A Guide to Biophilic Design

Image: Clair Strong Interior Design

Not just another passing fad or kitschy buzzword; biophilic design is radically changing the way we interact with our urban spaces.

According to respected biologist Edward O. Osborne, humans have an innate attraction to nature; a biological need to connect with the natural world. But our cities and suburbs are often as far-removed from nature as it is possible to be and as a result they could be affecting our well-being.

Biophilic design seeks to undo some of this disconnect. By incorporating nature into the places we work, live and learn we build happier and healthier homes and offices.

In fact, incorporating natural elements into the built environment may be so beneficial as to reduce stress and improve blood pressure levels. It can also make people more productive and creative.

So how do you create more of a natural connection at home? Here are some ideas:

  1. Houseplants

Houseplants are the most obvious place to start; they are an easy and affordable way to bring nature into your home. Plants are reported to have enormous health benefits. Some purify the air, others reduce stress and some research even suggests plants can help us heal from injuries faster.

  1. Wall Murals

Picture a beautiful forest. At dusk. In Scandinavia. Isn’t the calm scene immediately relaxing? You can recreate that feeling at home with an evocative wall mural. Paint your own or buy one of Murals Wallpaper’s stunning designs. My favourite is Hinterland Haze.

  1. Wall Art

If a wall mural is too much, art depicting scenes of nature is a scaled-back alternative. Research tells us that even indirect natural elements can be beneficial, so any piece of art that creates a connection with nature works.

  1. Raw Materials

Opt for products made from natural materials instead of synthetics. You could panel the walls in wood, create a beautiful crystal arrangement, lay a sheepskin on the floor, decorate with antlers… the possibilities are endless and all will bring you closer to nature.

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