Home Interiors

Why biophilic design is in – and how to use it in your home

Bringing the natural world into your home means far more than just paying a visit to the garden centre

Green sofa with floral wallpaper
Go all out with botanical prints. Credit │Sofology

“Biophilia”, as coined by the Harvard naturalist Dr Edward O. Wilson,  is the innate desire that human beings have to live alongside nature. In recent years his theory has been incorporated into architecture and design in order to improve well-being. After a mass shift in the way we view our homes, local interior designer Antonia Fosberry noticed an increased demand for natural-inspired spaces. Here are her tips for bringing the outside, in.

Start with plants

Bring some life and extra oxygen into your home. Credit │@hygge_blog

The first, and most obvious, place to start when approaching this trend is with nature itself. Adding plants to your home is beneficial for both aesthetics and health, so feel free to go wild at the plant souq when going for the biophilic look. A large tree such as a kentia palm or banana leaf acts as a beautiful statement piece, while smaller plants such as cacti, succulents or devil’s ivy (pothos) can be used across the home to add touches of vivacity. 

Let the light in

Sheer curtains
Sheer curtains work well when you’ve got a green view. Credit │@designsofthetime

Honour your body’s natural circadian rhythm by maximising the natural light in your home. During the day, amplify the light with sheer curtains and mirrors. While at night time, try blackout blinds for a restful night’s sleep. 

Have your walls doing the talking 

Floral wallpaper bathroom
Floral wallpaper brings a touch of nature in. Credit │@whirlligigs_home

If you live in the heart of the city and don’t have a green view, use wallpaper to bring the natural world in. Choose a floral, tropical or botanical pattern to highlight a feature wall. Alternatively, a large painting or a gallery wall can also do the trick. 

Use earthy tones

White walled living room with earthy tones
Earthy tones work well to create a grounded design. Credit │@marlydice

Choose a colour palette inspired by nature and stick to it. Earthy tones, calming blues or happy greens work well in unison – you can paint the walls, doors, furniture and even the ceiling for a cohesive feel. That being said, don’t be afraid to add creative colour pops to echo those found in flowers, trees and animals. 

Create a relationship with the desert

Sandy hue living room
Sandy hues and natural fibers echo the UAE’s environment. Credit │@whitehavendecor

One of the principles of biophilic design is to create a relationship with the place in which you are living. As we’re living in the middle of a desert, try to incorporate pieces that echo this. Perhaps you’re inspired by the bougainvillea’s shocking pink or maybe you want to craft your colour scheme with sandy hues? Whatever it is, pay heed to where you live. 

Floral smells  

Floral arrangement with candles
Flowers and candles are the perfect way to express a biophilic interior. Credit│@joannagame_flowers

When working closely with the natural world, you can add dimension by crafting a multi-sensory experience. Fresh flowers make a big difference to a space by bringing aroma and life. When the real deal isn’t an option, faux flowers sprayed with essential oils are a good solution. Or, fill your space with scented candles and diffusers that harness scents from the natural environment, such as lavender or pine. 

Natural fabrics

TRIBE Dubai wardrobe
Rattan is a timeless choice. Credit│@tribedubai

The way your home feels creates synergy between the outside and inside. Opt for as many natural materials as you can. Cotton, linen and silk are great choices for your soft furnishings. Wood is my go-to for achieving the look, and I recommend choosing pieces that show the natural grain and mixing it up with rattan, bamboo, wicker, or cane. 

Take your green thumb outside by following these tips for growing your own organic food. Or be inspired by this nature filled Arabian Ranches villa

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