Are you familiar with the term biophilic design? It’s the concept of integrating nature in interior design—adding plants or water features, incorporating large windows and skylights, and using natural materials to create an outdoorsy ambience. Biophilic design is noted for fostering healthy environments that promote well-being and reduce stress.
Homeowners desire a warm, comfortable living space that provides respite and renewal from their busy lives. When we are exposed to fresh air, sunlight, and natural environments, it improves our focus, boosts immunity, and produces an overall calming effect on our minds and bodies. Biophilic elements and products allow us to design an indoor atmosphere that connects us to the natural world and enhances our physical and mental health.
Embrace the warmth of wood
Taking a stroll through a forest of majestic timbers can summon feelings of refuge and serenity. Similarly, the timeless shades and character of oak, mahogany, cherry, and fir can deliver a sense of comfort when incorporated into your home’s interior, making wood materials an integral aspect of biophilic design.
Elements such as fiberglass wood grain entry doors, exposed ceiling timbers, wood furniture and trim, hardwood floors or cabinets, or vinyl woodgrain windows can imbue your home with richness and warmth.
Shown are a fiberglass wood grain entry door and sidelights featuring an oak door skin and warm Pecan door stain
Let the light in
Open those blinds and drapes and let the sunlight stream through your windows! If you feel your home is lacking natural light even when your curtains and blinds are open, consider adding large windows, skylights, an entry door with glass, or sliding glass patio doors when it’s time to replace your home’s windows and doors.
Vinyl garden windows are an excellent option for kitchens and breakfast nooks. Garden windows invite more light into your space, but they also include a shelf where indoor plants such as garden herbs can soak up the sunlight, allowing you to enjoy greenery indoors year round.
Family rooms and bedrooms are great locations to consider adding vinyl picture windows that let in large amounts of light while providing an unobstructed view of the outdoors, letting you observe your home’s natural surroundings even when you can’t be outdoors.
Adding an entry door with glass is a way to brighten your foyer or entry area, and including privacy glass or decorative glass can help maintain privacy while still welcoming natural light. Energy efficient sliding glass patio doors also let in a large amount of sunlight, and give you the option to invite fresh air into your home or enjoy the melodies of singing birds on nice days.
For small or closed-off spaces such as walk-in closets or bathrooms, adding skylights can help flood the area with light.
Create depth & drama with interior stone walls & accents
From the warm brown tones of a picturesque southwestern mesa to the cool, earthy feel of quarried rock, manufactured stone veneer featured inside a home can generate biophilic design and visual drama by adding rugged texture, intriguing patterns and shapes, and a variety of hues straight from Earth’s natural color palette.
- Interior stone walls—Create a focal point by adding an accent wall in a master bedroom or living room
- Stone wall kitchens—Add character to your kitchen by featuring stone veneer as a backsplash or as a feature wall
- Bathroom stone walls—Design a luxurious, spa-like bathroom by adding stone veneer surrounding a shower or garden tub, or as a vanity backsplash
- Stone for fireplace—Highlight your fireplace by using stone veneer to surround it
Feature houseplants and cut flowers
A simple way to create biophilic interior design in is to incorporate houseplants or cut flowers into your living space. A windowsill with small plants of varying shades of green can instantly add texture to your home. Adding larger potted plants near doorways helps guests feel welcome, and filling a few corners with taller plants can help brighten a dark, underutilized space.
Bright, lightly scented garden flowers placed in small vases in various spots such as kitchen islands or coffee tables gives your home a welcoming, fresh feel.
A wall of double-hung windows and a variety of houseplants make this family room feel bright and airy
Tip: Add an indoor water feature for instant tranquility
Re-create the soothing sound of a burbling stream by placing a tabletop cascading fountain in a tucked-away location.
Chris Baio is Media Strategist, ProVia