Growing up in a small rural town doesn’t necessarily help you keep up with the latest design trends, however here in Fernie British Columbia my cabin roots, love for unique organic design, as well as believing that there is always room for improvement keeps me facing forward.

One of the differences that I believe sets us apart from our fast paced close-quarter friends from the city - aside from the ability to go months without shopping and our impatience with summer traffic -  is our need for functionality before all else. Our everyday tasks need to be quick and easy as we live our lives almost as rushed as our city counterparts – except we hurry to get outside!

Storage and organization should be pre-determined not a chore, and there needs to be a size appropriate place for every important outdoor tool: skies, bike, sled, quad etc. We need full-fledged mudrooms to keep the yard out of the living room, and we need every room in the house to have an everyday purpose - even if it means turning the dining room into an office.

The latest design trends are taking a page from our everyday book, as they all have one thing in common; real life, and bringing the outdoors in. Contrary to the renascent ‘super-sleek’ modern design direction that has been dominant over the last decade, we as consumers are going back to our roots; literally. Nature is in! From organic cork and bark wall features, to tree stump islands and curved walls, to entire organic buildings (thank you, Antoni Gaudi).

For those of us in the Elk Valley, we have been waiting for our outdoor lifestyle to have the means to come inside our homes. With the need of excess storage, simplicity, and personality our interiors can finally match our surrounds – and be magazine worthy! The tree stumps found in your neighbours’ back yard that you turned into side tables and stools are now selling out online. The grey board from the old abandoned barn a few blocks away is first choice material for five-star feature walls. Coffee tables now have the ability to fold up into a full on dining table, and even chairs folding up to a stylish mirror on the wall.

Personally, I cannot wait to see where this new age of multi-function technology takes furniture and decor, combining both organic and man-made materials to turn ideas into reality.

It is just too bad our valley climate does not allow me to create my own inside-outside house…