Biophilic interior design: merging the great outdoors with indoor spaces

Biophilic interior design is not just a trend; it's a lifestyle choice that brings the rejuvenating essence of nature into your home. Picture yourself surrounded by lush greenery, soothing natural light, and the calming presence of the outdoors, all within the comfort of your own space.

In this article, we'll delve into the transformative power of biophilic design, exploring its core principles, showcasing inspiring examples, and offering practical tips to incorporate this approach into your home. Let's embark on a journey to merge the great outdoors with your indoor sanctuary.

The core principles of biophilic design

Biophilic design is grounded in a profound understanding of our innate connection to nature and the vital role it plays in our well-being. By integrating the following core principles into our built environments, we can create spaces that not only look beautiful but also foster a sense of harmony, tranquility, and vitality.

At its core, biophilic design celebrates the beauty of natural shapes and patterns. Incorporating organic forms reminiscent of leaves, branches, or flowing water can evoke a sense of tranquility and balance. Whether it's through the curvature of furniture, the undulating lines of a sculptural centerpiece, or the intricate detailing of a decorative element, biomorphic design elements invite us to reconnect with the organic world around us.

Light is a fundamental aspect of biophilic design, as it not only illuminates our surroundings but also shapes our perception of space and time. Maximizing access to natural light sources, such as windows, skylights, and clerestory openings, can flood interior spaces with warmth and vitality. Additionally, incorporating strategies for natural ventilation can enhance indoor air quality and create a sense of openness and connection to the outdoors.

The use of natural materials lies at the heart of biophilic design, reflecting our innate desire to connect with the natural world. From warm woods and tactile stone to sustainable bamboo and rattan, incorporating organic materials into our built environments can evoke a sense of grounding and authenticity. Not only do natural materials add visual and tactile interest to a space, but they also contribute to a sense of environmental stewardship and well-being.

For instance, the Ergon I-Wood collection by Emilgroup highlights steam-treated oak, bringing out rich, enhanced colors and vivid natural details that add a warm and inviting atmosphere to any room.

Biophilic design also enhances visual connections with nature, even in urban settings. This could be through framing views of landscapes, incorporating indoor greenery like potted plants and living walls, or adding water features that mimic natural environments. Such visual connections foster feelings of calm, inspiration, and wonder.

Beyond sight, biophilic design engages all of our senses to create immersive and enriching experiences. The sound of water, the rustle of leaves, and the use of natural scents and textures enrich the sensory environment, deepening our connection with nature and enhancing our overall engagement with our surroundings.

Bringing nature indoors: examples of biophilic design in homes

Let's take a peek into some stunning examples of biophilic design in real homes:

  • Living Green Walls: Vertical gardens that add a vibrant touch of nature to interior spaces.
  • Indoor Atriums and Courtyards: Open-air sanctuaries that blur the boundaries between indoor and outdoor living.
  • Natural Material Palette: From reclaimed wood floors to stone countertops, natural materials create a warm and inviting ambiance.
  • Biophilic Lighting Design: Innovative lighting solutions that mimic the natural rhythms of sunlight, promoting circadian health.

Nature-inspired interior design elements

Nature serves as an endless wellspring of inspiration for interior design, offering a rich tapestry of colors, textures, and motifs that evoke a sense of tranquility and connection to the natural world. Incorporating nature-inspired elements into interior spaces not only enhances aesthetic appeal but also fosters a deeper sense of well-being and harmony with our surroundings.

