Upgrade your small space with biophilia designs
If you live in a built-up area, luscious greenery and colourful blooms may not be part of the landscape apart from a few plants growing around. You may not have parks in your neighborhood and untouched wilderness is a distant dream. And if your family is large you may lack space for potted plants, and pets too. However to fulfill the desire to have some natural ecosystem in your surroundings you can incorporate some biophilic designs no matter how small. You’d have to make some adjustments in your living space for this, though.
Now that the pandemic restrictions are easing off, you can’t wait for the freedom to be outside. You’re eager to walk down the beach, to feel the sand and sunlight on your skin. You long to hear the waves beat against the shores and feel the cool calming wind on the body. You’re bursting with excitement to be able to smell and feel the freshness of nature as the fragrance of the flowers welcomes you back. You’d want to lie down beneath the trees and peep at the sky behind the foliage, right?
All these you can bring indoors when you make some tweakings to your décor. This is the premise of the biophilic construction where our love for nature is present in our homes.
Right from ancient times, human beings have been bringing nature home. We’ve been having dogs and cats around us, and some of us keep exotic and wild animals as pets. Though our roofs are no longer made with thatch where we’d see the stars twinkling and the moon smiling down at us when drifting off to sleep, we can have a semblance of nature within our houses when we include items of the natural world in our living spaces, in our indoors and outdoors décor. According to Edward Wilson, the author of the book Biophilia, we are genetically wired to be attracted to the natural world. This connection plays emphasis on the fact that we have always depended on the outside world to stay alive.
Erich Fromm (1900-1980) was the first to define biophilia as love for living systems. Our desire for nature intensified in the 1960s and evolved into a global movement. In past eras, our ancestors though primitive in their ways, were able to associate flowers with fruiting and food. Though we are more sophisticated, we have become ignorant of simple life knowledge like the present generation who thinks of food when they see grocery stores, not the blooming of plants. This estrangement from natural the world has been recognized as the root of health anomalies like stress, attention deficiency and uneasiness.
Here are the features to make your home more like nature.
Having plants whether living or preserved is the simplest way to bring indoors the natural outdoors. However it is more beneficial to have living plants rather than preserved ones. The benefits of live plants are numerous. They help clarify the air indoors of toxins.
Go for plants that do not need high maintenance. You’d research for the ones that are common to the climate of your location. Plants like the dragon tree, aloe vera, peace lily, snake plant and cactus plant would do.
They can withstand extreme conditions with minimal care. For the pots use containers made of natural or green materials like wood, clay and glass. If the space for the plant is the window sill, you can place one or two potted plants there rather than none at all. You can increase the number of foliage indoors by hanging potted vegetation from the ceilings. Strategically place the flora elements where they can receive some sunlight around the house.
It would be quite beautiful if you interspersed hanging plants with chandeliers, wouldn’t it? A plant in front of the bulb can dim the light for you to nod off to sleep. Having potted plants is a greener and cheaper alternative than buying flowers for the house.
You can paint your walls green – the colour of nature. Green in any shade has been proven to be beneficial. There’s a study that found green reduces our heart rate. Green furnishings, paints, foliage can create a calming space that mimics the advantages of being outdoors. In a situation where wallpapers are all you need make use of the ones which depict green vegetation and nature. Artworks whether abstract or literal depicting scenes from nature are better. This choice of artworks and furnishings can enhance well-being. In making your space to be more natural, you should model the shapes of the interior décor and furnishing on the natural environment. You can have chairs curve and round like a tree truck.
These can evoke a positive reaction according to this article. In addition you can have bamboo cane for chairs and lounges, a mosaic of shells, stones, glass, tree trunks as stools for your outdoor area. In this greenery infused place kitchenware, dinnerware and sanitary wares festooned with natural scenes are preferred. Clothes racks, door knobs designed like a natural element are ideal. It is soothing to sleep on sheets that mimic the natural world. Bed sheets can be of earthly colours.
Aquariums where you’d keep your pet live fish, are an aesthetics that brings indoors a bit of the water habitat. In the US fishes are the third most popular pets after dogs and cats. And just like dogs and cats a recent study says having an aquarium can help to uplift the mood and to reduce blood pressure and heart rate. You can also enjoy the calming sound of water trickling in a fountain. There are table top water fountains which are low maintenance and affordable. Having water features is not just for the ambience and relaxing effects but also the negative ions of evaporation cleanses indoor air thereby improving the air quality.
You can tweak interior to get more light into your space. Move furniture away from doors and windows. If possible take off the blinds from apertures. This not only increases the amount of natural light coming in which helps the body in Vitamin D production. Also there would be better ventilation and fresh air can easily circulate in your space. By doing this you’re able to save some money as the amount spent on utilities like conditioned air is reduced. Letting in fresh air and more natural light conserves energy, improve sleep patterns, enhance better focus and productivity and guarantee happiness.
If you have space outdoor both in front and behind your house, plant flowers or you can place potted plants along the path. An advantage of biophilic designs is to have similar ambience within and outside the house so make the balcony a sit out area to host friends with furniture you can relax in. Just as you have hanging plants inside you can have some here. You can also grow some herbs and spices in pots too. Though this do not give the same benefits as untouched nature, it is better than without. You can have the walls covered with creepers this saves cost as there would be no need to apply a fresh coat of paint regularly. You can have a step rack for plants against the wall. A green outdoors can help relax the eyes away from screens, to enjoy the setting sun or the gathering clouds in the sky.
Integrating biophilic elements into your living place should not be an expensive venture but with a few changes within and outside the house you can upgrade the look and ambience of your home.