Turn Your Blues to Green with Biophilia!

You know that feeling when you’re sitting on the edge of a lake as the last bit of sun seems to melt into the water’s surface?  Or maybe it comes when you’re grilling on the deck and a cool spring breeze brings the evening alive with the scent of lavender?  You know the one, that feeling of peace that comes with a brief connection to nature.  Well, you don’t need a lake or a grill to make that moment happen, and it doesn’t have to be fleeting if you incorporate a little biophilic design into your home plan.

Biophilia is a term first made popular in the 1980s by Harvard biologist Edward Wilson, and it means the “love of living systems.”  Essentially biophilia involves an understanding that humans are born with a need to be in contact with nature and that by doing so, we sustain our health and our sense of well-being.  In current terms, biophilia has been adopted as a technique of interior design where the aim is to bring a sense of the natural environment into our indoor spaces.

While there is still much research needed on the effects of biophilic design, its implementation, particularly in business settings, already suggests that it increases morale, productivity, decreases stress, and promotes immune responses.  A study by the green consultancy firm Terrapin Bright Green, for example, suggests that, for businesses, biophilic design can save as much as $2,000 a year per employee that would be lost in productivity.

Because some of the basic principles of biophilia are to bring more plants into your home and to increase natural lighting, this design concept also offers the home decorator certain important benefits.  Plants in the home have proven to filter as much as 87% of environmental toxins from the air, and they also enhance mood and reduce stress levels.  The use of more natural lighting ties in to our circadian rhythms, which improves our nightly sleep cycles, resulting in overall better health.