Behind the Trend Series – BIOPHILIC Design
What is Biophilic Design + 5 easy ways you can incorporate the benefits into your home!
You know that sense of peace and happiness you feel while you’re walking on the beach? The feeling of how sitting in your backyard can be so calming and how much joy your house plants bring! This is because of the concept of Biophilia, which Edward O. Wilson introduced in 1984 that explains not only our relationship to nature but about how having consistent contact with it can make us live happier and fulfilled lives! This concept has been growing within the world of design, but the good news is you don’t have to be a designer to reap the benefits!
So, what does Biophilic Design look like exactly? Well, it can be as simple as a few plants placed throughout your home, the use of natural materials in your finishes and furnishings, large windows to let in light and views, or as grand as roll away walls to connect you to the outdoors completely! Whatever your budget or style we’re sure everyone can find something they love in Biophilic Design.
“The concept of Biophilia, which refers to our ‘love of life or living systems,’ states that humans have an innate need for contact with nature and that this connection is essential to our health and wellbeing.”
Biophilia recognizes the emotional benefits your human instinct needs from being immersed and connected to foliage, the ocean, fresh air, and the cool breeze on your skin! Since we spend 90% of our lives inside Biophilia is a smart solution that recognizes our human need to connect with nature for our overall health, happiness, and wellbeing. However, the benefits don’t stop there! With the average indoor air pollution often being two to five times higher than outside due to personal care products, pesticides, and household cleaners we need all the help we can get when it comes to purifying our air! Specially designed Biophilic spaces can reduce energy costs dramatically by having enough natural lighting for tasks during the day, but also regulating temperature and air flow! The good news is in an average living space, five medium-sized plants can increase air quality by about 75% which is huge.
So, whether you’re designing your next remodel or want to start today we’ve listed five ways you can integrate these beautiful and healing principles into your home!
If you’re fortunate enough to have views of the ocean, rolling hills, or even a simple natural backyard you’re going to want to make sure this is the forefront of your home! These stimulating views create that connection with nature we need to ease our nervous system and bring the feelings of peace and happiness. While visual connection is important to reap the benefits of Biophilia don’t overlook the other sensory experiences that can be incorporated too!
“Interaction with the natural world can be tangible from the presence of a stimulating view of nature; or by using plants, water features, natural air-flow or breezes, sounds and scents. Design using this group of patterns will create meaningful, direct connections with natural elements through diversity, movement and multisensory interactions.”
Even if you don’t have views out your window we recommend installing a plant shelf, starting a windowsill herb garden, or even creating your own succulent terrarium to form some kind of connection to nature, no matter how small!
Designed by Honeycomb Home Design
It’s no surprise that plants make people happy, but just how true is that? Well, having just a few houseplants throughout your home can increase mental health by 60%. Studies have also shown that indoor plants reduce stress and fatigue while boosting mood, productivity, concentration, and creativity! If you’re thinking about fake plants…think again! While fake plants may be convenient they don’t pose the same benefits as the real thing. Real plants not only purify our air for us, which is full of harmful toxins, but also elicit an unconscious calming effect on us when we come into contact with them!
Here are a few of our favorites that can survive with little to no water and low light so you can be sure they’ll be purifying your air for you with little maintenance at all:
Natural light –
With an estimated 1 billion people deficient in Vitamin D it’s clear that we need our sunlight and a good amount of it for our energy and happiness. This means make your windows as big as you can to let all that beautiful sunshine into your space! If you’re renovating opt for clerestory windows, skylights, and light colored light shelves to bounce light around your space. You can even make simpler swaps like french doors instead of standard and keep curtains and window coverings out of sight or drawn throughout the day!
Natural materials –
Another way to ensure your reaping the benefits of a biophilic home is to choose natural materials when it comes to finishes and furniture! Not everyone has access to ocean views and a home flooded with natural light, but choosing pieces within your home that invoke a natural feel can help with overall happiness too. This isn’t all about looks either, it’s the response to how it physically feels when we run our hands over the piece that invokes the feeling of peace.
“…it’s about stepping back to basics with your choice of finishes. If we can take it from the earth and make it with our hands then we want a connection to it.”
-Phoebe Older, https://www.smartstyleinteriors.com/
Incorporating Biophilia into your home can look like a gorgeous live edge coffee table, a stone pathway leading to the entrance of your home, granite counters in your kitchen, or even natural timber beams spanning your ceiling! Whatever your style is, there are a number of ways to ensure you’re soaking in all the benefits of the natural world.
Designed by Honeycomb Home Design
Emulate with art or wall paper – leaves wall paper or ocean art
So, we can get a bit of the benefits by some representation of the real thing! If there’s no way you can get your hands on some leafy foliage or you don’t have access to ocean views you can still get a bit of the real emotional benefits from a representation of it! So bust out the botanical wallpaper and any art of your favorite places in nature because not only does it liven up your space, but it livens up your spirits too!
Overall, we believe the space you spend the most time should be a representation of what you, what you love, and also make you happy. That’s why we love the ideals behind Biophilia because we don’t think you should ever have to choose between form, function, and well-being.