Why biophilia benefits us in our homes
The recent pandemic has made all of us take stock of how and where we spend our time leading to a new appreciation for the marvel that is the natural world. Simple pleasures such as spending time in the garden, strolls in the countryside, and enjoying those amazing recent sunrises are sure to brighten the mood. Obviously no-one would choose to live through the recent trauma of Covid but if nothing else, it has brought us all a chance to reset and re-evaluate how we see the world and to consider our place in it.
I’m delighted to say that I have been featured in this month’s edition of Bucks Living Magazine with a fabulous 3 page spread about Juliette O Designs titled ‘At One with Nature’. The article comments on how my connection to nature inspires my design and really it is the whole ethos behind my business and something I return to for inspiration and reassurance time and again.
In November, Decorex held a host of talks in their Decorex Virtual event including ‘Back To Nature Is The Future’ which was both hugely interesting and informative. The talk focused on how our environments shape who we are, from our sense of wellbeing to our behaviours and productivity and it is this connection between nature and our living environment that I found particularly fascinating.
The panellists; Karen Haller, Olga Turner and Nicola Keenan discussed why designing with nature in mind is not only good for us, but good for the planet too. In the discussion they explored why rekindling our connection to nature is paramount, how our urban environments can adapt and what biophilic design truly means.
Biophilia is a love of nature and focuses on human's innate affinity to nature and natural processes. The name was coined by Harvard naturalist Dr Edward O Wilson and suggests that we all have a genetic connection to the natural world. Biophilia is more than just a philosophy—biophilic design has been found to support cognitive function, physical health, and psychological well-being.
We all know about the basics of what nature provides us with such as food and water (as well as the absorption of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases) but evidence is also mounting about the benefits of a nature-rich environment to our health and mental wellbeing. Stress is quickly relieved on exposure to nature and time spent in green spaces significantly reduces our blood pressure, heart rate and the stress hormone cortisol. Levels of endorphins and dopamine production are also increased which promotes our feelings of happiness and wellbeing, it is no wonder then that time outside and fresh air is so often prescribed to us by health professionals.
Biophilic features in our homes
It is really of no surprise that the renewed popularity of biophilic design has translated into our interiors more than ever in the form of calming natural, natural materials and natural textures.
Translating biophilic features into our homes can be as simple as capitalising on windows and skylights (to get an outside view and make the most of any natural light), opening doors and windows for some fresh air and bringing some vegetation inside.
House plants are a must (see Beards & Daisies for a good selection) as they not only increase the feel-good factor by having some greenery about, but many will also help purify the air we breathe.
Changing the wall colours with a natural palette (see my blog on Dulux’s colour for 2021 ‘Brave Ground’ ) and introducing home accessories with natural colours and patterns on them can represent a symbolic connection to nature and is right on trend as we move into 2021.
To see the full collection of my nature inspired homewares go to The Collections