Which interior design trend boosts wellbeing, and benefits productivity and creativity?

Biophilic design isn’t just the interior trend of the moment – it’s a much needed design movement. Google shows that US searches for biophilic design over recent years seemed to peak sharply around the beginning of pandemic lockdowns.

The stress of the pandemic spotlighted the importance of good mental and physical wellbeing while living and working indoors or returning to the office. It’s easy to understand why seeking comfort through a connection with nature resonates with people. And this form of comfort has a name: biophilia.

Interior design brand Hovia discusses the vital benefits of biophilia, and its customers’ preference for nature-inspired wallpapers.

What is biophilic design?
It’s an architectural and interior design strategy based on the idea of biophilia. Simply bringing plant life into an indoor office space can boost wellbeing by 47 per cent, creativity by 45 per cent and productivity by 38 per cent.

But biophilic design isn’t limited to plants, and the benefits don’t stop there. In his book ‘Design a Healthy Home’, biophilic design expert Oliver Heath breaks down the three core principles of the approach:

1. Nature in the space
Bringing real forms of nature and ways to connect to natural systems into your space.

2. Natural analogues
Including references to nature, taking inspiration from its forms, shapes, colors, patterns and textures, and even the way technology can copy them.

3. Nature of the space
Mimicking the spatial qualities of natural environments to enhance or evoke human responses. This could be as simple as creating safe spaces for retreat or configuring your space to allow for longer sight lines.

Benefits of biophilic design
And how to achieve them in a home or office space:

Helping out our circadian rhythms and happiness
Make the most of the day by letting sunlight flood in as much as possible. In the office, turn off florescent lights and let day light in through windows. Living with natural light positively affects our circadian rhythm, productivity, mood, and sleep.

Reducing our cortisol levels, allowing better recovery from stress
The cognitive benefits of being in nature are well known and well-studied. You can also add elements that remind you of nature to your indoor space to get the same benefits, including improved focus, lower stress, better mood, and reduced risk of psychiatric disorders.

Improving your wellbeing and effectiveness at work
Research into workplace biophilic design shows that it makes us more creative, energised and productive. We’re also less likely to take sick days. In your office or home desk room, get a good view out the window, let in the daylight, and add plant life to naturally make the air more humid.

Better sleep, temperature regulation, and relaxation
Create total darkness in the bedroom while you sleep to aid your body clock with shutters or blackout curtains. Use a quiet fan and a wool duvet to prevent overheating at night, and create a bedtime ritual – like listening to nature sounds and going to bed at the same time each night.

The role of wallpaper
The team behind wallpaper brand and design studio Hovia has always been interested in biophilic design, and they’ve observed how it plays a part in their customers’ choices.

In a recent press release on nature’s effect on mental health, Hovia referenced studies that show viewing photos of nature can improve peoples’ moods and make it easier to recover from stress.

In line with the core principles of biophilic design, Hovia often encourages customers to pair their nature-inspired wallpaper with potted plants, raw materials, soft furniture shapes, good lighting and other natural analogues via their styling advice and lifestyle product shots.

With a few tweaks and additions to their interior design and decor, anyone can create a biophilic space – where they will be positively impacted by natural features in their home or office.

For a list of the sources used in this article, please contact the editor.

Hovia is a design brand, dedicated to the art of decorating. It enriches the spaces where people live, work, and play, by providing modern wallpaper designs.