Whether you live in a lake house or a small city apartment, there are many ways to incorporate nature into your home. One of the most effective is through biophilic design, which strives to reduce the sharp boundaries between traditional architecture and the outdoors.
From wood furniture to natural materials, incorporating elements from nature can make any room feel more comfortable. Here are some simple ways to do so:
Bringing plants into your space is one of the most straightforward ways to biophiliacally design. Plants can be used as a simple aesthetic touch with their greenery, or to provide benefits like air purification and stress relief.
Natural materials such as wood are also a common feature of biophilic designs. These materials offer a sense of texture and the colors found in nature such as blues and greens.
You can even go as far as incorporating trees, green walls and other forms of plant growth into your space. Other examples of biophilic features include indoor koi ponds, fish tanks and outdoor animal feeders.
While plants are the most obvious choice, there are many other ways to bring nature into your home. For example, you can use branches as coat hangers or wall shelves for books and knickknacks. You can even add string lights around branches for a magical touch.
The best time to incorporate biophilic design is during the building process, but you can still do it later on if you’re remodeling your home. Just make sure to communicate your needs to your architect so they can incorporate them into the plan.
3. Natural Materials
One of the best ways to connect with nature is through natural materials. Whether it’s wood furniture or incorporating natural prints into your decor, these elements help to create a calming environment. Natural materials may be more expensive to purchase, but their durability and longevity counterbalance the price tag.
Another way to feel connected with nature is to maximize natural light in your home. Make sure to open your curtains throughout the day and keep the blinds down when it’s not too sunny outside. In addition, varying the textures in your space can also mimic the variety in nature.
4. Large Views of the Outdoors
In a world defined by anxiety and isolation, it’s important to create soothing spaces that can bolster our health and well-being. One of the best ways to do that is with nature inspired design trends.
Adding large views of the outdoors taps into biophilic patterns such as prospect and refuge, where an unimpeded view of greenery promotes feelings of prospect and protection. This can be achieved with window treatments, living wall murals and terrariums.
Maximizing natural light is also a key aspect of biophilic design. This can be done with open windows, skylights and even using a white color palette.
5. Natural Light
Bringing in natural light through windows is one of the best ways to biophilia a space. However, this is not always possible for commercial spaces or areas that need to be more private.
Instead, Whitaker recommends incorporating shapes and patterns inspired by nature. For instance, curved lines and soft rounds are often seen in nature and can create an organic feel in any room.
But it doesn’t take a large indoor atrium with plants and water features to achieve this feeling. Even things like a carpet that gives the impression of water or wallpaper with wave-like patterns can invoke this calming feeling.
6. Water Features
Incorporating water in a home is not only beneficial to the environment, but it is also calming and relaxing. Water features can include a simple fountain or fish tank, or they can be much more intricate, like a green wall or indoor waterfall.
The shapes of nature are an important aspect of biophilic design. Instead of straight lines and symmetry, look for curved edges and soft rounds in your furniture, art, or other designs.
Whether you’re building new or renovating, it’s best to incorporate biophilic design ideas right from the beginning of the process. This way, you can ensure that your home is as natural and welcoming as possible.
Adding plants and natural materials to your home is one of the most straightforward ways to bring nature into your space. However, plopping down a couple of succulents on your windowsill is not enough to meet biophilic design standards.
Having a direct view of nature is also important for achieving the biophilic effect. This could include a garden visible from a window, large trees or the ocean.
Using patterns in your decor to replicate shapes found in nature can also achieve the biophilic effect. Look for curved lines and soft round edges in furniture and decor.