Biophilic Design – Enhance Your Home, Naturally
The concept of biophilic design has been around for a few years, but has come to the forefront recently. Perhaps it was all that time we spent indoors during the pandemic – but folks are yearning to be “out”, and if we can’t be out, we want nature, “the out”, to be in our homes. Even before the pandemic people spent up to 90% of their time indoors, says Katie Gloede of Architect Magazine.
So What is Biophilic Design?
First made popular by scholar Edward O Wilson in the 1980’s, biophilia is the urge for humans to affiliate with other life. Bringing natural elements into your home, to be experienced with all the senses, has a lot of health benefits. Studies conclude that the incorporation of biophilic elements in our work and home:
1. Decreases stress, enhances creativity, and lessens recovery time for illnesses (that alone is reason enough to bring in nature)
2. Is not just plants – even though that is a good start – but also is about biomorphic patterns and shapes, and water features.
3. Maximizes natural lighting, which balances our circadian rhythm.
4. By improving air flow, which improves brain function.
Here is a quick video from HGTV that shows different ways to bring in biophilic elements into your home.
If you are ready to start bringing natural elements into your home, Better Homes & Gardens recommends this starter list of easy care plants:
1. Norfolk Island Pine
3. Philodrendron – the ubiquitous favorite – extremely hardy
4. Snake Plant
5. Spider plant
6. English Ivy – in the Tennessee area, some folks see this as a pest plant rather than a desired potted plant
7. Jade Plant
8. Ponytail Palm
10. Corn Plant
BHG also offers advice on how to bring plants into every room in your home.
Some great, biophilic friendly ideas are:
1. Surround seating areas, top to bottom, with plants.
2. Dress up your Dining Room with a potted plant instead of cut flowers.
3. Group closely spaced plants to create a focal point.
4. Go vertical with plants up a blank wall.
5. Put plants in unexpected places such as above a bedroom headboard or create a vignette of plants in a corner.
6. Succulents are great in the Kitchen.
7. Put statement plants in your main Living Areas – you want your guests to see the most beautiful plants in your home!
8. Put weather hardy plants in your Entry. They will be able to take the constant temperature changes of opening and closing your door.
Have you ever been out west – to Colorado, Wyoming, or Montana?
Do you remember how s p a c i o u s it was? You felt that you could breathe? Maybe your heart rate went down a bit? You can mimic that feeling in your home!
When the weather is nice, throw open the doors to your back deck and open up your interior living area to include the outdoors. Decorate your deck with weather hardy plants, comfy furniture. The fresh air and sunlight will invigorate you even if you are indoors and your home will feel larger. Perfect for parties or game days. Or just spend serene solidarity away from the hustle of the work day.
Don’t let the word “biophilic” scare you into thinking it’s just too big a concept to incorporate into your home. Start small. Even the smallest changes, made with some thought, can make big changes to the feel of your home. Just take that first step and the next one will be easier!