In today's fast-paced and technology-driven world, it's easy to feel disconnected from nature. However, humans have an innate desire to connect with the natural world, which we know as biophilia.

In this article, we will explore the concept of biophilia and ask what is biophilic design? We'll look at its benefits, and how we can incorporate it within interior design.

What is biophilia

What is biophilia

Biophilia is a term coined by biologist Edward O. Wilson in the 1980s. It refers to the innate human tendency to seek connections with nature and other forms of life. It is the love of living things and nature.

Many believe that humans have an inborn affinity for other forms of life. Improving our physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

What is biophilic in interior design?

Biophilic design is a growing area of interest for interior designers and their clients. It recognises the scientifically proven health benefits that come with feeling connected to nature. The natural world draws humans to it, as time spent there stimulates the parasympathetic system and lowers stress. Of course, we don’t have to know that to feel the benefits.

Using of biophilic design

Healthy home

Biophilic interior design aims to enhance the feelings of well being. Through this connectedness to nature using a range of principles.

Outdoor and indoor

One of these principles is to break down the separation between the indoors and the outdoors. This can be through the expanded use of windows and openings onto the natural world outside or through the use of courtyards and balconies. Of course, this is not a possibility for most.

Bringing nature indoors

What we can do is bring natural elements and materials into the home. Having plants in the home is perhaps the most familiar biophilic element we know. We also saw biophilic interiors on the rise with the growing popularity of the Danish concept Hygge. This is where we enhance our homes with natural and organic materials such as sheepskin, mohair, wood and moss.

“Biophilic design promotes improved health and wellbeing by creating connections between people and nature in the built environment.” Oliver Heath

Using feathers

Using feathers

The feathers we use on our lights shades and chandeliers bring another natural element into the home. The way our shades seem to float in mid air takes our gaze upwards and connects us to the animal kingdom. In particular, to the idea of birds in flight.

Curves v straight lines

Most natural elements that we bring into our homes share a distinctive visual characteristic. They consist of curves rather than straight lines, be that a sheepskin rug or a plant.


Soft curves offer a soothing counterpoint to the hard edges and straight lines that make our homes.

Straight lines

In the natural, unmodified world, the straightest line we see is the distant horizon. In our homes, we see hard, straight lines all the time. I absolutely love to see a curved wall in a Victorian hallway, designed to ease the flow of movement in a tight space.

Why do I love it?

All of these elements add up to a canvas for giving our emotional well being its best chance to thrive.

Personal experience with Biophilic design

I remember how my mum treasured talking to her incredibly healthy plants, they would reward her with gleaming leaves and fragrance. My children love to stroke their cat, who sometimes seems part of the interior scheme as she lies around. She rewards them with her purrs and warmth and beauty.

Whenever I have client feedback, the response is always emotional. Phrases such as ‘I am in love’ or ‘It makes me smile everyday’ are so rewarding to hear from appreciative clients. My client unlocks a joyful and soothing energy in their home through my creation.

The future biophilic design

Biophilic design makes good sense. Our technological advances in design and manufacturing opens up a whole new world. Meaning that our imaginative scope for building homes has grown exponentially in the last 50 years. It has freed us up to incorporate previously impossible ideas.

Here’s an experiment for you to try at home. Run an internet search for the term ‘futuristic home’. How many of these feature some of the primary principles of biophilic design in a prominent way? Most of them, I bet.