Image courtesy of Reno-Quotes
When you’re looking for an instant mood-lifter, there’s one place that can always deliver: the great outdoors. But what if your home could encapsulate all of nature’s feel-good elements to create a retreat that’s good for your wellbeing? It’s possible with biophilic design.
Consider your fondest memory of being outdoors; how relaxing it was to spend a day lounging on a park bench, hiking in the woods or swimming in a large body of water. Do these memories feel visceral? This is because you’re biologically encoded to associate with nature; there is a deep and personal relationship between your body and the environment. Now, consider your home and how much time you spend indoors. Your interior should reflect your intention to live a relaxed and nurtured life.
Today’s natural habitat is a built environment. In most of the Western world, the modern structure of the home is man-made and urbanized. However, the need to connect with nature is fundamental to our health, and bringing elements from the natural world into your decor can have a positive impact on your overall wellness.
Within renovation, architecture and design communities, this trend is referred to as biophilic design; a love of nature. Focusing on the natural materials like wood, marble, bamboo and other native textiles can influence your autonomic system, aiding in lowering blood pressure and stress levels. Maintaining harmony in your home can be as easy as understanding why biophilic design is important and finding ways to renovate, rearrange or decorate to fully embody this principal.
Biophilic design rests on the principles that health and wellness are deeply tied to our built environment. The term dates back to the 1980’s, widely popularized by the American psychologist Edward O Wilson. His work responded to an increase in Western urbanization which he worried led toward a disconnection with nature and further, poor health.
The belief around this design style is that your home should be a safe haven, allowing you to recoup our mental and physical energy. With the ever-increasing presence of technology in the homes alongside the hustle of city living, fostering a connection with the environment can prove challenging. Adding natural elements to your interior can not only increase well-being, but has an effect on creativity, productivity and your life overall.
Here’s how to bring nature into your home, allowing your exterior to inspire your interior.
1. Choose natural textures and textiles.
One of the simplest ways to incorporate the great outdoors into your home is to use natural materials. When renovating the structure of your interior including major aspects such as floors, walls and staircases, consider working with wood, bamboo, brick, stone or iron. Bamboo can be used as a supple flooring material, brick can be used as a focal point or accent wall, and wood can be used in the structure of your home, particularly for exposed beams.
Natural stone such as marble and granite is easy to care for and long-lasting—plus, it has a beautiful and unique appearance, which can enhance the design of the room. Fabrics and textiles that are native to your region could be an interesting addition, and these may include leather, wicker, wool and feathers. Find a comfortable balance between hard and soft, and this will aid in the feng shui of your interior environment.
2. Use natural light as a design element.
Natural light has an immense impact on your well-being. If you’ve ever entered a dark space and flung open a curtain, you’ll have noticed how daylight can transform a room, leading to feelings of inspiration and content. Regardless of the size, style or layout of your home, you should look for ways to employ as much natural light as possible. In places where natural light isn’t a possibility, work with light fixtures that cast organic and soft patterns such as hanging luminaires, small pot lights or even borrowed light from solar tubes. Opt for a light fixture or lamp built using organic materials to take biophilic design one step further.
3. Welcome greenery into your spaces.
Incorporating live plants into your home is the closest you’ll come to living outdoors. Foliage adds depth, beauty and character to dull or dark rooms of the home while cleaning the air, making interiors comfortable and your life easier. In the kitchen, build an indoor garden full of herbs that can enhance your cooking. In the bathroom, hang humidity-loving plants to soak up excess water. Feel incapable of maintaining multiple types of vegetation? Choose low-maintenance plants like succulents and cacti. For rooms that require a bit of brightening (like the bedroom), go for a small tree like a fiddle leaf fig tree.
4. Embrace eco-friendly design and materials.
Bringing nature indoors is a direct reflection of sustainable living practices, and building an ecological home or incorporating energy-saving elements is good for both the environment and your wellbeing. It is paramount to consider ways to be environmentally-conscious, reduce energy levels and work with materials that are sustainable, and utilizing biophilic design is an easy and effective way to do so. Who can deny the positive impact natural lighting, vegetation and fresh air has on you? These simple elements brought into our interiors can boost your energy level and mood, and thereby enhance your life.
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