely long nature trail? 

California Redwoods GIF by Caitlin Burns - Find & Share on GIPHY

From country living to nature-themed decos, here’s out pick of the best creature comforts…

1. Into The Woods Fox 8 ½ Inch Plate, £17.95; Oak ½ Pint Mug, £19.95; Animals Hare ½ Pint Mug, £19.95; In An Oak Tree Small Oval Platter, £39.95 (items from a selection), Emma Bridgewater

(Emma Bridgewater/PA)

From foxes to hedgehogs and hares, introduce a woodland tasting adventure at mealtimes with this charming new chinaware range from Emma Bridgewater.

2. Tea Towels Owls Indigo, £9.95, Cambridge Imprint

(Cambridge Print/PA)

A real hoot, this cotton tea towel is printed and sewn in Suffolk, home to some standout nature reserves.

3. Felt Woodland Critter Decorations in Egg Box, £20, National Trust Shop

(National Trust Shop/PA)

Beatrix Potter would be proud! These adorable furry friends will feel perfectly at home in country living tablescapes and family place settings.

4. Mason Cash In The Forest Mixing Bowls, from £14.95 – £21.95 each, Silver Mushroom

(Silver Mushroom/PA)

Country kitchen or urban galley, these mixing bowls with embossed forest scenes will lend a homestead edge to weekend baking.

5. Birds Nest Garden and Bowl, £95, by Memories of Green, Not Just A Shop

(Not Just A Shop/PA)

Mounted on a handcrafted wooden chalice, this feathery fern is rooted on a ball of soil with a coat of live moss, and loves to be watered every six to nine days.

6. The Enchanted Woodland, £175 for 3 rolls, Mind The Gap

(Mind The Gap/PA)

Wondrous wallpaper and a fabulous folksy fantasy, this hand-drawn wildlife illustration is inspired by Transylvanian woodlands and a stylish collection of mystical creatures.

7. Gold Eucalyptus Christmas Garland with Lights, £39.50, Oliver Bonas

(Oliver Bonas/PA)

Rustic chic, this hand-painted gold leaf garland will soften any space with its warm glow. Features 20 LED lights along 2.3 metres to adorn mirrors or mantels.

8. Wilder Hare Cushion Green, £24.99-£39.99, Perkins & Morley

(Perkins & Morley/PA)

With its ears pricked up, this handsome hare will sit proudly on a sofa or accent chair and feel like he’s part of the conversation.

9. Abigail Ahern Large Stone Pinecone, £22, Freemans

(Freemans/PA)

This collectable pinecone ornament can be placed on a coffee table or dining table for a farmhouse feel, or alongside a collection of quirky finds from nature walks.

10. Red Squirrels Lamp Shade, £65; Oak Lamp Base, from £55, Mountain & Molehill

(Mountain & Molehill/PA)

This contemporary table lamp customised with a beautifully illustrated shade is a fantastic find, with its clever contrasts and a rare red squirrel enjoying the limelight.

11. Woodland Walks Candle – 220g, £22 (Sophie Allport

(Sophie Allport/PA)

Think a ramble through the countryside and recreating all those lovely woodland scents at home.

12. Hedgehogs Bedding Set, from £48-£90; Hedgehogs Decorative Cushion, £40 (coming soon), Sophie Allport

(Sophie Allport/PA)

We bet even Mrs Tiggy-Winkle would love snugging down and nesting inside this 100% cotton, 200 thread count bedding set, with an ochre leaf motif on the reverse.