Biophilic interior design is one of the most exciting and beneficial trends in interior design today. As a sustainability enthusiast, I am fascinated by the potential of biophilic design to create healthier, more inspiring spaces. In this blog post, I’ll explain everything you need to know about what biophilic design is, its key principles and benefits, and how to easily incorporate it into any home or workspace.
Biophilic interior design is all about integrating nature into the built environment. The term “biophilic” comes from “biophilia,” meaning a love of life or living systems. Humans inherently crave connections with nature, so a biophilic design approach taps into that by bringing the outdoors in.
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What is Biophilic Interior Design?
Biophilic interior design draws inspiration from the natural world to foster health, wellness, and positivity indoors. The goal is to create interior spaces that nurture our innate human affinity for nature through direct and indirect connections.
Some of the key principles of biophilic design include:
- Abundant natural light
- Fresh airflow
- Natural materials and finishes
- Evocative natural shapes and forms
- Interior greenery and garden spaces
- Natural imagery and views
- Curved lines and organic patterns
By thoughtfully incorporating these elements, biophilic interiors evoke feelings of tranquility, vitality, and comfort that we experience in natural settings.
How to Incorporate Biophilic Design in Your House
Fortunately, you don’t need major renovations to make over your home or office with a biophilic design. Even small steps can make a difference. Here are some easy ways to bring the outside in:
Let Nature Shine In
Natural light nourishes the mind and body, so maximize it inside whenever possible. Install more windows, skylights, or solar tubes, and remove window treatments that block sunlight. If upgrades aren’t feasible, simply open blinds and curtains to let more daylight in.
Clear the Air
Breathing fresh, clean air is rejuvenating. Open windows regularly to ventilate rooms with outside air. Place air-purifying plants throughout your space: they filter pollutants. You can also install a ventilator to circulate fresh air.
Add Living Greenery
Fill your home or office with lush potted plants. Their presence instantly makes any indoor space feel more vibrant and tranquil. Go for leafy plants like ferns and palms, or add herbs and succulents. Vertical gardens are also a bold biophilic choice.
Choose Natural Materials
Wood, stone, jute, linen, leather, and brick conjure a sense of the outdoors. Use these textural materials for floors, walls, furniture, and textiles. Salvaged wood has an especially rustic appeal. However, verify any virgin materials are sustainably sourced.
Mimic Nature’s Shapes
Curved lines and organic forms are inherently relaxing, while sharp corners and edges feel jarring. Look for furniture and decor with rounded, asymmetric, or botanical shapes. For example, oval coffee tables, woven pendant lights, and vine-patterned pillows.
Showcase Natural Views
Frame window views of gardens, trees, landscapes, or the sky. Consider sightlines when arranging space. Let greenery be visible from the seating areas. Hang art featuring flowers, forests, water, or animals. Images of nature are biophilic too.
Add Water Features
The presence and sound of water have restorative effects. Place a small indoor fountain or wall waterfall in a gathering space or install a backyard pond. The splashes and ripples add a tranquil biophilic ambiance.
Use Organic Patterns
Patterns from nature, like branches and leaves, engage our biophilia. Use textiles and rugs with botanical or organic motifs. Or display wall coverings mimicking natural fractals and textures like stone, bark, coral, or feathers.
The Advantages of Biophilic Design
Studies show that biophilic design offers numerous scientifically-proven benefits:
- Reduced stress and improved mood: Views of nature and foliage have measurable positive impacts on mental health.
- Increased productivity and focus: Natural elements spark creativity, keep us alert, and help us concentrate.
- Faster healing: Hospital patients with window views of nature recover more quickly.
- Stronger immunity: More exposure to microbes from the outdoors may bolster immune function.
- Lower blood pressure and heart rate: Indoor plants and natural materials help regulate biometric markers.
Beyond health perks, biophilic spaces also tend to feel more uplifting and welcoming. The textbook definition may be “love of living things,” but biophilic design essentially translates to love of space.
Considering that most Americans spend about 90% of their time indoors, biophilic interior design can greatly help in improving the quality of life and reduce stress levels.
Maximize Biophilic Benefits
While any attempts to welcome nature inside are worthwhile, the more thoroughly you implement biophilic principles, the greater the impact. Here are some key ways to maximize health and wellness benefits:
- Incorporate multiple elements like views, daylight, plants, and natural materials rather than just one or two.
- Make biophilic design part of the earliest stages of interior planning rather than an afterthought.
- Create dedicated garden rooms or atriums abundant with greenery.
- Use biophilic principles throughout an entire home or workplace, not just occasional spaces.
- Strive for permanent biophilic design upgrades rather than temporary accents whenever feasible.
Additionally, work with qualified biophilic design professionals whenever possible. They can help develop spaces tailored specifically to nurture wellness for inhabitants.
Biophilic interior design taps into our innate human affinity for nature to create calmer, healthier indoor environments. By thoughtfully integrating elements like natural light, materials, shapes, and greenery, we can easily make our homes and workplaces more inspiring and tranquil havens.
The benefits of biophilic principles are scientifically proven and their applications are remarkably versatile. With just a few simple upgrades, you can start experiencing the rejuvenating effects immediately. Biophilic design not only looks great but feels great. Its interior home decor actively nurtures our bodies, minds, and souls.