Do you feel better when you’re surrounded by nature? If you crave the outdoors and want to bring natural elements into your home, why not incorporate biophilic design in your interiors?

This design style uses specific principles that embrace nature and connects the natural world to the spaces we live and work in.

What is biophilic design and how to bring this into the home

What is biophilic design?

Biophilic design aims to create aesthetically pleasing indoor spaces by introducing natural elements to the interiors. The term ‘biophilic’ comes from the word biophilia, which means “the love of nature”. It derives from ancient Greek, with “bio” meaning life, and “philia”, meaning love or fondness.

Biophilic was used by Erich Fromm, a German-born American psychoanalyst, in The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness (1973). This referenced biophilia as “the passionate love of life and of all that is alive.”

Later, biologist Edward O. Wilson published his work Biophilia (1984), which explored his theory that there’s a biological or genetic basis for humans’ positive feelings toward the natural world.

However, biophilic design predates both Fromm and Wilson. In fact, early examples of this design have been found in ancient civilisations, including Greece and Egypt.

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Why bring the outside in?

Being outside is good for our mental and physical health. According to Mind, the mental health charity, there are many benefits that come with spending time in a green space. As well as improving your mood, it can give you a confidence boost and help you relax.

There are physical benefits too. Being in nature can stimulate the production of serotonin, which can aid your natural cycles, such as sleep and digestion.

With so many advantages that come with being outside, with biophilic design you can introduce these benefits indoors too. After all, with many of us working from home more than we ever did before, getting the balance right when it comes to interior design can go a long way towards making us feel good.

This, in turn, means that if we use biophilic design, we may be more likely to work well at home and also find it easier to relax in a space inspired by nature.

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How to add biophilic design in your home

To bring biophilic design into your home, try bringing these elements indoors:

  • Natural light

Make the most of any natural light that enters a room by opening curtains and blinds. Also, incorporate light colours for walls and other surfaces and hang mirrors as these will reflect light that enters the space.

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  • Artwork and fabrics

Introduce natural fabrics and materials to the room. Wood, cotton, stone and other materials all tap into this design style.

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  • Living walls

There’s been a growing trend for living walls in recent years, with offices and homes featuring a vertical garden. These promote biodiversity and can help to purify the air. They are also a prime example of biophilic design.

  • Indoor plants

Whether the living wall is right for you or you want a smaller commitment, indoor plants are the perfect compromise. You can tailor these to the space, introducing smaller plants to bedrooms and larger ones to the lounge and kitchen.

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How will you add a biophilic design to your home?