While it’s not warm enough to open the windows and smell the daffodils just yet, that doesn’t mean you can’t fake Spring’s arrival. We checked in with Jennifer Corredor, founder of J Design Group, for some tips on inviting the outdoors in. “It’s always important to integrate natural elements into the interior of our homes,” says the expert. “It unites our spirit and gives a sense of well-being.”

Commit to a plant
Yes, a houseplant requires more attention than a vase of cut flowers. But for a longer-lasting, year-round alternative to those surprisingly pricey supermarket bouquets, consider investing in some potted plants to freshen up your space after that long winter’s nap. “Flowers are a natural go-to and add color and life to interiors,” says Corredor. “However, incorporate plants, as well. If one has the space, herbs both adorn the kitchen and can be utilized in our daily cooking.”

Think beyond the blossoms
It’s still much too early to clip blooms from your garden, true. But budding branches and leaves can make for a chic, unexpected arrangement. Even if you’re going the florist route, Corredor recommends skipping the tulips and incorporating statement foliage into the arrangement. “Large heliconia leaves, for example, can be used as a base in the middle of the dining table,” she says. “Then, lay a large heliconia blossom with its vibrant orange hues on top. This makes a gorgeous display.” 

Forget the greens altogether
If you’re not up for tending to plants — or if your cat isn’t up to not destroying plants — there are plenty of other ways to incorporate nature into your home. Shells, stones or driftwood can echo the seaside, while agate and shed antlers add a more earthy touch. “Even small branches or twigs can be used around to dress the house,” says Corredor. “Another interesting arrangement can be made with fresh fruits, such as oranges, tangerines and mandarins, whatever may be in season. This always adds an element of surprise.”