Invite Mother Nature to Guide Your Home Design

white-capped river flowing between lush greenery and mountains

During the pandemic, looking for new ways to stay stimulated, boost your spirits, or self-motivate while working at home? Try biophilic design and eco-therapy.

Bio- huh? Eco-what?

I recently participated in a Sherwin-Williams webinar on these two subjects, so I’m happy to share some tips with you.

Biophilia, by definition, is the love of nature. And biophilic design is the science and practice of bringing buildings to life – with the keyword being “life”.  It is increasingly embraced by architects, engineers, ecologists, and interior decorators who recognize our affinity for nature and its positive influence on our lives.

Used more in city planning and building design than interior decorating, bringing nature into your home can certainly elevate your mood – and for those working at home – your creativity and productivity, too.

When building a new home or planning a remodel, biophilic design can be used in many ways. For example, the proper placement of windows and skylights allows optimum views of the sky, garden, or water. It also promotes climate-friendly choices like low-flow faucets to conserve water. Wood and stone are preferred construction materials.

But when it comes to decorating, choose botanical or floral patterns on fabrics or wallpaper. Add a rug made of natural fibers like cotton, silk, or wool.  Bring a small fish bowl into your office space to help decrease your stress and increase your performance. Consider a sound machine or smartphone app with soothing sounds of birds chirping; it will improve your mental health 37% faster than urban noise. Artwork depicting nature is both mentally restorative and stimulating. Decorating with cut flowers, house plants, twig wreathes, and other natural décor pieces is the next best thing to spending time outside. And make sure you have plenty of direct light and ventilation.

Like biophilic design, eco-therapy embraces man’s connection to nature to find balance and harmony. Get outside for just 5 minutes to clear your head and invite new insights.  Scientists say that a 20-minute walk will invigorate you as much as a cup of coffee would do. Try eco-therapy to reminisce, reflect, relax, or retreat, as needed.

While on the subject, send me a topic for a new blog to help keep me stimulated!

With many satisfied clients since 2008, Barbara Graceffa owns and operates Secretary of the Interior in Quincy, MA offering decorating services at reasonable rates. If you want to suggest a blog topic or have a decorating, downsizing/decluttering or home staging project needing professional help or are interested in hosting a workshop or quilt show, please contact her via her website www.sec-interior.com or phone 617.921.6033.

By Barbara Graceffa

Barbara Graceffa, CEO of Secretary of the Interior, serves decorating clients; assists with professional organizing, home staging and moving assistance; teaches on these subjects; and delivers quilt lectures and trunk shows.

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