inspiration4 min read

Interior trends: what is biophilic design?

WordsMegan Lambert


Much more than a design trend, biophilic design is human nature. Meaning "a love of nature", biophilic design is about reconnecting humans with our natural environment. 

Today, around 56% of the world's population lives in cities, with most of us spending over 90% of our time indoors. This poses a problem to our health and wellbeing. As humans, we evolved over millennia to an existence dictated by the elements and the outside world, yet that world has become increasingly urbanised in the last century. 

Biophilic design aims to remedy that. Linked to reduced stress, enhanced creativity and clarity of mind—it’s no wonder that some of the world's top companies (hello Google) have implemented it in their workplaces.



Biophilic design in architecture

In architecture, some of the most important components of biophilic design include:

  • A human-centred approach to design, incorporating communal spaces for everyone to enjoy.
  • Maintaining a comfortable temperature through natural means
  • Good air quality and ventilation with minimised toxin levels
  • Acoustic comfort using natural sounds
  • Use of natural light
  • Internal and external views of nature
  • The use of natural materials, textures, and colours
  • Incorporating recuperative spaces

Great news if you're building your home from scratch, but how can we incorporate some of these hallmarks of biophilia into our interior design projects?

Element of biophilic design: house plants

Easy and rewarding and something that lots of you are probably already utilising in your homes, there's a reason we humans are adopting house plants like they're going extinct—it's in our nature. We're sure you've all seen the macrame hanging basket trend, but there's a reason this is so popular. Whether through hanging pots or taller palm-like plants, creating different height levels mimics the diversity of a forest scape.

A great way to bring the outdoors in, these leafy house pets provide far more than just window dressing. Studies have shown that house plants can improve our mood, reduce stress levels, and increase work productivity. Not bad for a bit of foliage.


Element of biophilic design: natural materials

As with plants, incorporating elements of nature through the use of natural materials is a key element of biophilic design. We don't mean a polished pine coffee table. We're talking about organic shapes found in nature. This can be anything from free-form furnishings to exposed wood or natural stone flooring. Whatever you decide, keep it natural.

You may recognise this concept from the Japandi philosophy of embracing imperfections. Interested? Read more about the Japandi interior style and discover 8 ways to make your home look and feel more Japandi.