Biophilic Interior Design

Planning and designing a home is always exciting, but seldom easy. In fact, it takes great skill to create beautiful spaces – and there are many different elements to take into consideration. In recent years, the concept of biophilic design has become more prominent. But not everyone fully understands what this is or why biophilic design principles are so important. However, at Moretti Interior Design, we have always worked hard to include natural elements in our designs and within all our services. We believe in using design, lighting, sound and nature in a holistic way to create a happier and healthier place to live.

Did you know biophilic design has evolved from the term biophilia? This was described in the 1970s by psychoanalyst Erich Fromm as a love of life and everything that is vital. In fact, the concept was further explored by renowned biologist Edward O. Wilson in his 1984 work Biophilia. Wilson believed that humans have an innate attraction to, and connection with, nature and strive to emulate it in everyday life. So, this term aims to incorporate nature within interiors and increase connectivity to the natural environment. In fact, you can achieve this in a number of different ways. Some of the most popular biophilic design elements include natural shapes and forms; natural patterns, plants, water features and natural lighting.

The advantages of biophilic architecture

It is well documented that our environment influences our health, productivity, intellectual and emotional wellbeing. However, biophilic architecture and biophilic interior design are not just aesthetically pleasing. They can provide a huge range of sustained benefits, both physical and psychological.

After all, modern life is stressful. In fact, most of us spend too much time indoors sat in front of screens. So, biophilic design helps us reconnect with nature and the outdoor environment – which in turn boosts happiness and health. The advantages can be physical, too. This concept has been shown to increase productivity and lower blood pressure. In addition, several studies have also highlighted the connection between biophilia and mental health.

“What Makes A Happy & Healthy Home?”

Biophilic architecture has been enriching workplaces and retail spaces for some time. Forward-thinking employers, such as Amazon and Apple, have been quick to embrace biophilic design principles with trees and greenhouse domes. In addition, shops use living walls to boost our mood and encourage us to spend more. But it’s more recently that biophilic design is filtering down in earnest to domestic homes.

However, the trend continues to gain traction as more people discover its many advantages. In response to a growing interest in the topic, The Interior Design Business recorded a specialist podcast at Decorex 2019. As an expert in the field of biophilic design, our director Cinzia Moretti was invited to contribute to “The Happy, Healthy Home”. Click to hear her explain what biophilic interior design encompasses, and what it has already achieved for our clients.

Biophilic design lighting ideas

Lighting is a key element of biophilic design. In fact, for optimum results, natural light, ventilation and quality of view should all be optimised. That’s because our circadian rhythms respond primarily to light and darkness – and they affect almost everything.

Put simply, circadian rhythms are physical, mental and behavioural changes that follow a daily cycle. They can influence sleep patterns, wakefulness, hormones, body temperature and digestion. So it’s easy to understand why it’s vital to achieve the right light in your home. Maximising natural light is one principle of biophilic interior design. Equally important is creating a lighting system that can change throughout the day to link people to the outdoor environment.

At Moretti Interior Design, we take lighting into account from the very beginning of the creative process. So, it is never an afterthought. Our expert team works hard to create a bespoke lighting solution that fits the client’s needs, but still incorporates biophilic principles.

Biophilic interior design with plants

There is much more to bona fide biophilic design than simply introducing a few random plants to every room. However, plants are a simple, cost-effective way to bring nature into your home. But it takes an expert eye to emulate an outdoor environment. As a company that specialises in biophilic design, we know how to mix heights and textures. We might scatter certain plants, but cluster others together, to emulate the way plants grow in nature. And we won’t just focus on potted plants.

Biophilic design principles have been used to create this striking kitchen by Moretti Interior Design

Living walls and hanging plants are other effective, aesthetic ways to introduce biophilic design to your interiors.

After all, plants don’t just look natural and feel welcoming. Some research suggests they can improve air quality by reducing carbon dioxide, dust and other pollutants. In fact, it is said that they can even alleviate headaches and boost general feelings of wellbeing. Because multi-sensory stimuli is important within biophilic design, scent and audio is as important as sight. So, making choices that optimise the ability to experience the aroma of plants and flowers is vital. Consider nature-inspired art, clever use of light and shade, sound effects and subtle room fragrances, as these are also biophilic plant-related elements.

Water features to enhance biophilic design

Introducing some form of water feature to an interior is a proven way to counter stress. The physical health benefits can include lower blood pressure, a lower heart rate, improved memory and feelings of peace and tranquillity.

However, a full-blown fountain in your home might not be too practical, but there are other ways to introduce a water-like element. Moretti Interior Design is experienced in finding creative solutions for all types of interiors challenges. In fact, we believe water wall cascades, indoor water walls or custom rain curtains are all biophilic design possibilities. In addition, LED technology can also simulate a soothing water-inspired experience.

Biophilic design principles: natural materials

Natural materials such as wood, stone, granite, marble, bamboo, rattan and cork are an easy way to embrace biophilic design. After all, they are naturally tactile, and evoke a sense of warmth and welcome that is often missing with synthetics. Furthermore, natural materials tend to be more durable, and age well.

However, if you’re not a fan of wooden furniture, don’t despair! You can incorporate natural materials into plenty of items, such as shelving, pillars, columns and windows, to create a biophilic environment. If you’d like to find out more about our biophilic design credentials, please get in touch. We would be delighted to help you on your next interiors adventure.

Contemporary lounge with grey and green color in Kensington

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