Deciding on the best approach when it comes to designing our home’s interior is often not easy. It’s not uncommon to be restricted with the size of the space we are working with or the budget at our disposal. Moreover, with so many trends coming and going on a regular basis, it can be difficult to create a design that will last us for a while and not go out of style in a few months.
Fortunately, there is something that we all can implement in our homes and workspaces – biophilic design. Architects and interior designers all agree that this style is never going out of fashion, so why not give it a try? But, what is biophilia? Literally, it means that humans have an innate affinity for the natural world.
As you might have noticed that your physical and mental wellbeing improves when you spend some time in nature, you’ll love the fact that the goal of biophilic design is to bring us closer to the natural world by adding various elements of it to our homes. However, while many people associate this approach only with bringing plants indoors, there are many more things to consider here. So, if you’re looking to boost your mood and promote productivity, among many other benefits, you might want to consider some other architectural and interior design touches. Here is what you can do to implement biophilic design and improve your health.
Let in fresh air
For starters, something that most of us can do is open our windows and let in some fresh air. Indoor air is oftentimes filled with dust, gases, odors, moisture, and other kinds of pollutants. Our homes and lungs need fresh air to be able to breathe properly so make sure you open the windows and invite some fresh outdoor air that will dilute indoor pollutants.
To improve your home’s flow of fresh air, you can make sure the ventilation is running properly. Moreover, you can consider changing your windows, installing bigger one, and adding one to each room. However, it’s also recommended that you reduce the sources of indoor air pollution. For example, make sure you have a vent above the stove that will remove the pollution produced and don’t smoke indoors or near entrances.
Make the most of natural light
Other than fresh air, our bodies also need plenty of sunlight as exposure to it can increase the levels of serotonin that our brains produce. This hormone is associated with a boost in mood and a feeling of calm. On the contrary, darker lighting results in the production of melatonin, a hormone that helps us sleep. By having plenty of natural light, your body’s circadian rhythm will ensure you go to bed at the right time and get enough rest for the next day.
Moreover, you probably know that sunlight is a great source of vitamin D, which can also lower depression and anxiety levels and improve our mood as well as help regulate our calcium levels, and reduce high blood pressure. While the sun’s UV rays cannot go through windows, by leaving your windows open, you can also ensure you are getting enough of this vital vitamin.
Now, when it comes to showering your home in natural light, you want big windows and sheer window treatments. With that in mind, you can look into how much window replacement would set you back if your windows are currently tiny. For example, skylights and floor-to-ceiling models will do wonders here.
Use natural materials
In case you’re still in the early stages of creating your home or if you’re willing to go for a bigger renovation, you also need to think about the materials you will be using. For flooring, you have a wide array of natural materials to choose from. From bamboo and cork to sustainable hardwood and stone, you can make this approach work in any room. Just remember to look into which are suitable for high-humidity areas and which are best for rooms that see plenty of foot traffic.
On the other hand, even if you’re just doing some minor upgrades, you can still use natural materials. For instance, in the bathroom, get wooden tub caddies and towels made from bamboo or organic cotton. Then, the living room and bedroom can be improved with some bamboo or rattan furniture or jute rugs.
Implement a natural color scheme
In addition to natural materials, you can also go with a natural color scheme. Luckily, nature is full of unique hues that are sure to go well with your design. As each color can have a different effect on our mood, it’s essential that you go for those that invoke the right feelings.
While wooden flooring is usually good enough on its own to add a touch of nature, take your time when choosing other types of flooring. For example, tiles in dark green or dark orange for the kitchen, bathroom, or outdoor space can effortlessly create an atmosphere that is reminiscent of being out in nature. Then, in terms of the bedroom color scheme, you can paint the walls serene blue, soothing green, or uplifting yellow.
If you’re keeping the redesign to a minimum, you can still implement this color scheme with some minor décor touches. For instance, sofas, armchairs, throw pillows, blankets, rugs, and so many other items can be found in soft greens, cream, orange, shades of brown, lemon yellow, and light blue.
Bring in plants
One aspect that you cannot forget about when going for a biophilic design is most certainly greenery. Luckily, there are so many ways you can add a bit of outside to your living space. For starters, you can enrich your home with gorgeous flower bouquets that will not only help you feel closer to nature but also take the appeal of your home’s interior to the next level.
Then, if you have a green thumb and like taking care of houseplants, you can add as many of them as you can fit into your home. The great thing about plants is that there is so much variety that you can find something that will thrive in your home regardless of the conditions you can provide it with. For instance, for high-humidity areas like the bathroom, opt for ferns, bamboo, or spider plants. If despite your best efforts, you’re short on natural light, you can get a monstera deliciosa, cast iron plant, or dracaena. In case you don’t trust your skills yet, choose the snake plant and pothos as they are really hard to kill.
To take this to the next level, you can also add a green wall to your home. You can easily find instructions online on how to make it on your own if you want to save some money. The best plants for this project are some easy-maintenance ones that are tolerant of dry conditions and low light.
Add a water element
Another natural element that you can add through biophilic design is water. The sound of water can create a soothing atmosphere and help you relax and focus on your wellbeing. What is more, according to feng shui, water décor can invite wealth and prosperity into your home.
So, if you’re not sure how you can add some water sounds and movement, don’t fret. This doesn’t have to be difficult at all. On the one hand, if you’re crafty, you can easily find a useful tutorial online that will show you how to create an indoor fountain step by step. You can decide on the size and shape depending on the space you are working with and feel proud every time you look at it. On the other hand, you can also look for ready-made ones that fit your living quarters. Moreover, you can also consider an aquarium if you want to up the luxury factor.
Introduce stunning art pieces
In certain cases, you simply won’t be able to bring in a plant or a water feature. What you can do then is add art pieces that are reminiscent of these elements. Fortunately, you can find some amazing works out there or you can make some on your own. Furthermore, as art comes in all shapes and forms, your options are practically limitless.
For one, you can give painting a try and opt for a large canvas where you will do your best to paint a waterfall. Then, you can also display smaller photos of forests and rising suns that will nicely tie the place together. As art is not all about paintings and photos, you can also find interesting sculptures or macramés with a nature motif.
While they might not have the air-purifying benefits of plants and the sound of running water, these nature scenes can do wonders for your wellbeing as well.
Consider merging indoor and outdoor spaces
Lastly, something that you can do if working with a bigger budget is merged your indoor and outdoor space. For instance, if your living room connects to your yard, you can install sliding floor-to-ceiling glass doors that are easily opened to create a connected area. That way, the sunlight will get a chance to get in, you will enjoy all the greenery of your yard, and there will be plenty of fresh air. If you’ve created a nice little sanctuary for birds in your backyard, you can also enjoy some soothing chirping sounds.
With so many interior design trends, it can be difficult to choose just one. However, by opting for the biophilic approach, you can rest assured that you will not only create an amazing space for yourself but you’ll also get to experience many health benefits.