people and places4 min read

Three design takeaways from Nura, a biophilic dream in Brooklyn

Nura Restaurant Greenpoint NYC

WordsIlana Dadras


There’s a lot to love about Nura, a breezy new date spot in Greenpoint, NYC, from the husband-wife duo behind Otis. The opening is already making waves, in part due to the fact that they’ve got Robertas’ ex-executive chef in the kitchen, in part due to the breadbasket. Because we know you want details on the latter, cozied up in a golden yellow cloth you’ll find puffy, Tandoori oven-baked garlic-coriander naan and miniature loaves of maple cornbread, served alongside three dips: yogurt, spicy hummus, and a blended, spiced carrot situation.

Nura Restaurant Greenpoint NYC

Image Credit: Scott Lynch

But hey, we’re not here to talk about dips. Not today. Nura is also a gorgeous space we can look to for biophilic design inspiration: the rising design trend of bringing nature and elements from the natural world into a space for our optimal health and mental wellbeing.

From the hundreds of plants within the light-drenched warehouse to the onion-stained alpaca lampshades hanging overhead, let’s get inspired by how Nura brings this biophilic dreamscape alive.

1. Mix and match plant textures, heights, and containers

We’ve seen a rise in biophilia in recent years, as more and more urbanites realize we have an innate need to connect with nature. We are actually biologically encoded to respond positively to natural elements—perhaps due to the thousands of years spent evolving in nature before ‘big city life’ became a common reality. Countless studies have shown that exposure to plants decreases anxiety, lowers stress, and promotes overall wellbeing.

To that end, the designers behind Nura filled the space with hundreds of potted trees and tropical shrubs, with the goal of  “[emphasizing] the natural beauty of the corner space.” We can look to the intentionality of their choices and placement as inspiration when designing our own green oases.

Approach combining plants the same way you mix throw pillow textures or bedding materials. Combine different plant textures, placing something like a towering Ficus tree with small, shiny oval leaves beside a short Dracaena with long, striped foliage. Take the same approach towards the containers. First, thoughtfully select a color palette to play within, based on the overall vibe of your space, then take an eclectic approach towards mixing container shapes and shades. For inspiration, note how Nura’s dining room container palette includes brass, grays, and terracotta, complementing the restaurant’s overall Moroccan design.

Nura restaurant NYC

Imager credit: Nura