There is a reason you were always drawn to that room, in your home, school or library, with mahogany walls or paneling, and the smell of natural wood throughout.
That reason is biophilia.
“Biophilia” was a word first used to describe man’s innate desire for self-preservation. But the meaning was expanded in the late 1970s by biologist Edward O. Wilson to “the rich, natural pleasure that comes from being surrounded by living organisms.”
The human body responds positively to the sense of being surrounded by nature, even when the surroundings are interior. At the same time, the human body reacts negatively, in both a spiritual and chemical sense, to being surrounded by manufactured materials, most notably in furniture and wall coverings. The process of creating manufactured materials includes chemical additives which preserve and protect the surface from the wear of light. But those additives produce unseen emissions that get into the air, and eventually the lungs and heart of people who live among such materials.
Biophilic Interior Design
At Natureworks Design, we concentrate on the energy that comes from our interior designs. Feng shui focuses on the layout of an interior room or space, and we enthusiastically support minimalist design in order to provide open areas in which to live and breathe.
At the same time, the energy of a room is influenced by the materials of the furniture and plants that coexist in the space. Such biophilic interior design revolves around the use of natural woods and fibers in the materials.
It is revealing to witness a client viewing a redesigned interior room for the first time when biophilic design is included. The client receives a sense of warmth and connectivity, even if the feeling is entirely subconscious. It is a thrill to see the countenance of a client change within the first few moments of entering a properly designed interior.
The Details of Biophilic Interior Design
There are numerous details to biophilic interior design, including a few that go beyond the materials used in setting a room.
You want to be able to incorporate natural light and fresh air into the design of an interior space. Natural light is a known disinfectant, and it positively affects both the mental and physical state of humans.
Fresh air is going to feel more relatable than contained air, no matter how well you filter the air that comes from an HVAC system. Fresh air is known to be a positive force on the body’s immune system. Cardiac specialists can also detail all of the benefits of fresh air on the heart, lungs and blood in the body.
Any furniture in your interior space should be made of natural materials when possible. Not only do natural materials emit a vibration that the human body absorbs subconsciously, they also absorb sound better than manufactured materials. Part of an idyllic interior is the calm it projects, and furniture made of natural materials simply feel less abrasive.
There is a sense, as well, that being in a space with furniture made from natural materials keeps one at peace with the world. Natural wood and stone are more environmentally friendly than man-made materials.
You may not think of these details as you live in your interior rooms, but the positive sense that comes from the combination of materials cannot be denied.
Nature can also be transplanted into an interior space in the form of plant life. You may not want to live in a jungle setting, but including plants that work in the space of your home and that enhance the environment by being easily seen and recognized creates a greater sense of living within the world.
You need not be a naturalist to understand the value of biophilic living conditions. The sounds of nature, the light from the sky, and the vibrations emitted from wood, stone, and natural fabrics all contribute to a sense of peace within a space.