When designing our home’s interior, there are many styles to consider. From traditional to modern, from eclectic to minimal, the options are countless. Other factors that influence our decision include our budget and the space we’re working with.
However, we can all turn to biophilic design. What is it, you might be wondering. Well, biophilia’s main premise is that humans have an innate connection to the natural world and that spending time outdoors can make us healthier and more relaxed. As this is something that all humans can agree is beneficial, we should look into how to introduce biophilic design into our lives. Here are some examples.
Make sure there is plenty of fresh air
One great benefit of being outdoors is the ability to breathe in the fresh air. With that in mind, a large aspect of creating a space with a biophilic design is letting in some air into your interior. As indoor air is typically full of dust, odors, gases, and moisture in addition to all sorts of pollutants, you need to ensure you have proper ventilation.
As we need fresh air to breathe properly, start by making sure the ventilation system you have in place is running perfectly. A bigger change you can also think about making is replacing the existing windows with larger models. Of course, it’s important that the windows can be opened when you need to air out the space. Lastly, reducing the sources of indoor air pollution is also recommended. For instance, if you’re a smoker, try to go outside whenever you need a smoke and stay away from windows and doors so that the smoke doesn’t enter your home. You can also add a vent or range above your stove so that it will extract all moisture and odor that’s produced when you cook.
Introduce as much natural light as possible
Besides fresh air, exposure to sunlight also has many amazing benefits for our health. For instance, as sunlight is a great source of vitamin D, our brains produce more serotonin which is associated with a feeling of calmness and a mood boost. On the other hand, darker lighting increases the amount of melatonin our bodies produce. As this hormone helps us sleep, it’s vital that we keep the room we are in during the day bright and airy. That way, our circadian rhythm will know that it’s time for bed when it starts getting dark outside.
Moreover, it’s important to note that the sun’s UVB rays cannot penetrate windows. Therefore, to experience other perks of vitamin D such as lower anxiety and depression levels, reduced high blood pressure, and improved mood, you want to keep your windows open for a period of time during the day so that you can get enough of it.
From adding a few skylights to your home to completely renovating most rooms by adding floor-to-ceiling windows, there are many approaches you can opt for, depending on your budget.
Opt for natural materials around the home
If you’re doing a large-scale renovation or building your home from scratch, you also need to keep the materials you are using in mind. Opting for natural materials can help with bringing the feel of the outdoors into your home. For example, the flooring materials abound and you can choose anything from cork and bamboo to stone and sustainable hardwood. Something you shouldn’t overlook here is how suitable different materials are to humidity or high foot traffic.
On the other hand, even if you’re making some minor changes to your home, you can still implement natural materials. For example, your living room can be improved with a rattan furniture set while your bedroom can be nicely tied together with a jute rug. Even the bathroom can be transformed with some wooden accessories or organic cotton towels.
Use a natural color scheme
While wood on its own is a great way to bring in a natural color scheme, there are many other alternatives you can go with. However, it’s also vital to remember that every color can have a unique effect on our mood. That means that opting for the right shades is essential in order to create a calming space.
In addition to wooden floors, you can also opt for tiles that are dark green or dark orange. These hues that are reminiscent of being outdoors can work great in kitchens and bathrooms. When it comes to the walls, the options truly abound. From staying a bit more neutral with beiges and greys to making it soothing with greens and blues, this can completely depend on your taste.
Even simple accents can bring in a big change. Replace the sofa with a green one, reupholster an armchair in lemon yellow, get light blue throw pillows, and get brown blankets. There is no need to break the bank if you’re keeping the updates minimal.
Get plenty of greenery
As biophilia is all about nature, you cannot forget about bringing in plenty of greenery. Fortunately, there are countless houseplants you can bring into your home to help you feel like you are outside, no matter the condition you can provide them with and your skills.
If you’re completely new to plants and not sure if you’ll be able to keep them alive, opt for some hard-to-kill varieties, like pothos and the snake plant. Other houseplants that are considered easy for beginners are monstera deliciosa, cast iron plant, and spider plant. In time, you can graduate to some more difficult ones such as calatheas and the fiddle leaf fig. If you’re looking for a plant or two for your bathroom, ferns, bamboo, and orchids can all thrive in humid conditions. For a bigger project, adding a green wall to your home with easy-maintenance plants can be an amazing move and serve as a centerpiece as well.
However, if you think you will not be able to care for these plants, you can also get flower bouquets delivered to your home on a regular basis. Moreover, while they won’t clean the air, even artificial plants are a good solution as they will create an environment reminiscent of the outdoors.
Implement a water feature
Another element that is often seen in nature is water. According to feng shui, water in various forms can invite wealth and prosperity into a home. Moreover, many individuals find the sound of water soothing and believe it helps them relax.
With that in mind, it might be time to add a water feature to your home. Luckily, there are many ways to do this. For one, stores abound with all sorts of water fountains that you could purchase and turn into a statement piece of your living room. Then, you can also look for instructions online and create a fountain on your own that will be customized so that it fits your home perfectly. However, fountains are not the only thing you can add. Installing an aquarium will not only up the luxury factor but it will also provide you with a soothing activity of watching fish swim.
Display captivating art pieces
Sometimes, you just won’t be able to add plants or fountains. In that case, you can think about adding art pieces that contain scenes from nature. Whether you want a lush forest or a breathtaking waterfall, you can easily find amazing art online or at a local artist’s gallery. On the other hand, you can also try making your own art. All the supplies are easy to find on the internet and you can even look for a tutorial to follow if you don’t have any ideas.
Furthermore, art doesn’t come only in the shape of paintings. You might also be able to find a huge macrame with a nature scene that you can hang in the living room or an interesting sculpture that will further enrich your foyer. Simply framing your travel photos that display the ocean or a field full of flowers can be enough. These might not have the same benefits as running water or houseplants but they still play a big role in creating a biophilic design.
Try combining the indoors and outdoors
On a bigger budget, you can also consider merging your indoor and outdoor spaces. For example, if the living room leads to the patio, think about installing sliding glass doors that can be opened during most of the day so that these two areas are practically one. In that way, there will be more sunlight as it will not be blocked by windows and fresh air will enter your home freely. If you have a fountain in your yard, you could relax while listening to the sound of running water. Plus, if you’ve created a safe space for the local wildlife, you might also be able to enjoy the chirping of birds. The options truly abound when it comes to interior design styles. However, no matter the scale, we can all bring in some aspects of the biophilic approach into our home. Whether it’s fresh air and sunlight or plants and water features, you are sure to feel the amazing benefits.