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What Is Biophilic Design? And How to Use It in Your Home

Written by James, Plant Lover

Biophilic design is the combination of natural elements and materials in the modern day home. This approach to interior design helps homeowners embrace nature in your day-to-day life from the moment you wake up. Whether you’re working remotely full-time or you’re simply a home bird, try experimenting with biophilic design and your health and wellbeing will thank you later.

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Create Nature-Focused Homes With Biophilic Design

When seeking respite from the stresses of daily life, how often do you find yourself in nature? Whether taking a walk through serene gardens in full bloom or hiking through a tranquil patch of wild woodland, surrounding yourself in the great outdoors is a proven way to lift your spirits. It induces feelings of calm, relaxation, and joy, all of which are essential to your well-being.

When it comes to homes, though, people have separated themselves from nature. Brick walls and glass windows, though essential, create a divide between you and the outdoors. But what if you could change that? This is where biophilic design comes in, and it could be the key to creating a happier, healthier home to rest in.

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What Is Biophilic Design?

Biophilic design is the blending of natural elements with urban homes. The ethos behind this interior concept is that humans don’t just enjoy the outdoor world but that we actively need it to stay happy. In other words, if you don’t get enough of the green stuff, your health could suffer.

Biophilic design aims to bring some of the outdoors indoors, creating a greener space for a healthier you. The end result creates a closer connection to nature in everyday life. Even if you don’t get outdoors for the day, you’ll still have your fill of the natural world.

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Why Is Biophilic Design So Important?

It’s well documented that humans have a psychological requirement for nature, yet we’re spending an increasing amount of time indoors. On average, an adult in the UK spends 22 hours - or over 90% of their day - inside. Work, weather, and Netflix binging sessions are shutting us away, leaving a life spent outdoors a part of our past.

But, as mentioned above, humans have a need for nature. As a species, humans have evolved to rely on the natural world and to be sustained by it; if you don’t get outside enough, both your mental and physical health can decline.

The Founder of The Stem, James, can tell you first-hand about the benefits of nature. He turned to it to ease his anxiety, finding plant life and greenery to be the answer to his mental health challenges. With biophilic design, you can experience more of these benefits in your home.

“After suffering from anxiety, I travelled extensively to remote places to connect with nature, and this became the tonic for my mental health challenges,” explains Janes. “I decided that I wanted to create a business that would help others to connect to nature, through plants and gardening.“

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The Three Principles of Biophilic Interiors

When creating a biophilic home, you can model your ideas around three key principles:

Direct Experiences

Direct experience elements are those that you can physically interact with. Indoor plants that you can touch and woodland in your garden that you can see both fall under this category, as does being exposed to natural light.

Indirect Experiences

Indirect experiences are representations of nature rather than the real thing. An image of a forest, for example, or even a shape or texture that reminds you of the natural world.

Space and Place

The most complex principle of biophilic design is space and place. This involves creating a home that isn’t split into separate units but is one connected interior. As a reflection of the harmony of nature, your home becomes a single entity that you can navigate with ease.

How to Incorporate Biophilic Design Into Your Home

The principles of biophilic design can be a little tricky to navigate if you’re not an interior expert. Luckily, you don’t have to! By looking at the different ways you can incorporate nature into your home, you can start to develop a biophilic space without professional knowledge. To help you get started, here are some easy ways to use the concept in your home.

Earth Tones

Biophilic homes focus on earthy colours. A palette of warm browns, soft creams, and rusty reds is a go-to. This is such an easy way to incorporate more natural elements into your home and could be a good starting point for your project.

Plenty of Indoor Plants

Of course, indoor plants are a must in biophilic design. This is such an easy way to add greenery into your space and seamlessly blend the indoors and outdoors. If you’re not used to taking care of indoor plants, some easy ones to get started with include:

All of these are super low-maintenance and will thrive with very little TLC. They’re all gorgeously green, too, adding life and colour to your home.

More Natural Materials

Natural materials are a fantastic way to blend interior design and nature. Wicker, linen, organic cotton, and wood all make wonderful additions to the home. Choose these over plastic and other manmade materials for a home that imitates nature.

Plenty of Windows

Windows are a core aspect of biophilic interiors, especially those that look out onto green spaces. If you have a garden, why not add large glass sliding doors, too? Not only does this create a bigger area of natural light, but it also allows you to open up your home to the outdoors in good weather, bringing down the brick-and-mortar divide.

How to Fund a Biophilic Renovation

If your mental health is suffering because you’re not getting your fill of nature, a biophilic renovation is a must. But, as with everything, it comes at a cost. To ensure you don’t miss out on the well-being benefits of earth-inspired design, here are some tips for funding your project:

  • Start small with budget-friendly renovations such as painting your walls or purchasing an indoor plant

  • If you’re over 55, look into an equity release mortgage to fund renovations

  • Shop for second-hand natural furnishings such as wicker baskets and linen curtains

  • Learn DIY skills with YouTube tutorials to skip handyman costs

  • Source decor from nature with pebbles from the beach and dried flowers from your garden

Start Creating Your Biophilic Home

If you’re ready to start feeling the benefits of a biophilic home, why wait? Start bringing your ideas to life now by browsing our range of easy-care indoor plants that are - almost - impossible to kill.

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