A natural tonic

 

There’s a real buzz about ‘biophilic design’ at the moment - and the huge benefits of connecting buildings with nature. I’ve been reading about this a lot and looking at our own home and shop with a fresh pair of eyes. As a business that cherishes all things natural, it’s something that’s very close to our hearts.

 

Biophlia means a love of nature. And, it’s believed that by incorporating more elements of nature into our buildings we can reduce stress, blood pressure and heart rates, and boost our general sense of well being. It’s also meant to increase our creativity and productivity. A lot of online content is written for an architectural or design perspective and there are some key elements that we can use to ‘go biophilic’ too. Some of the main principles centre around improved air quality and lighting; harnessing views; bring the outside in and using natural materials.


 

It would seem that simply throwing open a window can do much to improve health and mood; something we’re a little more reluctant to do once the central heating goes on. But, it’s worth the close blast, as it gets rid of a build up of indoor pollutants. Natural light is also important; it’s known to help our mood and boost energy levels. So large windows and skylights – affording views of nature where possible – are all beneficial. To bring nature in, the humble houseplant can be a really good start; they’d rather fallen out of fashion over recent years, but now even the Spider Plant is making a come-back! Indoor plants provide a whole host of benefits, from removing VOC’s and improving air quality, to reducing stress levels. Apparently, some of the easiest to look after are the succulent Jade Plant, Aloe Vera and the Snake Plant.


Embracing natural materials is probably the easiest aspect of biophilic design to achieve. The huge backlash to plastic has helped steer this way of thinking and many of us are now actively seeking natural alternatives to manmade materials – from drinking straws to structural elements in our homes. Wood and stone are two of the most popular materials, each providing something completely authentic.We have always loved the natural colour and texture that our own designs bring to the home; a majestic limestone, with a scattering of fossils; the warm honey-toned grain of a timber floor; a gnarly-on-the-outside-and-smooth-on-the-inside petrified wood stone basin. These are the things that we ‘re passionate about and it’s wonderful to see them being appreciated by so many more people.

 

If we take care of nature, it takes care of us – and even the smallest changes can have an impact. I’m certainly looking forward to finding out more about this happy growing movement – and to reaping its rewards.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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