Two rattan pendant shades among large plants on white, wooden backdrop.

There’s nothing that breathes relaxation into your life more than a leafy backdrop. A human connection to nature is vital. Without it, we’re living totally separate to the ecosystem that we’re part of. That’s the essence of biophilic design.

This year’s called for an end to that separation of self and greenery, with the biophilic interior design trend bringing scenic backdrops right into our homes.  

Obviously, bringing plants into your home and having a little live in jungle to enjoy is going to look great. You didn’t need to be told that, and if we’re being totally honest you could buy a load of fake plants and call it a day. For a permanent solution… it ironically feels like less of a commitment, less responsibility and in some cases can be more cost effective.

 However, there are some genuine, scientifically proven benefits to having real plants in your space and if we’re going to bang on about the scientifically proven benefits of good and varied lighting (which we do, all the time) then we have to extend that to the plant pals.  

The Benefits

There’s a lot of discourse around the biophilic interior design trend and how it’s more of a way of living than a trend, which is true enough. Biophilic is more than just another word for a super plant-y home, a trend that is repackaged and updated each and every year. Being surrounded by nature is undoubtedly good for you. So, before we go into the technicalities that differentiate the biophilic trend from all the leafy home design trends of the past, let’s have a quick look at some of the psychological and physical benefits of living amongst some plants.  

*Stats from the Royal Horticultural Society and Healthline.

Biophilic Lighting 

Living that rich and oxygen dense biophilic life goes far deeper than keeping your house plants alive and picking pots that complement each other. Although, we’ll admit. The pot picking might be the best bit.

@therenovationdiaries2022

Biophilic interior design is about really putting nature into the heart of a space’s design and to a certain extent, it’s function. Bringing in the elements; natural materials, bright (natural ideally, but we’ll get to that) light and the life of a thousand living plants. Try stewing away with all of that around you, yeah, good luck. Creating that connection with natural order from within your home can really bring the relaxation and calmness that the modern world can make quite difficult.

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@ems_plantyhome2
@ourhome_bythewoods
@lifeat_rosecottage

One of the best ways to protect that calm, harmony and health is with biophilic lighting. A huge monstera arching over a sofa might be what we think of first when we talk about biophilic interior design but when you’re looking at it more as a lifestyle change and less as the hot trend right now, well you can’t ignore lighting.  

There are two ways to engage with biophilic lighting, the first is to build your home from scratch and have it essentially be a greenhouse. Just windows attached to windows with a window on top, letting natural light organise your days and keep your circadian rhythm steady. Now, assuming that you’re not in a position to make like a cactus and live in a terrarium or you live in a part of the world where day length varies drastically, there’s another approach you can take. Just… be inspired by nature.

Giving thought to what feels natural and calming goes a lot further than you might think. A lot of damage is done to our stress levels, which in turn can be detrimental to our health overall, because our bodies are getting too much artificial light in the evenings and our monkey brains can’t understand that it isn’t the sun. Of course, you can’t just start existing in total darkness once the sun goes down. That’s ridiculous and we wouldn’t want you to shin a coffee table. But, bringing the lights down low with layered, warm, cosy mood lighting… oh, that’ll do the trick. Tell your brain it’s not the working day and you don’t need to be on high alert by letting the plug-in sun set in your home. Allowing the light to dim through the evening has been shown to help with sleep quality and routine. 

Biophilic Décor 

The inspiration doesn’t stop at light levels or temperature, a good place to start but there’s more to it. Letting your design choices be inspired by the natural world is a huge part of the biophilic interior design trend. Bringing in natural materials, textures and colours is going to help you feel more at one with nature even when you’ve got the stress of deadlines or scheduling conflicts to deal with.   

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@Kayleigh_P.
@ourlilhome_
@Luanne_H.

Biophilic lighting isn’t just about the when and the how bright, it can be a focus on texture and materials; wicker lamp shades, wooden floor lamps, marble or stone accents. Think of bringing in items with modern curves in their designs, soft and natural shapes that inspire a sense of calm and comfort. Anything that brings a little bit of that organic feeling into your modern home, it’s the home décor of life.

And, if you’re building a home from scratch, then you can make it as biophilic as you like (and your budget allows), but for a lot of us we’ve got to make do with the little things. Whether that’s bringing in some more wooden accents and some natural fibres with our lamps and ceiling shades, switching out our soft furnishings for luscious greens, clay pinks or sandy neutrals or even just buying as many plants as you can possibly keep alive. After all, biophilic does come from the Greek for ‘the love of living things’, so keeping them alive is definitely non-negotiable. Sorry. We believe in you, you can do it.

@justanormalhouse

Give yourself the gift of rituals, spend time turning all of your lamps on, flicking on your flickering (LED) candles, and letting your body know it’s time to wind down. Dedicate a few minutes to walking around and checking in with your plants, and yourself, giving them what they need and taking in the calm that you need.

We’re living in this fast paced, modern, mad little world and we’ve got to remember to breathe. With all that lovely plant-y oxygen.