Step into a world where nature and design unite, as we explore the captivating concept of biophilic design. In this article, we'll show you how to combine the beauty of the outdoors with your indoor living spaces. We'll discover how including plants, natural textures, and elements inspired by nature can transform your home into a more relaxing and inviting place. Join us as we learn about the art of biophilic design, which is all about making your home a peaceful and refreshing retreat by bringing the outdoors in.

Plants in a room

What is biophilic design?

Biophilic means nature-loving. Biophilic design is a type of design that connects us more to nature, plants, and greenery. When used in interior design it can often mean lots of indoor plants, open spaces with direct access to nature, use of natural materials like wood and stone, etc. Biophilic design can also be expressed through live plant walls, indoor fountains, and window sill gardens. The more natural elements you bring indoors, the more the design will be biophilic.

The benefits of biophilic design

As a species, we have inherited a desire to be outdoors and connect with nature. It makes us feel better to feel the fresh air, see green plants, hear natural water running, or hear birds chirping. The modern lifestyle of cities, concrete streets, and brick houses does not support the innate craving to be one with nature, therefore biophilic design is just what we might need.

There are proven benefits of spending time in nature that include lowered blood pressure and stress levels as well as increased self-esteem and improved mood. When creating a nature-like environment indoors, we can bring some of the benefits we can experience outdoors into the house.

More fresh air

Plants generate oxygen. And if you surround yourself indoors with lots of plants, you will get extra oxygen pumped straight into your living space. Fresh air helps to raise serotonin (one of the happy hormones) levels in the brain, so biophilic design and lots of plants can help to improve your overall happiness state.

More calmness

Nature puts us at ease, and so does nature that we have brought indoors. Whether it is a scoop of houseplants, indoor fountains, or the soundtrack of birds chirping. By adding biophilic design elements to your home you will achieve a zen state almost as if you are outdoors.

More productivity

When you feel calm and your brain is full of fresh oxygen, it just makes sense that productivity goes up as well. There are some studies that report that having house plants in the office increases the productivity of employees by 15%. It is a big enough number to try it out yourself!

Plants in home

The Principles of Biophilic Design

There are different ways to express the biophilic design. One – you can create a space that has direct interaction with natural elements – sun, water, sand, plants, weather, etc. Those would be places that melt together outdoors with indoors. Or two, you can go for an indoor space designed to be biophilic. That would include using natural materials and colors, hanging pictures with nature views, using wallpaper, adding house plants, etc.

Option nr. 1 – direct interaction with natural elements

This is a place that starts with architectural design. This type of biophilic design makes you forget that you might be indoors. There are plants everywhere, including big trees. Some of the building’s structure might even be part of a tree or use shapes and materials that would resemble a real-life tree. Some of the structures or rooms might even be under the bare sky. There might be a small water stream running through the building and maybe even accompanied by some fish.

This kind of biophilic building and room design will be extravagant and breath-taking. Something to explore for a relaxation room or indoor garden.

Option nr. 2 – integrating biophilic design into modern housing

It might not be an option for you to rebuild the house to incorporate a room that has very direct interaction with natural elements as in the example in the previous paragraph. So, the next best thing is to decorate your existing space using biophilic design elements. Let’s see how to do that!


Natural Light

Let in as much natural light as you can. Leave your windows uncovered during the day. Even the sheer day curtains block light, and you get less of the natural sunbeams. Of course, the bigger windows you have the more natural light will come in. But even if you have windows on the smaller side, no worries! Just leave them as bare as possible during day time and you will get that extra natural light in.

Fresh Air Flow

Biophilic design is not just about the decor, it is an experience. And part of the experience is the fresh air flow – the nice breeze from the window or well-set-up indoor ventilation system. So, when possible open the window, ventilate the room, and enjoy the fresh air.


If you are decorating in a biophilic design, plants are mandatory. What kind of plants to get is up to you. You can choose to raid the houseplant section at your local home goods store or order some plants online. If possible add different plants of different sizes. Perfect for biophilic design are tall plants that look like indoor trees. Smaller plants are great for piling up on shelves or other flat surfaces.

Tall house plants

There are several options to choose from if you want a tall house plant. Areca palm is one of them. Areca palm will grow well in colder room temperatures as well as will thrive in low light. Bird of Paradise plant has beautiful big green leaves and will supplement your home interior greatly. All it needs is some sunlight and a little bit of humid air.

Another great addition to give your home a little bit of a jungle feel is the Monstera. It has big, green leaves and it can take up quite the space. This plant is very patient and doesn’t require any extra treatment aside from the correct watering regimen.

And of course, the classic – fiddle-leaf fig tree. It might be a little bit more demanding compared to other house plants, but it is all worth it since it can stretch up to the ceiling if it has enough good sunlight.

Many plants

Medium-sized houseplants

If you are not a seasoned plant keeper, there is one plant that’s perfect for you. And it is a snake plant. Snake plants can withstand dry spells as well as overwatering, so they will stay alive no matter what you do. There are a few kinds of snake plants. Some can be small, but some can grow even to 3 feet.

Jade plant is another great option. It is a succulent so it has thick, juicy leaves. Don’t overwater it and it will thrive!

Small houseplants

And to bring it all together, here are a few ideas for small houseplants to hide on bookshelves and tiny nooks. Aloe can come in different sizes, but it can also be quite small. As a succulent, it can withstand rare watering. Another option is African Violets. They bloom violet flowers all year round and can bring some colors (besides green) into the room. Echeveria is another succulent that will look superb. Echeveria’s leaves are arranged in a rosette that gives the plant a distinct look.

Plant wall

Nothing will give your room a bigger biophilic design feel than a plant wall. To create a plant wall you need to find a well-lit spot in your space. Then decide on what kind of plant wall you will create – with pockets or with planters. There are also available starter kits to make the creation of the first plant wall easier. Next, you want to choose plants that not only look good together but also can grow together. If you are still not feeling confident, feel free to contact a local florist or company that specifically creates vertical plant walls.

My plants

Grow herbs

Similar to plants, extend your plant collection into a small indoor garden. Have a few planters on the kitchen countertop or window sill and grow some herbs there! It will not only be beneficial for gastronomic joys, but it will also look and smell great.

Natural Patterns and Forms

There are lots of patterns happening in nature. The honeycomb pattern is one of the most popular that has already paved its way into interior design. You can also explore the leaf veining pattern or Fibonacci spiral.

When talking about forms, look for rounded but irregular shapes. Think of lakes from a bird’s view or pebbles. Other natural shapes can be an option – whatever you can find in nature, will perfectly go with biophilic design.

Natural materials

When you are choosing furniture, functional items, or even wall decor, opt for natural materials like wood and stone. Perfect if you can get the real deal, but if not, a mimic of natural materials can also add to the look and feel.

Nature inspired decor

To keep the biophilic trend going, be sure to explore decor pieces that are nature-inspired. For example, here are a few wallpaper patterns that would look great with a biophilic design: Fern Herbarium, Layered Tropics, and Exotic Greenery. Also, remember to stick to the green, brown, gray, and sand color theme – colors that are associated with being in nature. You can also use real items from nature as decor, for example, a cool-looking branch.


Incorporating biophilic design into your home is not just a trend; it's a transformative lifestyle choice. It's clear that this approach offers far more than just aesthetic appeal. It's about reconnecting with nature in the midst of our modern lives, fostering a sense of tranquility and well-being, and creating spaces that nurture our physical and mental health.

November 29, 2023