What is Biophilic Interior Design?
Biophilic interior design is the hot topic in the interior design world at the moment…but what exactly does it mean? Biophilia is defined as the innate affinity of human beings to want to integrate with other natural life forms.
This basically means that human beings are genetically programmed to want to be immersed in nature. Have you ever noticed that you feel more calm and relaxed when you have spent time outside amongst nature? I mean, even just looking at that dreamy picture of a tree ↓ makes you feel all zen, right? That is what Biophilia is all about!
Scientists have conducted studies that have proven that spending time in nature has positive effects on our health and wellbeing, not just our mental health but our physical health too! Just 20 minutes outside in a natural setting can reduce stress levels significantly and since 90% of all disease is caused by high levels of the stress hormone, Cortisol, it is no surprise that results can include lowered blood pressure, relief from anxiety and depression and a boost in immune system activity…to name but a few.
If you think about it, humans came from nature but we have created a society that is so far removed from this idea that many of us have forgotten all about it. Spending most of our time inside, many of us living in built up urban areas surrounded by street noise, ambient light and hard surfaces, means we are living life styles without any exposure to natural elements. It is becoming quite common knowledge that if you want to feel good, go outside!
SO HOW DOES THIS RELATE TO INTERIOR DESIGN & WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
Good interior design is aimed at enhancing the life of the people using the space…and what better way to enhance someone’s life than by helping them to become healthier? Biophilic interior design focuses on bringing aspects of the natural world into interior spaces to create a sense of harmony, peace and wellbeing for the people using that space.
So with that in mind, here are my three top tips on how to bring Biophilic Interior Design into your home so you can start reaping the benefits of being in touch with nature.
NUMER ONE | PLANTS
Here is a fairly obvious one, integrate plants into your home!
Not only do plants naturally lower our blood pressure just by their presence, they also purify the air. Plants survive on Carbon dioxide, the waste product of human respiration and in turn, their waste product is oxygen…how amazing is nature? Increased oxygen levels in the blood means our bodies can work more efficiently; so having plants in your home can directly impact your health in positive way!
Not to worry if you don’t have a green thumb, fake it ‘til you make it baby! Buying faux plants can have a similar effect, as studies have show that even looking at pictures of trees and vegetation lowers blood pressure! Wowsers!
NUMBER TWO | SUNLIGHT
It’s not just plants who benefit from sunlight, so do we! Sunlight not only enhances our mood but it also provides us with vital vitamins.
Don’t get me wrong, I am all for blackout curtains in the bedroom BUT, make sure that the curtains are designed so that when they are drawn they let the most amount of natural light into the room as possible! Make sure that when they are open the don’t obscure any of the glass and that any pelmets do not cover too much of the window either.
In other areas of the house window treatments like sheers, plantation shutters or venetian blinds can still create privacy but allow the light to flow into the room. Oh, and Skylights are another fab way to let that all-important sunlight in.
The Vitamin D delivered to the body in sunlight can regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body and so promote bone health…get those curtains open!
NUMBER THREE | NATURAL FINISHES
Using raw, unfinished materials like wood and natural stone in your home will create a subtle feeling that is reminiscent of the outdoors…somewhere that, whether you know it or not, your body likes to be. This rustic look is very on-trend at the moment and is the perfect pairing for some funky industrial fixtures or some casual bohemian style soft furnishings. Lush!
Personally, I have always loved nature and it influences me in my design choices. I gravitate towards textured natural finishes over manmade, bright, bold patterns and the result is a wholesome and calming feel. So why not give biophiic interior design a try and welcome some natural elements into your home? It could be just what the doctor ordered, check out this Psychology Today article if you’d like to read more on this fascinating topic!