Biophilia: Incorporating Healthy, Natural Concepts Into Your Design

BiophiliaFrom neighborhood grocery stores to local nurseries and your own backyard, plants bring comfort and health. They bring sensory gifts that you may miss or take for granted in your spinning days’ activities. The physical and spiritual value of plants is part of human DNA — home spaces, workplaces and anywhere else, the nature of plants keeps people grounded.

Think of the times you have spent in a medical office gazing at an aquarium, enjoying large rubber plants or bamboo palms. Besides the usual soothing visuals, plants provide oxygen and compensate for negative atmospheric elements. This is biophilia — the concept of merging total aspects of the environment for greater comfort and health.

BiophiliaInterior designers, architects and planners are more frequently joining hands with nurseries and fabricators to bring new dimensions to the concept of biophilia. In the words of Julie Justiniao, landscape nursery and greenhouse management professional for Bremerton City Nursery, “Greenify your inside.”

Interior designer Nancy Finneson believes people are not merely “survivors but flourishers.”

Combining inside with outside, Finneson promotes “natural light” rather than artificial. She uses sensor- based systems with remote controls to open and close windows. Her favorite, NanaWall sliding door systems, make it easy to bring outside to meet inside.

Layers of live-edge slabs (Photo courtesy Connie LaMont)

Bathrooms and kitchens are transformed when plants and natural materials come into the area. Rock-textured floors and walls tiled with imprints of shells, ferns or trailing plants make biopilia complete. For larger living areas, materials like cork, redwood shingles, sand-blasted paneling and natural oak make nothing impossible for the interior designer. Using natural light, a love of plants and connection to the outdoors, you can create your own healthy home for your family.

Make your most-used room, the kitchen, your sunniest space, capitalizing on natural light throughout the year. Plants and humans both thrive in sunlight. With all the benefits of vitamin D, like improved mental health and warding off seasonal depression, it’s easy to see why the kitchen will be your family’s favorite room. The simple act of tending plants can be enough to enhance your mood.

BiophiliaDesigner Connie Lamont loves the concept of vertical planting, such as a trellis for outside applications to provide privacy and small containers attached to walls. She also is fond of the natural textures for wallpaper, chair seats and more. Wood-edge slabs are another one of her techniques for combining nature and lifestyle. Mantels, tabletops, benches and shelving also bring a special experience into interiors.

Biophila concepts take on so many forms, it ‘s hard to note them all. Finneson incorporated this idea into her treatment of a “boathouse” — who would have thought?

BiophiliaThe benefits of greenery are boundless. It’s important to create not only an inviting environment for one of the busiest rooms in your home, but a healthy one.

The plants help purify the air by absorbing toxins and increasing humidity, creating healthier oxygen levels.

Justiniao took biophilia into locations for special-needs individuals and even into a pet store selling snakes. Bottom line, there is no limit or scope to where plants can make a difference in people’s daily lives and environment.