Body soul and gardening - biophilia for well-being

Biophilic design, a popular interior trend that responds to our innate need to be close to the natural world, is said to create a calmer environment and generally make us happier and more productive.  As gardeners, we well know the benefits of being in the great outdoors, but why not extend this by incorporating elements of nature into our homes?

Using natural colour schemes with soothing shades of green, such as sage, moss and pea, is very on trend at the moment – research has even found that just looking at green shades can reduce our heart rate.  Other natural shades favoured by biophilic design include stone, clay and terracotta.  Botanical murals, floral wallpaper and nature-themed art also brings the outside in.  The same goes for using natural materials such as wood, stone marble and sisal, with textile designers taking inspiration from forest floors and natural rock patterns.

Large quantities of houseplants are a must.  As well as quantity, using a wide range of plants of different varieties, sizes and heights, from large mature palms and trees to tiny cacti, will help reproduce the feeling of how plants grow in nature.  Creating different levels with hanging baskets and shelving for plants to trail down adds naturalism.

Lots of natural light is also key to biophilia, so open the curtains wide, and move chairs, sofas and tables right up to windows and doors overlooking the garden to maximise the light and the views of trees and lawns.