Forecasts for 2021 and forward are showing a move toward more biophilic design. The word biophilic itself means love of nature. What is biophilic design? To put it quite simply it is bringing nature indoors! For a more technical reference, Wikipedia refers to biophilic design as "....a concept used within the building industry to increase occupant connectivity to the natural environment through the use of direct nature, indirect nature, and space and place conditions."
We have often designed our architecture and interiors in a way that alienates us from nature. Add to this our most recent global indoor quarantine periods. Studies have shown that on average, we spend approximately 90 percent of our time indoors. That's huge!
All of these influences have lead to a heightened awareness of nature and contributed to a need for us to connect with nature, live sustainably, and seek out all things eco-friendly The biophilic design is an excellent representation of all of these concepts!
According to The University of Minnesota's "Taking Charge Of Your Health and Wellbeing", being in nature, or even viewing scenes of nature, reduces anger, fear, and stress and increases pleasant feelings. Exposure to nature not only makes you feel better emotionally, it contributes to your physical wellbeing, reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones.
Let's take a look at a few of the simple ways that we can start to incorporate some of the elements of biophilic design into our homes .....
Add More Plants
It goes without saying that when we think of nature, we think of plants! Even the colour green of plants is associated with nature and is often described as a refreshing and tranquil color. Plants filter the air around us and provide cleaner air for us to breath. This in turn provides better overall health, alertness, and psychological well-being.
Look To Increase The Natural Light
In the article 13 Ways The Sun Effects Your Body sunlight is a free mood enhancer. Being in the sun can make people feel better and have more energy. Sunlight increases the levels of serotonin in the brain, which is associated with improved mood. Not surprisingly, serotonin levels are highest in the summer. Start to look around your home for ways to let more light in. Remove window treatments wherever possible or if you require privacy or room darkening, look for window treatments that can be raised during the day and lowered when required. Do you have an area in your home with no natural daylight source? There are also light bulbs that will simulate natural daylight! Philips makes an LED bulb that does just that and simulates natural daylight light. It is the Philips LED 40W Household bulb that is energy efficient and has a long life. .
Incorporate Natural Materials
2021 forecast are showing us the introduction of many natural materials including wood, leather, rattan, linen, wool, sisal, stone, copper. We will begin to see the introduction of warm colours and lots of interesting textures that the natural materials supply. The use of natural materials also links back to the eco-friendly focus by reducing the processing and manufacturing of materials.
Accentuate Exterior Views
An amazing view like this is bound to improve your mood! You may not have a view like this but wherever and whenever you can look for ways to enhance the views that you have. Instead of hanging window treatments such as draperies into a window frame, mount them so that they are outside the frame enough so that the entire window is uncovered when they are pulled back.
Bring Nature Indoors
There are many additional ways that you can begin to incorporate nature, or the look of nature into your home. Wall-coverings have made huge strides in leaps and bounds and there are many very realistic representations of nature, wood, stone, forest, as well as untold numbers of beautiful nature murals. Incorporating botanical artwork or artwork of nature is another tried and true way to bring nature indoors. As well, silk florals are another decor item that has made huge progress with many being unable to tell the difference between silk florals and the real thing~
“The benefits of contact with nature often happen on repeated experience. People may possess an inherent inclination to affiliate with nature, but like much of what makes us human, this biological tendency needs to be nurtured and develop to become functional “.
“The relationship between humankind and nature can be one of respect and love rather than domination…The outcome...can be rich, satisfying, and lastingly successful, but only if both partners are modified by their association so as to become better adapted to each other...With our knowledge and sense of responsibility…we can create new environments that are ecologically sound, aesthetically satisfying, economically rewarding…This process of reciprocal adaptation occurs…through minor changes in the people and their environment, but a more conscious process of design can also take place.”
René Dubos, The Wooing of the Earth
It is my hope that today's blog has provided you with lots of useful informaton on ways that you can incorporate biophilic design (the love of nature) into your home. Not only will it beautify your home but you will find that it will enhance your mental well-being, boost energy and productivity, and overall improve your mood and physical wellness to lead you and your family to a happier and healthier home life!
In a world full of beauty….
Gail K Allen
Interior Design Consultant
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