What is Biophilic Design and why is it good for the bathroom?
According to Wikipedia, Biophilic design is a concept used to increase occupant connectivity to the natural environment through the use of direct nature, indirect nature, and space and place conditions.
In other words, the way we design our homes and building spaces helps us to feel more connected to nature and the outdoors.
There is evidence that this promotes improved mental health, productivity, and emotional, intellectual and spiritual well-being.
A recent survey by Triton Showers revealed that people are multi-tasking in the shower and definitely not embracing the calm that a biophilic designed bathroom can bring.
The survey focused on 2000 adults asking them if they did other things whilst in the shower. Apparently, we are a nation who loves to eat biscuits, plan meals, clean and even wash clothes whilst we wash ourselves. We are a busy lot!
You can see more about this in a previous post.
So let’s talk about how we can incorporate Biophilic design into our homes, and the bathroom specifically.
Biophilic Bathroom Design:
The architects Hafs-Epstein quote the six elements to biophilic design:
- Environmental features
- Natural shapes and forms
- Natural patterns and processes
- Light and space
- Place-based relationships
- Evolved human-nature relationships
If we can build these into our home interiors, we should feel happier, more comfortable in our surroundings and enjoy a great sense of wellbeing when we spend time there.
I love the designer Oliver Heath and the work his company does towards implementing, promoting and supporting biophilic design.
It (biophilic design) suggests that we all have a genetic connection to the natural world built up through hundreds of thousands of years of living in agrarian settings.
The also say that homes can become more calming and restorative, with 7-8 % less crime attributed to areas with access to nature and can command an increase of 4-5% in property price. (OliverHeath.com)
The bathroom has become a place to which we go when we want to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life, and unwind in a relaxing bath. If we want to incorporate biophilic design into this space and make it the best kind of experience we can, let’s look at how we incorporate biophilic design elements.
There’s so much more to plants than simply dotting a few about the room. Whilst they definitely improve our connection to nature, spending time with them, tending and watering them has powerful, detoxifying effects on our brain. It’s a very mindful way of blocking out the stresses of daily life; don’t underestimate their power.
Make the most of natural light if you can. Clean the windows, pull back the blinds and use mirrors or reflective surfaces to keep the light bouncing from space to space. In a small bathroom like mine it’s imperative to create the lightest space possible.
Incorporate as many natural textures as you can, from the softness of towels, to stone floors and wooden bath racks. Biophilic design is a full sensory experience so don’t forget sensual fragrances, nature-inspired colours and soft, natural shapes and forms.
A Natural View:
Whilst this element isn’t possible in my bathroom, try and give yourself a view. Make the most of the view you have or create a false view by way of imagery and pictures. Creating that connection to nature in as physical way as possible is the one true way to embrace biophilia.
If we embrace more aspects of biophilia and this type of design, could we encourage people to take more time out for themselves, reconnect with nature and enjoy a calmer experience in the shower?
I really hope so.
Having more plants, a nature-inspired colour scheme and plenty of soft textures and sumptuous scents has really helped this space feel more inviting. I think it subconsciously calms us, even at frenetic times of the day, and encourages us to slow down and be more mindful.
Do you have a biophilic designed bathroom? Do you think you’ve incorporated some of these elements on a more subconscious level?
I’d love to know your thoughts – leave a comment below.
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