Biophilia, or the love of nature, was best captured by the Romantic writers of the 19th century. Romanticism, an art and literary movement rich with biophilic sentiment, taught us Mother Nature’s ability to influence our thoughts and perceptions of the world.
English poet William Wordsworth himself penned eloquent poems declaring his love to the natural world: Then my heart with pleas fills/And dances with the daffodils.
The world we live in today might seem unrecognizable to that of Wordsworth’s, yet our incessant craving for nature’s touch — especially during the pandemic — remains intact. So, there’s no doubt the inspiration behind biophilic design, the hottest home décor trend of the year, is rooted in love for the natural world.
Stephen Kellert is credited with coming up with the key design concepts. The social ecology professor from Yale saw biophilic design consisting of two experiences: direct and indirect. Direct experiences are natural elements, like natural light, airflow, temperature and humidity, water, or plants that you encounter daily. Indirect experiences are symbols of nature. This includes nature-inspired images, patterns or colours.
Different types of lighting can enhance your direct experiences. Natural lighting is a gift gracing you throughout the day. Try arranging the space around you, so you can access it more frequently. The use of reflective surfaces around your home can bring more light into your space.
Warm artificial lighting is the next best thing. You can adjust the temperature of the light to your liking and even complement lamps with nature-inspired lampshades.
(Panama handwoven pendant for $775 USD/Courtesy of Restoration Hardware)
Houseplants and flowers bring the joy of natural vegetation to you, saving you from stepping outside to experience it. Indoor plants undoubtedly dominate the market, with interior design companies incorporating them into their own products. Some of the most popular biophilic elements found in homes and commercial buildings are moss wall coverings. Their vibrant green and lush texture are aesthetically pleasing.
(Custom letters for $49.00 USD/Courtesy of Moss Moss by Olia)
Indirect experiences are equally stimulating to the human mind in desperate need of nature’s presence. For tips on wall décor, you can turn to images of nature such as landscapes, botanical prints, or even moss coverings to bring you tranquility.
Natural materials used in flooring and furnishings can also bring the ecosystem to your home. Wood and rattan chairs or tables offer the feel and sensation of the forest. Plant-like textures or woven rugs made of jute further enhance your indirect experiences. You can also shop around for comforters embellished with natural patterns. If you’re feeling inspired by the beach, a nice wave-patterned rug would complement the theme, followed by sandy brown or rattan furnishing.
(Coastal Dining In Greyscale/Courtesy of Modsy)
Perhaps one of the most compelling reasons to get into the biophilic movement is its health benefits. Biophilic design increases productivity, provides us with cleaner air (thanks to the plants), and helps reduce stress. It also activates your creative mode, providing inspiration for you to get poetic — you might give Wordsworth a run for his money!
Tashon Daley | Contributing Writer