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Why Biophilia Makes a Difference in Your Home

 

Welcome back, Fabulistas!

By now, we’ve all gotten comfortable with spending copious amounts of time cooped up inside… and we probably will be for a good bit longer! With work-from-home hours and virtual everything, it’s hard to find the time to sneak in a walk each day or even step outside for a breath of fresh air. Getting outdoors has been one of my saving graces over the last year. 

Another key to staying sane? Biophilia. This design style is so much more than a trend… it’s a gateway to the outdoors. As you rethink your home improvements and touch-ups for the year ahead, consider incorporating this element into your home for a more peaceful space where you feel more connected to the natural world (and less connected to your Zoom account!).

Living Room with Fireplace

Biophilia: The Basics + The Benefits

Biophilia is based on the notion that humans have an inherent need to connect with nature, drawing more pleasure from it than from other stimuli. We’re hard-wired to crave natural and organic experiences based on evolutionary dependence on nature for both fulfillment and survival. For me, this is true in design and in life! Fresh flowers or greenery instantly improve my mood and brighten up a space. Even the smallest plant-related details or nature-inspired on a piece can bring a level of zen to a room.

As we continue to approach our lives with mindfulness, it’s important to remember how different aspects of our life affect our mood and mindset. Studies have shown that the ability to view nature, even from the indoors, lowers blood pressure and increases productivity. It’s also proved to advance our psychological and physiological wellness, from mood elevation and serotonin production to a better sense of alertness. This trend is so closely tied to our health and well-being that it’s important to make an active effort to make it part of our everyday lives. Small changes can make all the difference!

Think Like A Plant Parent, Act Like A Designer

Plant on surface with sculpture

In the design world, biophilia is all about fusing a love for nature and the outdoors with the best, most meaningful natural materials and items you can find. We can incorporate biophilia into almost any aspect of interior design... materials, finishes, furniture, lighting… you name it! Focus on using elements from the natural world in your home, such as greenery and vegetation, water, natural light, and organic materials like wood, stone, and bamboo. Think big… you can even add a living wall or indoor garden! 

Not everything has to be living to give a biophilic effect. A piece can be in the shape of something from nature, or it can be as easy as layering in natural, simple aesthetics when you choose how to place the different elements and pieces of furniture in a room! Our brains respond differently and more positively when they are exposed to elements from the natural world. If you want quick, easy biophilic additions, opt for leaf-shaped dishes or floral sculptures. They’re a great starting point! This process is all about blurring the boundaries between the indoors and the outdoors. The result is an internal environment that reduces stress, fosters creativity and cognitive function, and most importantly, makes you feel good and relaxed every time you walk through the door.

Play with Patterns

Bathroom with plant tile mosaic

Patterns play an enormous role in biophilic design. When we have limited access to nature, which is true for many of us these days, we rely on biomorphic forms, patterns, and materials to provide a natural order. They often appear as “fractals,” which are continuous patterns that are often complex and self-similar. Studies have shown that fractals are linked to a number of potential health benefits, from stress reduction to combating mental fatigue. There are endless opportunities to improve your home design and outlook on life by selecting colors, fabric, tiles, wallpaper, carpeting, and other floor covering that showcase natural patterns of images of nature. This can start with something as simple as your walls and carry over into more intimate details like your table lamps or bedspread. Each element builds off of the other to create a space of tranquility.

Shop The Style, and Heal Your Soul 

Gold Flower Nesting Tables

Gold flower shaped tables

 

Mamba Floor Lamp

Leaf floor lamp

 

Passion Table Lamp

Clear acrylic table lamp with detail

 

Russel Coffee Table

Silver round coffee table

Sterren Demi-Lune

Gray cabinet with floral hardware

 

Weide Bar Cabinet

Bar cabinet with leaf pattern

Fleur and Demi Fleur Hardware

Demi Fleur Hardware

White or Gold Gingko Sculpture

Nature Study Flower Vase

Flower Vase

Foglia Bowl

Leaf shaped decorative fruit bowl

Blossom Box

Decorative box with floral hardware

White Blooms Mirror

White mirror with blossom border

 

As we continue to use our homes to inspire self-care, confidence, and adaptability in our lives, biophilia helps us achieve it. Like I always say, feel good about your home and you’ll feel good about your life!

 

XOXO,

Robin

Feb 08, 2021

Great article. I did not know that studies have shown that the ability to view nature, even from the indoors, lowers blood pressure and increases productivity. I have a wonderful Alaska view with lots of windows, so no excuse for not getting things done! Haha.

Mary Ann Benoit
Feb 08, 2021

Robin, I just love all the symbolism in your Biophilia design, the box, vase and ginko metal sculpture.

Doreen Hunter
Feb 08, 2021

I agree with your point about not just using plants to create a connection to nature! Love the organic qualities of the pieces you’ve chosen! Thanks for sharing your point of view on biophilic design.

Lisa A Peck
Feb 08, 2021

Great topic and wonderful product selections. Thank you for sharing.

Marina V.
Feb 08, 2021

So many pretty things, Robin! I love the idea of blurring the line between outside and inside. And I know firsthand the difference getting outside makes in my mood and productivity!

Janet Lorusso
Feb 08, 2021

Brilliant post, beautiful friend! Love the nesting tables…(definitely on my list for my next client presentation)! Such an important topic! Love you!!! xox :)

Laura Muller
Feb 08, 2021

Such beautiful ways of expressing nature indoors. Love all your products Robin!

LINDA MERRILL
Feb 08, 2021

I’m glad that Biophilia is getting so much attention, because, boy, do we need it! Terrific post Robin.

Anne
Feb 08, 2021

Hi Robin!

Thanks for writing on such an important topic. After reading your post, I started thinking about my outdoor balcony area and how I needed to redo it.

I am going to spend some time today getting ideas..but one idea I got from your post was for that WIEDE bar cabinet.

I love that so much! If only it was for outdoor use!

Leslie Carothers

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Great design is in the details!

Big decisions are important but the details are what make a house a home.