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The Biophilic Home Trend & How You Can Embrace It

Don't worry, Gentle Readers - it's not dirty! Bio- has Latin roots meaning "life" and -philia is Latin for "a deep fondness or love of". So biophilia means a love for life, and by extension, nature. In terms of biophilic home designs, this means two things: 1) creating safe, calming spaces that bring a touch of the outdoors inside, and 2) use of sustainable or green options for furnishings and décor.

Design Forecasters from the most prominent of labels are predicting this to be a BIG trend for 2022, but some of us are already there! After spending so much time indoors over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, people are craving a bit more nature and simplicity in their homes so we've seen this trend steadily on the rise for a couple of years. The bonus for this trend is that it actually increases physical wellness and mental performance! Vogue published an article on this trend last year that cites a couple of wellness studies, if you're into the science part. Read on for tips on how you can embrace this truly timeless design trend that's showing up with a brand new name!

Air & Light

Unless you're working on a new build or renovation, you probably don't have a lot of control over window placement; however, you can maximize the benefit of what you do have. Draw back drapery and raise blinds during the day. Allow as much sunlight as possible into your space. Bonus if you can spend time near those windows (you get some of that mood-boosting Vitamin D!).

If the weather is mild enough, open those windows and let some fresh air circulate through your space. Even when the weather is less than optimal, I've been known to open a few windows and turn on our attic fan for a few minutes just to freshen up the space. I know most homes don't have an attic fan so be sure to open windows on opposite sides of the house to let physics do the work of circulating the air for you. You can can even put a fan in front of an open window to help pull the fresh air inward. While those windows are open, listen for the hum of nature. Birds chirping, leaves rustling, cicadas chirping, and all the other beautiful sounds of Mother Nature bring a sense of calm and balance when we slow down long enough to hear them.

Add Plants

Adding live vegetation is one of the quickest and most inexpensive ways to embrace biophilic design and it matches no matter your style. Not only do you get beautiful décor, but you get the bonus of air purification to boost your overall wellness! Don't worry if you don't have plant experience - you can check out the most low maintenance house plants here. As a recent 'black thumb' convert, I can attest that successfully keeping a plant alive is a huge source of pride and booster of confidence!

Organic matter woven into elegant décor - you can even add organic matter in the form of fruit, jute, wicker, bamboo, cane, or other similar textiles and finishes.

After keeping some simple houseplants alive, try working up to a small herb garden. The use of fresh herbs can't be beat when it comes to cooking and their fragrance is divine! Having an herb garden promotes sustainability and is, of course, an eco-friendly green option (See what I did there?). Last spring was our first time to try herbs and it was an extremely rewarding experience. Here's our first outdoor harvest - we dried them and stored them for winter use.


And here's our fabulous lavender patch that we love clipping to bring indoors.


Paint it Green (or Blue!)

Studies have shown that colors have psychological effects on our moods and the colors we find in nature are the most calming we can choose. These colors actually cause our bodies to create chemicals that enhance our moods! (Isn't God wise?!) Green is associated with growth and prosperity and evokes a sense of of peace, security, and overall wellness. It helps create feelings of rest and renewal. Similarly, blue promotes calmness and spirituality. Always felt drawn to the water? There's science behind it! Using these nature-inspired colors in your paint and furnishing choices helps bring some of that calming feeling indoors (where we often spend the most time!) and captures the essence of the biophilic trend. I love the green wall color and plants in my Study! (And clearly #SirOtterton and #KingsleyGrantBeauregard do, too - our pups can usually be found snoozing here!)

Shop Vintage & Antique

Now this aspect is more about being eco-friendly than bringing the outdoors in (though for some of us, finding a fabulous vintage or antique piece is about as mood-boosting as it can get!). This timeless décor 'trend' is seeing a huge upswing partly due to the extensive shipping delays created by the pandemic and partly due to a desire to move away from a 'throw away culture' by creating lasting style and elegance. I love this quote from Vogue (it makes my literary heart swoon!) shared in Our French Lifestyle's February newsletter: "From a design standpoint, vintage is the protagonist of every room, it has the power to influence the storytelling." (Special thanks to my sweet friend, Lynell, for finding it and inspiring this post!)

You can shop some great vintage and antique furnishings on The Faded Belle's website. If you're into mid-century, I highly recommend you check out my fabulous friend Vanessa at KC Metro-Retro. This is their Charlie embracing the biophilic trend!

Wherever you are, there are likely antique shops, thrift stores, estate sales, and small businesses that you can visit for sustainable vintage and antique furnishings - make time to go visit them! You can also see our Facebook post on tips for fabulous finds on Facebook marketplace (I've made some of the best like-minded friends after meeting for a marketplace item!).

We'd love to hear from you! Tell us your thoughts on the biophilic design trend in the comments!

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