The inside story


An emerging home trend could change the quality of your life, explains local interior designer and Art Group Wanstead member Anna Wicslo

It might not trip off your tongue yet, but the word on the lips of the biggest movers and shakers in home design is biophilia. And it’s fast becoming one of the most important factors in the worlds of interior design and architecture.

Biophilic design aims to increase our connection with nature, contributing to good health and wellbeing. Countless studies show its effects can be relaxing, while in home workspaces it can be stimulating, boosting focus and productivity, and helping to spark creativity while lowering stress hormones and blood pressure.

Humans are understood to have an innate connection to nature and natural processes, built through genetic processes over hundreds of thousands of years. Biophilia was popularised by American biologist Edward O Wilson in the 1980s when he observed how increasing rates of urbanisation were leading to a disconnection with the natural world.

There is now a stream of endless ideas to connect interior design with nature.  Here are some that you’ll notice:

Furniture and lights mimicking nature in their shapes and forms of design.

Spaces becoming more open and increased natural light being used.

Pattern and the colour palette being connected to nature – blues, greens, earthy tones, popularity of animal prints and varied natural textures.

Materials chosen being sustainable and having no adverse effects on health – during their production or use.

A focus on improved air quality, with the help of plants and technology devices.

A greater use of indoor plants for their qualities and outdoor looks.

The power of plants has led to the popularity of living walls made of moss or succulents. Because of the expense involved, these striking green walls have been used more in corporate spaces, yet even there they successfully promote physical and mental wellbeing for staff and visitors. But, gradually, vertical planting and green walls are likely to become more popular outside our own homes as our exterior spaces become smaller in order to be affordable.

Biophilia will take many fresh directions and is set to be a trend that will grow and grow.

For information about Anna’s work, visit ho-id.co.uk or email anna@ho-id.co.uk.

For more information on Art Group Wanstead, visit wnstd.com/art