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What is biophilic design?

Updated: Feb 4, 2022

Over the past couple years, I've heard the term "biophilic design" used more and more often when talking about interiors and design trends. But what exactly is biophilic design and why is it so important?

I'm sure we've all heard that being in nature and connected to natural elements can greatly improve one's health, wellness and state of mind. Multiple studies have been conducted, and the results show that being in a natural surrounding can reduce stress and anxiety, improve one's mood, influence our creativity, and even encourage us to act more kindly and generous. That's great and all, but how do those of us who live in an urban or city center reap the benefits of Mother Earth's healing energy? Biophilic design.

Biophilic design is intended to fulfill the need humans have to feel connected to nature in the modern built environment. It is not simply the placement of a real live potted plant on your workspace (but that's a start!) It is the overall scheme and series of design solutions that contribute to repeated and sustained interaction with a natural environment or landscape. Read on for tips to bring elements of biophilic design into your space.

  1. Windows, light, and fresh air. It seems so simple, but having adequate natural daylight in your home or office is a great start to improving your mood and productivity. Take it a step further and open those windows; listen to the rain, smell the scent of freshly mowed grass and tell me you don't feel more connected to the earth.

  2. Bring elements of the outdoors in. Give your green thumb a chance to shine. Bring in some potted plants, create an indoor garden wall, or start small with a classy succulent arrangement on your table top. Personally, I'm not great at keeping plants alive inside (I'm terrible,) but with a little research into "the world's hardiest indoor plants" I've managed to keep my leafy greens from shriveling up for almost 2 years now. If I can do it, anyone can.

  3. Use natural elements in your décor. Pampas grass, twig arrangements, the use of natural stone, indoor water features, and warm wood furniture are all ways to include natural elements in your interior décor. Even furniture shapes are taking on a more natural and organic feel - from curved chairs and sofas to oblong or irregular table tops. If you're switching up your furniture this year, consider doing away with rigid square lines and adopting more natural forms.

Whatever way works for you - experiment with some natural elements and find your happy!

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