Bring Nature in With These 5 Biophilic Design Ideas
Over the last few years, biophilia has risen to the top of buzzwords heard in the design world, but it goes far beyond just being a trend. Biophilic Design is the practice of connecting people and nature within our indoor environments, instead of only enjoying nature outside. Bringing it into our home or office is said to improve mental + physical health, increase productivity, and boost happiness. There are easy ways to achieve that by incorporating natural materials, plants, earthy colors, sunlight, water elements, and organic shapes and forms. Whether you add one to your space or several, any of these changes can have a positive impact on you and your overall health and happiness, and that’s something we can all benefit from during these uncertain times. Read on for our five favorite ways to bring the outdoors in – and visit the Design Milk Shop for more biophilic design ideas!
Plants + Greenery
A hallmark of biophilic design, bringing in houseplants and greenery is an easy way to add instant life and freshness to your space and cultivate that connection to the great outdoors. You don’t need to turn your living room into a greenhouse to experience the serotonin-boosting effects of houseplants either – focus on quality over quantity by picking the right plants for your home’s lighting conditions for guaranteed success!
Oasis Small Self-Watering Flowerpot by Northern
A new Design Milk Shop exclusive, the Oasis Self-Watering Flowerpot by Northern marries the best in modern Nordic design and traditional craft aesthetics. The planter uses two interlocking vessels to create a stacked look, the bottom piece housing a water reservoir that allows plants to hydrate themselves at their own pace – perfect for budding plant-owners. For extra biophilic design points, the planter is unglazed, revealing its natural terracotta texture for more earthiness. Fun fact: the planter’s unglazed top vessel lets it siphon water directly into the soil it holds!
Newel 30 Large Planter by Greenery Unlimited
Backed by 10+ years as botanical designers, the experts at Greenery Unlimited combine their plant know-how and eye for modern design to make planters that do right by your houseplants and your home’s decor aesthetic. The Newel Planter is a great option for larger plants, embodying a timeless tapered shape that works beautifully on surfaces or on the floor for a green statement. Made of durable, high-quality fiberglass in a matte, repaint-able finish, the beautiful simplicity of the Newel is designed to last a lifetime.
Visual Representations of Nature
You know that feeling of calm you experience just looking at images of sunsets or coastlines? That’s biophilic design at work. Images of nature are said to have a soothing effect on the psyche and optimize our connection to nature. Try it for yourself by choosing wall art that depicts natural scenes or motifs.
Tropical World Print by Jennifer Chong
This Tropical World Print by LA-based photographer Jennifer Chong beautifully captures the beauty of lush, tropical palm fronds up close. The photo’s simple composition and high contrast off-white background give it an artful minimalism that any modern design lover is sure to appreciate. Despite the photo highlighting a singular facet of a natural tropical landscape, we’re immediately transported to the beach every time we look at it! Note: All Jennifer Chong prints are made to order, and well worth the wait!
Fiordo di Furore Print by Carley Rudd
This photo print of the Amalfi coast by travel photographer Carley Rudd will have you daydreaming about your next vacation. Rudd’s bird’s-eye view photo of the Fiordo di Furore captures the lush multi-faceted greens and earth tones of towering greenery covered cliffs, and the blue green tones of the sparkling Italian coastline, bringing brightness to any room in the house. You can even order your print with a frame so it’s ready to hang upon arrival.
Natural Textures + Materials
Bringing the outdoors in can also be as simple as incorporating natural materials and textures throughout your home. Wood, natural stone, bamboo, wicker, and rattan, not only deliver on tactile satisfaction, but they also add an elemental look to indoor spaces, strengthening your interior’s connection to the world outside!
RESET Clock – Oak by MARdiROS
The RESET Clock by Canadian design studio MARdiROS boasts an ultra-modern and minimalist body that lets its untreated oak wood finish do the talking. Free of embellishments and superfluous details, the clock’s stylish blank face relies on the oak’s natural wood grain to bring a modern and elemental touch to your wall – evoking the presence of trees in a modern and functional everyday item.
Anzu Tama Vase by Tamiko Claire Stoneware
The Anzu Tama Vase is a modern and petite addition to your console or coffee table. Made using speckled brown clay and finished using a warm apricot glaze, the Anzu Tama Vase gives natural elements a spot in your home decor, adding a natural, earthy look to your space and stylishly housing your favorite floral stems and small bouquets. Because every piece in ceramicist Tamiko Claire’s collection is handmade in Hawaii, your vase can take up to 3 weeks to arrive, but you’ll feel great knowing your one-of-a-kind piece was specially made for you!
Natural + Diffused Light
Making the most of the natural light in your space is a major principle of biophilic design – because the next best thing to laying out in the sun is experiencing sunlight shining indoors. When natural light is limited, though, experts look to diffused lighting and mirrors to help fill in the gaps and recreate the dynamic light experienced outdoors.
Smart Diffuser Lamp by Gingko
This Diffuser Lamp ticks nearly all of the biophilic design boxes. The frosted acrylic glass dreamily casts a warm ambient glow in your space, with a dimmable function for dynamic lighting options. Its sustainable wooden base brings natural textures and materials into the mix. And finally, the copper diffuser plate on top warms up essential oils, adding natural aromas to your space. Bonus: the wireless portable design means you can enjoy it in any room in the house.
The Horizon Mirror by Hollis + Morris
With thoughtful placement, mirrors help reflect the natural light coming into your home, making it feel brighter and larger in the process – perfect for small spaces and homes short on natural light. Hollis + Morris’ Horizon Mirror is a modern way to trick more sunshine into your space and add a modern look to your walls. The elegant round mirror stars a panel or “horizon line” of solid walnut or white wood for added warmth and natural texture and is even available in tinted smoke or sepia options, making it an eye-catching piece of modern wall decor. Style one alone or arrange multiple to create a unique sculptural display.
Natural + Organic Shapes
Did you know that straight lines are seldom found in nature? So it stands to reason why natural and organic shapes are a key element of biophilic spaces. Whether you’re toying with shapes literally seen in nature – trees, flowers, waves – or simply swapping hard lines for soft and understated curves, there are plenty of ways to experiment with this sect of biophilic design.
Pebble Shape Wall Vase Set by Extra&Ordinary Design
This set of pebble-shaped wall vases by Extra&Ordinary Design brings organic shapes and greenery to your walls for a soft sculptural statement. Complete with three individual handmade vases, this dynamic set lets you create customized arrangements and displays for a modern and personalized look. Cast in eco-friendly jesmonite, the Pebble Wall Vases have a warm, pink-ish color palette that’s sure to complement any floral arrangement and decor style.
Small Orbis Concrete Tealights by Konzuk
Despite their durable cement make, these Small Orbis Tealights by Konzuk have a delicate, egg-shell like appeal that makes them a stylish, biophilic design element in your space. Meticulously handcrafted, these spherical unscented tea lights add a sculptural look to any home surface – making them one of our favorite ways to utilize decorative, glowing candlelight. Style them as a trio on your coffee table for an elevated decorative statement or spread them out across your home for small natural touches.
Spot any biophilic faves on this list? Show off your Design Milk finds and tag us for a chance to be featured on the @designmilk Instagram!