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Biophilic design: how to bring nature into our interiors?

What is biophilic design?

The biophilic design celebrates nature and integrates it into the urban environment and interior spaces. Biophilic design isn’t just about surrounding yourself with vegetation, it’s also about adding all the references to nature.

Stephen Kellert, one of the pioneers of biophilic design, lists 14 principles to apply. Biophilic design is a holistic concept, it is not just an isolated addition. The elements must be complementary and the contacts with nature should be repeated.

The 14 principles are :

Direct experiences with nature

  • Direct light
  • The water
  • Fire
  • Plants
  • The weather
  • The air
  • Animals

Indirect experiences with nature:

  • Images and representations of nature
  • Natural materials
  • Natural forms
  • The sounds
  • The smells of nature

Of course, it is not easy to apply the 14 principles of biophilic design at home. Nonetheless, getting close to it will bring you a lot of benefits.

What are the benefits when it is applied?


It has been shown that companies that apply biophilic design have more productive teams and less absent employees for reasons developed later in this article.

Healthcare establishments

Hospital or clinic stays are shortened and drug treatments are less intense.


Retail spaces that implement the principles of biophilic design have up to 25% more sales. Customers feel more comfortable and take more of their time.


Children learn up to 20% more knowledge when they are surrounded by nature.

Real Estate

Buildings that are healthy and apply the biophilic design are sold for a higher price than those that do not.

Without forgetting that the biophilic design brings a certain aesthetic to the places, the cities are naturally more beautiful.

The materials used are non-toxic to the environment and the plants purify the air.

How to apply the principles of biophilic design concretely in our modern interiors?

    1. Let in natural light, avoid filtering it with curtains. Natural light influences human beings through the changing light of the seasons, natural light contributes to the well-being.

    Avoid making blind rooms (without windows), everyday places. Perhaps you have already experienced a meeting in a room with no window or natural light, you probably paid less interest and attention to the topic. The eye tries to escape and searches for natural light.

  1. The air quality is essential for a comfortable place: a good temperature, a good ventilation and a humidity level are necessary.

Have you ever had the experience of an office where the ventilation froze you? Or a house where the heaters weren’t heating the rooms evenly? It quickly becomes unpleasant.


  1. Water is an element of nature which is difficult to add in a professional space or in a private home. However, aquariums, fountains and other water walls have very relaxing properties.


  1. Plants and flowers should be in abundance and in every space. It is necessary to multiply the species, the shapes and the colours to obtain the best effect.

5. There are many studies on the benefits of the relation animals- human beings. With children and with the elderly, the impact is even more positive. The stress decreases and the subjects of the studies showed lasting joy.

  1. Observing the weather every day allows the mind to stay grounded in everyday life and allows the body to be in tune with the seasons.
  1. Fire brings movement, if you are lucky enough to have a fireplace, use it if you are allowed to.
  1. Add representations of nature to your daily life. Whether painting, poster, sculpture, video, phone wallpaper, pillow covers or your linens, you can add patterns and symbols representing nature.
coussins verts et motifs végétaux
  1. In line with the previous recommendations, the materials to be favoured are those from nature, such as wood, stone, slate, leather, natural fibers. Man-made synthetic materials have no place in biophilic design.


  1. Both in structures and in furniture, biophilic geometry takes up natural forms.


11. Floral, woody and fruity room scents help to integrate nature into interiors. Alternate scents throughout the seasons.

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