What is biophilic design? Plus 7 ways to make your home greener

You may not have heard of the term “biophilic design”, but you will likely become more familiar with it as it takes hold in the architecture and interior design industries. It is a concept that takes into account the fact that humans are a biological being that needs to maintain a connection with nature. If you’ve upgraded your living room, cubicle, or work from home with lots of plants in the past few years, this is no news to you (or the millions of other new plant parents!). In fact, research shows that staying near plants can promote mental health, reduce stress, improve sleep, and help us feel more connected during times of social isolation. Pretty impressive, isn’t it?

ADRIAN OZIMEK

Of course, biophilic design, also known as biophilia, includes the use of indoor plants and living plant walls. The focus is also on architectural elements such as huge windows with a wide view of the garden, indoor-outdoor living spaces, the use of natural materials, resource efficiency and sustainability over the entire lifespan of a building.

But how do you incorporate nature into the design, especially if you live in an apartment or cannot afford to build a new house or upgrade your old one? It’s actually easier than it sounds. “People might not necessarily use the term ‘biophilic,’ but they are asking us about ways we can bring nature into play,” says Valerie Stafford, co-owner and lead designer at Rumor Design + ReDesign in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. “The idea is to encourage the flow from the landscape into our homes and enjoy the natural beauty around us. It’s the connection to nature that many of us have missed. ”

Discover in advance 7 ways to make biophilic design a part of your own home, whether you’re building from scratch or modernizing your home.

Adopt a few new plant babies.

“A room just feels cozier with a plant or two,” says Stafford, who has clients who build entire rooms around their plants with special tables, lighting and humidifiers. “A room feels alive when you add green.” If your thumb isn’t, um, the greenest, choose sturdy houseplants that newbies are more likely to forgive, like snake plant, pothos, monstera, and pilea. Save the more sophisticated plants like feather fig and ficus as you gain experience. Growing kitchen herbs on your kitchen counter with a grow light also offers a positive connection to nature.

organic design

Eric Piasecki for David Mann

Look for smooth lines.

Rolling lines feel organic and natural. When buying new furniture, look for sculptural sofas and chairs with rounded edges rather than rigid, linear shapes, suggests Stafford. New homes also show softer lines with arched doors and curved hallways.

Opt for natural materials.

Wood remains popular, with exposed wood on furniture, ceilings, and walls. There are even tiles that mimic the look of wood so you can use them in places like your shower. Newer wood-based materials that use a ¼-inch wood veneer make it possible to develop valuable natural resources, says Stafford. Accent walls made of exposed stone or plaster-like clay products that are not difficult to install are very popular. Boldly patterned natural materials such as granite are also increasingly being used instead of manufactured products.

blue interior to exterior

BARBARA CORSICO PHOTOGRAPHY

Maximize the natural light.

“Nobody likes to live in a dark hole,” says Stafford. “Bring the sun inside.” It can be as simple as removing heavy curtains and opting for open windows in rooms that don’t require privacy, such as an office. Or install minimalist roller blinds that let in the most light while still providing privacy when needed. Don’t forget to regularly clean your home’s windows to remove the haze created by dust, pet dander, and cooking; It’s a small task with a big payoff.

Skylight in the flower room

SIMON WATSON

Update lighting.

Replace outdated lighting, whether in the foyer, bedroom or kitchen. “New lighting is an easy way to give a room a fresh feel,” says Stafford. Add layers so that a room doesn’t have just one light source. For example, illuminate the kitchen with pendant lights, box lights, under-cabinet lights and floor lamps for a full spectrum. However, pay attention to the light color, also called temperature, which is measured in 6500K, 4100K and 2700K. It’s personal preference, but soft white or 2700K is a warm, natural light that works best in most living spaces.

Go green.

One of the colors that is currently all the rage is green – not a bright green, but rather calming nuances like eucalyptus, fern and muted earthy greens like sage and moss. Other trendy colors that enrich the interior are terracotta, clay and various muted shades of blue.

Entrance area with wallpaper

Read McKendree for Elizabeth Cooper Design

Embrace wallpaper.

Wallpaper has a moment again, but this time it’s all about structural choices like natural grass fabric or silk, says Stafford. If it makes you nervous (full disclosure: it takes some work to remove if you are re-decorating later), opt for an accent wall instead of a full room. Or make a guest toilet for maximum design effect in a small space. Murals with nature motifs are another way to add a new level of “wow” to a tired room.

Shop biophil:

Medium liquid vases

Medium liquid vases

Dinosaur designs
fwrd.com

$ 145.00

Tissue box made of root veneer

Tissue box made of root veneer

Ladorada
saksfifthavenue.com

$ 155.00

Pearl necklace

Pearl necklace

The threshold
thesill.com

$ 42.00

Skylight with fixed curb mounting

Skylight with fixed curb mounting

Deluxe wooden zen sand garden

Deluxe wooden zen sand garden

Iconic home
amazon.com

$ 39.95

Pavia armchair

Click and Grow Herb Garden

Click and Grow Herb Garden

Williams Sonma
williams-sonoma.com

$ 99.95

White clay wind chimes

White clay wind chimes

Ceramicpix
etsy.com

$ 65.00

Hanging cork planter

Hanging cork planter

Melanie Abrantes
westelm.com

$ 74.00

SAD light

SAD light

Northern Light Technologies
target.com

$ 166.99

Watercolor purple orchid

Watercolor purple orchid

The threshold
thesill.com

$ 98.00

Preserved moss wall art

Preserved moss wall art

Mossimag
etsy.com

$ 255.00

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Arricca SanSone has written on health and lifestyle topics for prevention, country living, womens day and more.

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