Wellness…and the Need for Nature In Residential Interior Design

As people seek ways to live healthier and happier lives, a living environment with exposure to the outdoors and natural light can contribute to a sense of connection with nature and feelings of personal wellness. Interior designers have recognized their clients’ preferences for spaces that offer a direct relationship with nature and are exploring new ways to create environments that contribute to the well-being of those who inhabit them. Biophilic design stimulates feelings of being “with nature” in the manmade built environment. Initially, biophilic design was used in commercial interior designs. It has rightfully assumed a more prominent position in residential design. People spend as much as two-thirds of their lives at home, a statistic that points at the need for living spaces that enhance one’s physical and emotional well-being.

Wellness is both a state of mind and a physical condition. The body wants and needs the feeling of getting back to nature. That feeling can be enjoyed inside the home when looking at trees, a garden, or patio if the interior and architectural design are sensitive to these goals. A home’s design can embrace the benefits of nature through choices that strengthen a connection to the outdoors. The desired feelings of well-being will be the natural result. When designers employ this methodology, the homeowner will rarely be aware they are experiencing a biophilic design. They will simply know it feels good.

“Expanses of glass can provide seamless views and an engagement with the outside world,” said Vogue Interiors’ Donna Overly, ASID, CAPS. “Simplified window treatments and the use of “privacy treatments” can work in concert with the expanses of glass. Renovating exterior walls can transform small window or windowless walls to create a ‘doorway to nature.’ When windows overlook a neighbor’s home, the view can be filtered with decorative glazing or creative window shading. Natural light can be enhanced with paint colors found in nature. Reflective materials can be an effective solution in wallcoverings. Mirrors can augment the available light and create ‘magic’ within the space, bringing the natural elements of trees, plants and water into the indoor surroundings.”

Interior designs can incorporate numerous natural materials. Patterns and textures can heighten the awareness of nature in the home. The use of wood flooring and accents on walls and ceilings can provide a connection with nature. Stone and granite can also play an important role. The look and practicality of these materials will enrich the “natural environment.” Furnishing with natural materials can also make a contribution. Upholstery textures and light natural colors can be contrasted by bright, vibrant accents that punctuate the natural elements. Plants can be a calming and therapeutic influence that can heighten the link to nature. When live plants are not a practical solution, the designer can provide resources for “almost live” plants.

Many homes in Southwest Florida lend themselves to embracing nature.
Interiors using the biophilic approach can increase a sense of well-being while improving overall wellness.

For information on “naturalizing” your home contact Vogue Interiors, 24520 Production Circle, Suite 5, Bonita Springs, FL 34135. Visit www.vogueinteriors.com or call 239-498-7500.