I thought we’d take a closer look at our connection with the natural environment, biophilic design and our homes and the effect that it has on our wellbeing today. You may or may not be aware but we all invariably take some visual comfort from mother nature. Our connection with the outside world is without a doubt a powerful one. And we’ve been stimulating our senses with nature-inspired decor and other elements for thousands of years. It’s no surprise that natural lighting, plants, colour, scents and water all promote feelings of health and wellbeing whether we are outside or indoors.
The Natural Environment, Biophilic Design, Our Homes & Our Wellbeing
Nature provides us with an endless source of inspiration and our need to feel connected helps counteract the built
Biophilic Design & Our Wellbeing
Various studies/reports, including those by The World Health Organisation, have found stress-related illnesses are on the increase, including our mental health and cardiovascular disease. With a diminished connection to nature, we have less opportunity to recuperate and our physical and mental health is suffering. We can introduce nature/biophilic design in its various forms and disguises into our homes to great effect. It’s been proven to help lower blood pressure, create a calming environment and ease the stresses bought about by the increased use of technologies and our built-up environments. And, just in case you were wondering, the word biophilic is derived from the word biophilia a love of nature.
Nature Inspired Design
All aspects of nature appeal to all our senses in some way shape and form. More often than not, we choose to style and decorate our homes subconsciously with these in mind.
Whilst some of you might opt for bold or delicate florals others will prefer to keep it simple with less obvious attributes that mother nature has bestowed upon us such as warm cosy wool, linens, wood and polished marble.
Our desire to capture elements of nature indoors is rooted deep within us from our
Lighting & Our Wellbeing
It goes without saying that natural light is a necessity when it comes to our wellbeing. The need to be able to control the amount of natural light into our homes is also essential. From being able to sleep well at night to ensuring we can carry out day to day tasks safely.
Georgian architecture is a great example of how natural light was used to it’s fullest. Large windows that allowed as much light as possible to enter a room as well as using mirror backed candle wall sconces that helped reflect candlelight into a room making it feel brighter were just two ways they used lighting to the best effect.
We may not all be blessed with large windows but you can help achieve a
A Room With A View – Windows
Homes that allow us to enjoy the simplicities such as natural light and views of gardens (no matter how small) happen to be the most sought after when it comes to buying a home.
Windows frame our views of the outside pretty much like you have your favourite artwork upon your walls. If you have the perfect view, then it makes sense to highlight this with your choice of window treatments or indeed by painting the framework in a dominant colour.
Sustainability Is Key
In recent years, we have seen the detrimental effect our mass consumerism has had on our environment. From the plastic that floats in our oceans to the changes to our landscapes. It’s no surprise then that there has been a massive increase in our opting for more environmentally friendly choices when it comes to our homes. The fact that manufacturers and designers are taking note has lead to an increase in natural design. Sustainability might be heralded as one of the latest trends but it’s more than a passing phase. It’s about taking control on a personal level. We can all do our bit no matter how small a change.
Natural Materials Healthier Home
The use of natural materials such as rattan (which I wrote about here) and others such as wool
Thrifted Natural Goodness
Natural materials have a timeless quality to them. They age well and bring longevity to your homes. You don’t necessarily have to buy new either. Thrifted natural pieces can sit beautifully against new and add a wealth of character and interest into a room.
We may be influenced by the images of perfectly styled outdoor spaces that are bringing the indoors outside but when you think about this it’s really about us embracing our outside spaces and enjoying our natural environment more. They’ve become an extension to our homes and we are embracing them more than ever. Decor and styling aside, spending more time outside helps us reconnect with the natural environment and increases our wellbeing.
Considering the amount of time we spend indoors, outside living areas provide
Indoor Outdoor Living
Of course, we’re not all blessed with the ideal outdoor spaces and some of you may not have any at all. Bringing our love of the natural world inside has seen a huge following in recent years.
Colour & Pattern
Designs that mimic the natural world through the use of colour and pattern help connect us to the outside. Greens are calming, blues remind us of our oceans and yellow adds a bit of sunshine to our interiors. You might not want to paint your walls in these colours but adding touches in the form of the decorative can help promote our wellbeing. Colour is such a powerful tool when it comes to our homes as it’s the first thing we see when entering and connects with us on a much deeper level through our emotions.
Creating your own indoor botanical gardens are on the increase too. Plants not only help lower our blood pressure but they help with our concentration and improve our memory too. Just two facts that have been scientifically proven by NASA.
If you live in a built area with a lot of pollution then introducing your own indoor plant gang can help improve your air quality by removing the toxins and chemicals in our homes.
With more homes featuring wooden flooring and open spaces, noise can be a problem. Houseplants help absorb sound as well as reducing the amount of dust in the home. (You can read more about open plan living and sound here just in case you missed my earlier post.)
I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s post on The Natural Environment, Biophilic Design, Our Homes & Our Wellbeing.
Until next time, thanks for stopping by!