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Biophilic design ideas: 7 ways to bring your home closer to nature

By Ellie Reeves | 18th March 2022 | 7 min read

Turn your indoors into a budding oasis

It’s no secret or surprise that houseplants can improve our wellbeing. Not only do they spruce up our living space, but indoor plants can purify the air, reduce anxiety, and boost our overall happiness levels. Sounds pretty fern-tastic, doesn’t it? But did you know, it’s not just plants that affect our wellbeing, it’s being close with all forms of nature.

If you haven’t heard about ‘biophilic design’ yet, don’t worry, we’ll fill you in. It’s the latest buzzword on the interior design scene, and no, we weren’t sure what it meant at first either. Read on to discover all you need to know about this blossoming new trend. We’ll show you how to embrace biophilic design in every corner of your home.

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What is biophilic design?

Biophilic design is all about increasing our connection to the natural environment whilst indoors. The word ‘biophilia’ originates from Greek, and literally translates into the love of life or living things. The idea is that by bringing elements of biophilic design into our homes, we will feel happier, more relaxed, and more at one with nature.

How to bring biophilic design into your home

There are plenty of realistic ways to use the principles of biophilic design in the home. And you don’t need to spend a small fortune to do it either. From natural colour schemes to organic materials (and of course, houseplants galore!). We’ll show you how to bring nature to every aspect of your interior design. Whether you’re a renter or a homeowner, we can help you cultivate your very own indoor garden.

1. Bring the outdoors in with botanical prints

Evoke the calming feeling of being outdoors with beautiful nature-inspired prints and patterns. Decorate your room with paintings of stunning landscapes or flower displays. Create a statement wall with a breath-taking mural, such as the Cranberry Floral or Wisteria Garden matt murals by Laura Ashley. If a mural isn’t your thing, browse our wallpaper in a variety of nature-inspired prints, from jungle-themed to floral. Don’t forget the soft furnishings too, from cushions to lampshades – you can sprinkle a touch of nature all around your room.

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2. Create your own living wall

Living walls have grown (pun intended) in popularity the past few years. Also known as green walls, these gorgeous vertical gardens can totally transform the look of a room. If you’re looking to make a big style statement in your home, then an indoor living wall is just for you.

Did you know?

A green wall can act as a natural sound proofer, helping to block out noise from the room next door.

Studies suggest that having a living wall indoors can help to lower stress levels and increase creativity. If you work from home, why not plant one in your home office for a productivity boost? Plus, they would make an impressive backdrop for your video calls!

Best plants for indoor living walls

Or, if you’d prefer not to use real plants, then you can achieve the same look by sticking down artificial plants too.

How to plant a mini vertical garden

Watch our video guide below to find out how to do it yourself…

3. Surround yourself with houseplants

There is no such thing as too many houseplants. And don’t trust anyone who tries to tell you otherwise. One sure fire way of bringing more nature into your home is to fill it with a variety of charming houseplants. Don’t hold back, no room is off bounds.

Not all indoor plants thrive in the same conditions, some need lots of sun, some prefer shade, others need constant watering, others stay refreshed with just a drop every now and again. There truly is a type of houseplant for every room in the house. From air purifying peace lilies to prickly cacti – browse our selection of the best houseplants for your home.

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4. Houseplant display ideas

Beginning to run out of floor space? If you’re looking for new and creative ways of displaying your indoor houseplants, then you’ve come to the right place. Check out our five houseplant ideas for creating a beautiful botanical display.

Top tip

Group your plants together based on their needs. Separate them based on how much sun, shade, and water they need – also think about the sort of temperature each of your plants thrive better in. Trust us, this will make your life so much easier when it comes to caring for your indoor plants.

  • Use a selection of pots and containers in different styles and colours. Try to not choose the same pot style and colour for every houseplant you have. Different plants look better with different types of pots – a dotty begonia stands out nicely in a colourful ceramic pot, whereas a parlour palm suits a natural rattan or wicker basket.
  • Group houseplants of varying sizes together. This will help your plant display to look less uniform and more organic. Place large houseplants next to smaller and medium sized ones to create an attractive bundle of greenery. We suggest going for an odd number too, you can create a better cluster of plants if they’re in groups of three or five.

Did you know?

Houseplants can form their own mini biome. Grouping them together doesn’t only look stylish, but it can help your houseplants to grow better than if they were placed alone. For example, a group of humidity loving plants will create a pocket of moisture to help each other thrive.

  • Hang your plants from the ceiling. Create a stunning feature in your home by hanging your plants high. You can dangle plants from the ceiling by drilling a hole and using a spring toggle, or you could attach a rail to your ceiling and hang plenty of pots. If you’re renting or would just rather not drill any holes – you can use adhesive hooks to hang small plants from your ceiling or the top of your wall.
  • Use an old ladder or step stool. If you’ve got a wooden ladder or step stool hanging about, why not upcycle it into a creative plant display? You could paint your ladder green or any colour you fancy to create a real statement in the home.
  • Display plants on shelves. Shelves aren’t just for books. Create your own take on a vertical garden and put up a few shelves full of your favourite plants. A trailing plant will look wonderful dangling off a shelf, like a string-of-pearls, mistletoe cactus, or trailing ivy.
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5. Bring in more organic materials

Enhance your wellbeing and your affinity to nature by bringing organic materials into your home. Sustainability is becoming more and more prevalent in our lives, and if there are ways of creating an eco-friendlier home, then we’re totally here for it. Start to move away from plastic and other synthetic materials and move closer towards wood, bamboo, rattan, and natural stone.

Consider the sort of chemicals you’re using in your home too. We all use paint in our homes, it’s a great way of refreshing our décor. However, a lot of paints on the market contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which are released into the air. We’re increasing our range of low-VOC paints and leading the way in creating a more environmentally friendly home. Find out more about VOCs in paint.

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6. Let the sunlight stream in

Don’t leave your home in the dark. An easy way of bringing more nature indoors is letting more daylight into the home. Something as simple as washing your windows regularly can help to brighten your home. Switch heavy curtains in your living areas for a sheer voile or daylight roller blind. Want to make your bathroom feel brighter but worried about privacy? Cover your bathroom window with static cling window film. It’s easy to apply and you can choose from a selection of attractive styles. Another way of increasing natural light in your home is by adding more mirrors and reflective surfaces. Doing so will help to bounce light around the room and make the space appear bigger. Your houseplants will thank you for it too!

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7. Use a nature-inspired colour palette

Colour is an incredibly powerful tool. The shades we use in our home can influence our mood and wellbeing. When creating a biophilic home, look to Mother Nature for colour inspiration. From deep green hues found in forests, to shades of aquamarine found in the ocean. Nature-inspired colours can conjure feelings of serenity and peacefulness - which is exactly how we want to feel when we’ve arrived home after a long day at work.

Pinterest has seen searches for green paint rise by 70% and blue paint rise by 10%, as well as searches for taupe kitchens rise by 50%. Remember, paint isn’t the only way of adding colour – you can incorporate nature-inspired colours using furniture, cushions, curtains, and other soft furnishings.

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