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The Marriage of Architecture and Nature: Biophilic Design Trends


 Architecture and Nature: Biophilic Design Trends

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic put the biophilic movement into overdrive, homeowners were looking for ways to more effectively get in touch with nature through their home design. Through the use of natural materials and design principles, homeowners can help reduce stress, improve cognitive function, and promote physical and mental health. While there are many ways to bring a touch of nature to home design, there are a few prevailing concepts that stand tall above the rest.


Keep reading as we explore some of the most powerful biophilic design trends in modern architecture!


Exposed Wood

 Architecture and Nature: Biophilic Design Trends

There is no material that blends the outdoors and indoors quite as seamlessly as wood. A staple product for framing and siding, wood is equally at home as an interior accent. Whether it be thermally modified wood for creating an accent wall, exposed wooden ceiling beams, or solid hardwood floors, wood should play a critical role in homes seeking to capture the biophilic style. 


Interior Plants

Interior plants are a quick and effective way to bring a touch of nature inside. Not only do they provide an element of visual intrigue, but they can help purify the air of the home. However, modern biophilic designs are taking it a step further than sticking a vase of flowers on the kitchen table and a monstera plant in the corner.


Living walls are an increasingly popular option in biophilic interiors. They give homeowners vertical garden space in the kitchen, offering easy access to herbs and salad ingredients. 


Rooftop Decks

One key tenet of the biophilic design principle is finding ways to effectively blend interior and exterior areas of the property. For those living in areas where adjacent lawn space is at a premium, rooftop decks have seen an explosion in popularity.


There are several ways to construct a rooftop deck. However, when doing so, it is critical to ensure that adequate roof deck tiles are used to accommodate concentrated foot traffic while promoting drainage, and a low-profile deck railing is used to secure the perimeter without obstructing views. 


For those looking more toward the living roof concept, there are some additional considerations to keep in mind. “Proper insulation and ventilation are crucial components. Green roofs, for example, not only absorb rainwater and provide insulation but also introduce a layer of nature into an otherwise overlooked space."- Jeff Guthrie, Prescott Roofing Co.


Rustic Cabinetry and Hardware

Cabinetry and hardware can create the perfect accents that tie the entire biophilic design together. Wood cabinetry is a staple, with many homeowners now choosing rustic stains for a more natural appearance over painted cabinets. Geometric drawer pulls and knobs made of black metal can also give a more rustic appearance than a more “finished” product such as stainless steel.


Abundant Natural Light

Natural light flow is a biophilic trend that is taking hold in every corner of modern construction. Buildings are being designed with increased window area and open interiors to allow light to reach all corners of the space.


Not only does this biophilic principle help to reduce artificial light use and energy consumption, but it also creates a more positive and inviting ambience that can help building occupants feel at one with nature. 


Sliding Pocket Doors

 Architecture and Nature: Biophilic Design Trends

Sliding pocket doors are a great way to seamlessly transition between interior and exterior spaces. Rather than having a traditional hinged door that needs to be propped open, sliding pocket doors can be tucked away to create truly transitional interior/exterior spaces. This makes them a great option for connecting living rooms to patios and kitchens to decks. 


Nature-Inspired Lighting

In addition to the all-important natural light flow, there are ways to add biophilic touches to the artificial lighting in a building. It is becoming increasingly trendy to use lights that mimic leaves, branches, snowflakes, and other types of outdoor elements. For those with traditional lights, wicker shades are a great way to add some biophilic charm to the presentation. 


Terrific Textures

Texture is a premier means of capturing the uneven terrain of a scenic landscape. Shiplap bathroom walls are a trending concept in this regard, helping create a serene Shangri-la in the bathroom. Engineered stone facades are another powerful way to add texture to accent walls or fireplace surrounds. 


Wallpapers and Earthy Colors

There is a major movement to remove the “tacky” connotation that has followed wallpaper over the last couple of decades. Modern homeowners are looking for ways to incorporate wallpapers with geometric shapes and natural motifs as part of their biophilic designs. For those who don’t want to go with wallpaper, calming colors such as ocean blue, forest green, and warm terracotta can help provide a similar effect.


Connect to Nature With These Biophilic Design Trends

The biophilic design principle has gained significant momentum in recent years as homeowners look for ways to connect with nature and improve their well-being. By exploring the trends listed above, you can get started on the right foot toward establishing the ideal biophilic concept for your property.


For more ideas on biophilic design and other contemporary trends in architecture, explore the resources at Structures Insider for the leading insights in the industry!

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