  • Botanical prints and patterns: Botanical prints and patterns bring the beauty of the outdoors inside, infusing spaces with the lushness of foliage and the delicacy of flowers. Whether adorning walls, upholstery, or soft furnishings, botanical motifs add a touch of whimsy and vitality to any interior.
  • Earthy color palette: earthy hues derived from nature's palette—soft greens, warm browns, muted blues, and earthy neutrals—imbue spaces with a sense of grounding and serenity. These colors evoke the tranquility of forest glades, sun-dappled meadows, and sandy shores, creating a soothing and harmonious ambiance.
  • Natural textures: embracing natural textures adds depth and tactile interest to interior spaces, inviting touch and engagement with the environment. From the rough-hewn surface of a stone accent wall to the supple softness of a wool rug, incorporating textures like wood, stone, rattan, and linen creates a sensory-rich experience that connects occupants to the natural world.
  • Biophilic artwork: nature-inspired artwork, whether paintings, sculptures, or photographs, serves as a window to the outdoors, infusing spaces with a sense of wonder and awe. From majestic landscapes to intricate botanical studies, nature-themed artwork sparks the imagination and invites contemplation, fostering a deeper appreciation for the beauty and diversity of the natural world.
  • Organic shapes and forms: embracing organic shapes and forms in furniture and decor echoes the fluidity and elegance of nature, creating a sense of movement and vitality within interior spaces. From the sinuous curves of a sculptural chair to the graceful arch of an arched doorway, organic design elements evoke the harmonious balance found in the natural world. The Provenza Unique Travertine collection, by Emilgroup, complements this approach beautifully, crafted in four elegant shades and finishes. This series offers a fresh, contemporary twist on classic travertine, ideal for creating sophisticated and harmonious interiors that resonate with the natural aesthetics and balance of biophilic design.
  • Sustainable materials: choosing sustainable materials for furniture and finishes not only reduces environmental impact but also reinforces the connection between interior spaces and the broader ecosystem. From reclaimed wood and recycled glass to eco-friendly textiles and low-VOC paints, incorporating sustainable materials into interior design reflects a commitment to responsible stewardship of the planet.

Earthy color palettes for a biophilic home

Create a harmonious connection to nature with an earthy color palette. From serene greens to rich earth tones, here are some hues to consider:

  • Sage green: calming and rejuvenating, sage green evokes the tranquility of a forest retreat, making it perfect for areas where peace is paramount.
  • Terracotta: warm and inviting, terracotta adds a grounding presence that enriches any space with its earthy tones, ideal for creating cozy environments.
  • Earthy neutrals: shades of beige, taupe, and tan provide a versatile backdrop that complements other biophilic design elements seamlessly, facilitating a subtle yet effective integration of nature.
  • Deep blues: channel the serenity of the ocean with deep blue accents that evoke feelings of peace and relaxation, perfect for bathrooms and bedrooms where calm is key.

Practical steps to design a biophilic home

Ready to embark on your biophilic design journey? Here are some practical steps to get started:

  1. Assess your space: take stock of your current environment and identify opportunities to incorporate biophilic elements.
  2. Integrate natural elements: bring in plants, natural materials, and daylight to create a seamless connection to nature. Incorporate versatile elements like those from the Re-Play Concrete by Provenza which offers a vast range of pieces that allow for unlimited compositions and combinations, ideal for styling complete interiors or creating contrasting surfaces. This collection can help design coordinated floor and wall coverings or delightful corners with an industrial taste, enhancing the biophilic design.
  3. Optimize natural light: maximize daylight exposure by strategically placing windows and using light-filtering treatments.
  4. Curate a nature-inspired aesthetic: choose furniture, textiles, and decor that reflect the beauty of the outdoors. The industrial and natural aesthetic of the Re-Play Concrete collection by Provenza can significantly contribute to this step, aligning with the core principles of biophilic design.
  5. Embrace sustainability: opt for eco-friendly materials and practices to minimize your environmental footprint.

Biophilic interior design offers a holistic approach to creating spaces that nourish the mind, body, and soul. By embracing the principles of biophilia, you can transform your home into a sanctuary that rejuvenates and inspires. Whether you're drawn to the tranquility of a nature-inspired color palette or the serenity of a living green wall, there are endless possibilities to explore. Are you ready to embark on your biophilic design journey? Visit our website to discover all the Emilgroup collections and a curated selection of biophilic-inspired tiles and surfaces that will elevate your space to new heights of natural beauty.

29 May 2024


From our blog

Totalook: interview with the designer