When I first saw the term biophilic interior design I was dumbfounded. I usually I think that I have a pretty good grasp on vocabulary and I definitely know interior design, but I was stumped. My friend Judith, who is, as we say in Rhode Island, wicked smart broke the word down for me. “Bio” for life. Yup. I got that one. And “philic” denoting fondness or affinity. Ok, I like life too, but what does it have to do with interior design?
Then I put my research hat on and discovered that designers have just put this name to a trend that we have all been seeing since early 2020 and the start of the pandemic. Biophilic interior design is simply design that centers around the natural world and restoring our connections to it in our homes. O.K., so that’s a trend I can sink my teeth into. Biophilic interior designs focus on calming environments with good light and ventilation with a visual connection to nature. You can add aspects of biophilic design to your home in a multitude of ways. For example, you can try adding:
Plants = An Element of Biophilic Design
This one is a hard one for me, because I am an avid gardener who is abjectly terrified of house plants. I know, it doesn’t make sense but there it is. I have them, but I live in fear of killing them. There isn’t an orchid or fern that I can keep alive. But, luckily I have found some hardy types that add greenery and oxygen to my environment and stay alive by sheer, dumb luck. Even if you are house-plant-challenged too, you can find real (or fake) plants that work in your home. Try a tree in the corner of you living room, a fern on your tub deck or herbs on the kitchen windowsill.
Fountains = An Element of Biophilic Design
I am blessed to live by the ocean. The proximity to the sound of moving water is one of the most terrific things about my home. I love the waves. They soothe me in a way few things do. The sound of moving water, in fact, has been proven to guide the neuronal waves in our brain, allowing for a calming effect. It’s no wonder home water features are so popular. So consider adding a small fountain in your bathroom to make your soak time more enjoyable or perhaps add a white noise machine to your primary bedroom that will allow you to fall asleep to the sound of a trickling stream. It’s an easy and inexpensive way to reconnect to the natural world.
Brown Wood Tones = Element of Biophilic Design
One of the easiest ways to establish a natural world connection in your interior design is adding wood tones to your home. You can add brown wood (non-painted) furniture. You can also add wood accents in bowls, cutting boards, candlesticks, planters and hardware of all types. It can bring the warmth of the earth into all of your rooms.
For more on adding natural wood tones, check out my previous blog: Brown Wood Furniture: Hot Design Trend For 2023.
I hope you enjoy this trend and are able to bring a little “fondness for life” into your interior design too. Enjoy the natural world, my friends.