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How Biophilic Design can improve your home and your overall well-being

Well-being is currently a hot topic and as humans we are always looking for ways to improve our mental and physical health to try and live a longer, happier, and relaxed life. Spending time outdoors is extremely beneficial and by bringing nature indoors it can have the same effect.  As our homes are generally our happy place, this is where the two areas can combine via a concept called Biophilic Interior Design to create an overall sense of well-being.  If you have no idea what this rising trend involves, how to feature it in your home or its benefits, Alle Interiors is here to show you just how Biophilic design can improve your home and your overall well-being.

There have been numerous studies over the years to show that spending time outdoors in nature is not only good for our physical health, but also our emotional and mental health. By bringing nature indoors it can help reduce stress, boost our productivity, and create an overall sense of well-being. This is even more essential in this day and age with all the time we spend indoors either on technology or watching it. To put it simply, Biophilic design is how you can connect via your home to the natural world and is not a new concept as it has been seen in architecture as far back as the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.  Biophilic design helps us connect to our primal senses of sight, smell, hearing, and touch by using nature to create a multi-sensory experience, similar to what we would find outdoors.

The term ‘Biophilia’ refers to our in-built need to experience and love nature, whereas ‘biophobia’ is our inherited fear of nature and animals. When it comes to modern life, humans tend to separate themselves from the natural world and move towards technology. This can sometimes stem from fear or anxiety towards certain parts of the natural environment like snakes, spiders or indeed blood, but when it comes to buildings it can refer to the use of bright colours, heights, enclosed spaces, darkness, and large open spaces – as these can all contribute to people feeling occupant discomfort.

So, how can connecting to nature in our homes make us feel better?
As humans we need to feel a connection to nature, as it can bring a sense of peace and tranquillity. This is often how we feel when we are in our gardens, so, by introducing lush greenery to our interiors it can help us feel calmer.  Biophilic design, therefore, brings elements of the natural world into the built environment to reconnect people to nature in their everyday lives. There as so many benefits which include better indoor air quality, improved mood and focus, and reducing your stress and cortisol levels. This is also becoming increasingly popular in workspaces, as it is shown to improve the productivity and welfare of employees. It has already been put into practice in many companies by introducing biophilic design elements including green spaces.

How can I introduce Biophilic design in my home?
There are so many ways you can bring this concept into your home interior via the three key elements of biophilic design.  

1. Bring the outside natural beauty inside
By using flowers and plants in your home, you can add natural beauty to a space to make it feel lived in. It will also help purify the air and improve your mood, productivity, and focus. Try creating outdoor spaces like a small patio or terrace with native plants that merge the boundary between the inside and the outside, or a living wall of plants can prove to be a real talking point.

2. Increase daylight
Putting large windows into your home will increase daylight and help bring the outdoors inside. Natural daylight is key to a biophilic interior along with having exterior views, and the benefit of natural light is that it also reduces the need for artificial illumination. This not only lowers your energy costs but helps with sustainability. Try bringing natural light into corridors or hallways and incorporate windows that look out onto natural features, as this bridges the gap between home and the natural world.

3. Use natural materials
The materials you use in your home can have a big impact on your well-being. By using natural textures like wood and stone it helps create tactile interest and a connection to the natural world. You could feature wood and natural stone in your kitchens and bathrooms including cork or natural fibres for flooring and wallcoverings.  To feel more in harmony with the natural world, try choosing natural and local materials such as wood, wool, leather or stone in your home.

There are many other ways to bring the natural world into your home and another is to be clever with your colour schemes. Try using colours inspired by nature like featuring the colour palette of a sunset with different shades of orange or bring autumn into your home by using the green and brown hues of a forest.  Additionally try introducing furniture and other items that have natural shapes and patterns instead of straight angles, like an oval table, a curved armchair or perhaps a curved bath.

If you do not have enough natural light, you could choose artificial light that imitates nature to create illuminated, diffused, or darkened environments. Or simply open the windows to let fresh air in, or open the curtains to let the natural light in.

We hope you have enjoyed finding out about Biophilic Design and its many benefits. If you would like Alle Interiors to help you with introducing this concept into your home, please do get in touch.  From redesigning a particular room in your house or helping with the overall style and feel of your home interior, we would love to advise. Also please check out www.alle-interiors.co.uk to view our products and collections and the services we offer.

Notes: –

Alle Interiors is a small creative team providing a one-stop-shop for all your interior design and soft furnishing requirements with customer service their utmost priority.

Photo credits: The NoMad; Hotel Central Park;  Elsa Young Photography; thebiophilicdesigner; Toby Scott; Egue y Seta.

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