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What is biophilic interior design?

What is biophilic interior design?

Ever heard the phrase, ‘bring the outdoors in’? Well, in the simplest terms that’s what biophilic interior design is all about!

The term biophilia refers to human beings’ tendency to seek closeness and connection with the natural world. In fact, the word biophilia itself translates to ‘a love of living things’.

In interior design the principles of biophilia are incorporated to combine this human desire to be close to nature with modern build environments.


The core elements of biophilic interior design

The natural environment is at the centre of biophilic interior design. This isn’t just limited to indoor plants, though they can be a great place to start.

For a biophilic space, you want to keep all aspects of nature in mind. This can include but is certainly not limited to elements such as:

  • Natural materials
  • Sunlight
  • Airflow
  • Water
  • Landscape
  • Plants
  • Earthy colours
  • Animals
  • Natural lights
  • Outdoor views


Biophilic design benefits

Not only does biophilic design look excellent, but it also has a range of benefits in any space.

Incorporate biophilic principles to enjoy:

Improved air quality: Having live plants in your home can improve the air quality of your space. This is because plants clean the air through the process of photosynthesis. That is, they consume the carbon dioxide we exhale and convert it to oxygen for us to breathe.

Increased creativity: With the addition of natural light, watery and/or greenery in your space you can expect to feel more creative and productive. Perfect for working from home or for simply optimising the way you live.

Reduced stress: Biophilic environments have been found to have a physiological impact that can reduce stress and anxiety symptoms. Restorative effects after being exposed to biophilic elements include lowered heart rate and blood pressure.

Higher levels of happiness: As well as improving mental wellbeing, being around natural environment features in your home can contribute to increased feelings of happiness and life satisfaction.


Where to start to create your biophilic space
If biophilic interior design sounds appealing to you, look to add pieces derived from nature.

Here are a few ideas to inspire you to incorporate biophilia in your home:

Maximise natural light where possible: Add skylights and windows to embrace natural light throughout your home. Plus, you’ll save on energy for lighting.

Focus on green space: Add indoor plants around your home while also embracing the opportunity to create vistas of outdoor greenery too.

Seek the sound of water: Water features can add the soothing sound of water to your home environment.

Use natural materials: When it comes to your furnishings, natural materials can contribute to your use of biophilic interior design. Think wooden tables, rattan pieces and stone features.

Take cues from nature: The colours green and blue, imperfect and rounded shapes, natural textures — look for elements that are inspired by the great outdoors.


Create a tranquil, uplifting space that borrows from nature with a biophilic approach to your home’s interior design.

Our myHAVEN team of interior designers can help you do just that during the Fairhaven design and build process, so you can immerse yourself in the benefits of biophilic design in your very own home.