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If you feel you're at your happiest when you're surrounded by nature or things that remind you of it, biophilic design might be right up your alley. But what exactly is biophilic design?
"Biophilia means love of life," explains
Amanda Sturgeon, FAIA, a prominent architect and author of the recent book "Creating Biophilic Buildings." She is a world-renowned proponent of the
biophilia hypothesis, which claims that we, as humans, "possess an innate tendency to seek connections with nature and other forms of life." Simply put, biophilic design means creating buildings and interiors that connect people and nature, Sturgeon says.
Biophilic homes feature natural materials like wood, stone, and clay. They are filled with big windows and water features (both indoors and out). From furniture to built-ins, the entire home is full of curvaceous and varied shapes like those found in nature.
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Why is biophilic design attractive?
Sturgeon believes that biophilic design is gaining popularity now because people crave spaces that will connect them to the outdoors. "Over the past 50 years, we've really lost our way with our buildings and design," Sturgeon says. "We create structures that are removed from the natural environment. Now that more than half of the people in the world live in cities, we're even more disconnected from nature than we used to be."
Achieving biophilic design in your home
There's plenty we can do to amp up the biophilic factor in our own living spaces without planning a total remodel. Even if you're living in a high-rise apartment with only one or two windows, you can bring nature in by using a few of Sturgeon's tips.
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1. Open a window
Yes, something as simple as letting a little fresh air in can make a world of difference. "Often people have their windows closed, even when the temperature outside may actually be more comfortable than inside," says Sturgeon. "We find that people are actually heating or cooling their homes when the outside temperature could be ideal."
Pulling back those curtains and letting in natural light will also better connect you with nature. Why turn on artificial lighting when the sun can illuminate your room for free?
2. Select natural shapes and forms
Homes are often designed and decorated in right angles and clean lines because it's more spatially efficient. "Everything's a square or a rectangle," says Sturgeon. "But nature doesn't have only squares and rectangles—it has a diversity of shapes and forms. And those can be replicated easily in the home."
How? In the shapes of furniture you choose—an oval coffee table, a curvaceous armchair—and the patterns on accessories and wallpaper—botanical motifs, animal prints, leaves, clouds, and shells.
3. Chose a natural color palette
It's not just about boring brown earth tones. We promise. Sturgeon suggests borrowing colors from the beautiful settings that surround you, looking beyond the concrete and asphalt of your immediate neighborhood. Live by a desert? Channel those breathtaking sunsets with shades of burnt orange, light pink, and deep purple. Do you love spending your weekends in the lush forest in the town over? Try incorporating greens and dark browns into your design.
4. Use natural, local materials
How about a table made from the wood of the kind of trees that grow in your area? A local stone like slate, sandstone, quartz, or river rock would look great on a fireplace, countertop, or floor.
"While it might say a certain thing about us to have marble from Italy, what would happen if we used regional material that had a stronger connection to the place that we're living?" asks Sturgeon. "We might feel a lot more connected to that place."
5. Add natural elements
We're not suggesting you get bogged down with the periodic table—just focus on fire, water, air, and earth. Every wonder why candles are so intriguing? The fact that they add the natural element of fire to a home (remember, we're drawn to the natural elements) might have something to do with it. In the same vein, you could add a firepit in your backyard, a fountain in your living room, or even clay pots or vases with pebbles just about anywhere.
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Source : https://www.sfgate.com/realestate/article/What-Is-Biophilic-Design-Embracing-Nature-Inside-12860961.php