If you feel as though you’re seeing houseplant stores popping up on every other block and nature-inspired home decor all over, you’re not imagining things. Between being housebound during the pandemic and a general desire to improve our health and wellness, biophilic design has become the latest trend. Learn more about it and discover how you can implement some of these principles in your home to connect with nature and enhance your mental and physical well-being.
What is Biophilic Design?
Biophilic design is a philosophy that incorporates organic material, textures, images, and objects into interior spaces. The name originated in the mid-1960s when Erich Fromm coined the term bio (life) philia (lover), to describe mankind’s attraction to all things organic. More recently, studies suggest that incorporating these natural elements into the places where we live, work, and learn can reduce stress levels and improve concentration and focus. You can delve more deeply into these processes and practices in the 2020 book, Nature Inside: A biophilic design guide, or a number of these other works on the subject.
The most obvious way to add some biophilic design into your space is through houseplants. Thanks to the boom in both brick and mortar stores and online retailers and selling indoor plants, it’s easy to find exactly what you want, and get some expert advice on care and maintenance (because dead plants are probably not what we’re going for). If you have a black thumb or travel frequently, a realistic faux plant or two will also add to the verdant ambiance without any watering or feeding requirements. Or hang framed photographs of nature scenes or seascapes on your wall.
There are plenty of ways to weave natural textures into your space. A live-edge wood coffee table or a sisal rug are two easy options. A rattan or wicker headboard echoes that tropical vacation you took a while back, while this super-cool hanging egg chair from Target evokes fun treehouse and playground vibes. Go all in with this statement rug comprised of thousands of wool felt flowers and leaves, that mimics a forest floor or meadow.
You don’t always need to be literal in your interpretations. Geometric patterns found in nature like hexagons (think honeycomb or tessellated rock and earthen surfaces), or spirals (found in shells) can be incorporated via tile, wallpaper, or art prints. Hang curtains with an abstract palm leaf print, or find a rug or bedding with an oversized floral motif. They’re all subtle ways to reinforce your organic themes.
Have fun bringing the outdoors in, and look for more design and lifestyle inspiration in the Olympus Encantada blog.