Darren Kennedy: Biophilic design takes inspiration from nature’s colours, textures and materials to enhance interiors

Green glass diffuser, €3.50, Penneys/Primark

Sometimes I just crave being in the countryside with my shoes and socks off so I can feel the earth beneath me. There has been a growing trend in interior design that emphasises the connection between humans and nature.

Biophilic design (biophilia being the desire or tendency to commune with nature), seeks to bring the natural world into our living spaces and by doing so creating a harmonious and nurturing environment. One key principle is the use of natural materials. Incorporating elements such as wood, stone, and natural fibres into your home decor can evoke a sense of nature and create a warm and inviting atmosphere.

Rattan and wood folding chair, €119, zarahome.com

Opt for furniture made from natural materials such as wood, bamboo or wicker. Look for pieces that showcase the natural grain and texture of the material. Consider choosing furniture with organic shapes and forms that mimic elements found in nature.

Natural textiles are another element which can be easily added to a space. Examples are curtains, drapes, and upholstery made from organic cotton, linen, or hemp. Other materials worth considering are rattan and jute. In shops you’ll find plenty of woven baskets, decorative bowls and natural fibre rugs, all of which bring texture and warmth to your home.

As you might imagine, plants are an essential element of biophilic design. These not only add life and colour but also improve air quality. I like to have at least one plant in every room (where there’s a source of natural light of course).

Woven wooden bench, €119.99, from a selection at TK Maxx

Natural light not only enhances the aesthetics of a space, but it also affects our mood and well-being. Maximise the amount of natural light in your home by removing heavy curtains or blinds and opting for sheer or light-filtering fabrics. Position mirrors strategically to reflect natural light and create an illusion of a larger space. If you’re building, consider adding skylights and larger windows to let more natural light in. It might be more costly, but you’ll be glad you did.

Colour plays a crucial role in evoking the essence of nature. Choose a palette inspired by natural elements such as earth tones, shades of green or calming blues. These can be incorporated into walls and through furniture, art and soft furnishings.

Embracing these elements will not only enhance your living space, but also have a positive impact on your overall well-being.


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