One of the trends we’re seeing more of this year is biophilic design. Sounds complicated? Well, don’t panic – we’re here with our handy guide to what it is and how to do it.
What is biophilic design?
Biophilia translates as ‘love of life’, from the Greek bio (life), and philia (love). When it comes to design, though, it’s used to mean ‘love of nature’. It’s not a new concept, in fact it’s been around since the 1980s. Changes in modern living, though, mean that it’s really starting to gain traction in the design world. If you work in an office, during the winter months you might struggle to go outdoors during daylight hours.
Connection with the natural world and natural objects has been proven to be essential for our mental health and general wellbeing, so if you can’t go outside then biophilic design is about bringing nature indoors. It uses elements of natural textures such as wood and stone as well as living plants to create an environment that promotes tranquillity and calmness.
How to incorporate biophilic design into your home
While using biophilic design across your whole home might involve a lot of work and investment, you can incorporate some elements easily and inexpensively.
Natural light is the cornerstone of this concept, so make the most of what you have. Consider if you really need those bulky curtains – could you take them down completely, or replace them with a neat blind to let more light in? Rearrange your room so that your desk or favourite armchair is as near to the window as possible. If you can see some greenery – grass or trees – from your window, then that will help as well.
Bring your outside space right up to the window so that you can see it from indoors. For example, if you have a paved area outside your window then add some pots or a small raised bed. If you only have a balcony, then plant up some window boxes. Plants such as yarrow, echinacea and hostas are hardy and low maintenance and will look good for much of the year.
Moving indoors, you can use either direct elements of natural design (such as living plants) or indirect elements (such as natural materials like wood, rattan, willow, stone, hemp, hessian or terracotta). Surrounding yourself with plants, ideally at eye level, has been proven to boost concentration and energy levels, and large companies such as Amazon and Google are picking up on the trend to help increase productivity amongst office workers. A tank of tropical fish will also have similar benefits in reconnecting you with nature.,
In addition to introducing natural elements, if you are thinking of investing in some new furniture then concentrate on flowing, curved shapes rather than geometric ones. Texture is also important, so if you can then incorporate lots of natural materials on chairs, cushions, tables and objects that you touch frequently.
It can be a little challenging in the winter, but if you can then try to open your window for a few minutes a day (you might get a few black looks if you work in a shared office!) as fresh air gives a feeling of lightness and focus.
Finally, keeping your domestic lighting in line with nature will help keep you aligned to natural rhythms. For example, unless you’re doing something which requires bright task lighting, have your room as dark as you can once night has fallen.
Trends, rightly, come and go, but we think this is a concept that deserves to have longevity and can be incorporated into other aspects of interior design. What do you think?
Image credits: Pixabay1