Ecodesign, Education, Interior Design

Biophelia in Interiors

We all wonder sometimes, why do we feel better outside?

And can we bring that feel­ing inside?

Wood grain. Pho­tog­ra­phy by Bernadett Askey

Some of our best mem­o­ries may be long days at the beach, for­est walks, qui­et kayak trips, or hang­ing out in a park. Many Cana­di­ans spend less time out­doors in their adult lives due to indoor work­ing envi­ron­ments and lack of free time. Our per­son­al con­nec­tion with nature is mem­o­rable, heal­ing, and pow­er­ful. For more on this, check out this arti­cle from Poly­gon Mag­a­zine.

XL — Mod­ern Kitchen — Taj Mahal

Accord­ing to The Cana­di­an Parks Coun­cil, our con­nec­tion to nature is crit­i­cal to our health. Our cur­rent way of life does not allow enough sen­so­ry con­nec­tion with nature. We need to make every effort to rein­tro­duce nat­ur­al ele­ments, pat­terns, sounds, mate­ri­als, tex­tures and colours into our interiors.

Pioneering work of E.O. Wilson and Stephen Kellert

Being crea­tures of nature, it is not sur­pris­ing that humans yearn to con­nect with nature. This strong force has been referred to as bio­phil­ia. Pio­neers E.O. Wil­son and Stephen Kellert point­ed out that the phys­i­cal appeal of nature is a source of inspi­ra­tion and peace in our envi­ron­ment. We love liv­ing things.

Drop & Done — Ten­nessee Bluegrass

Because man-made objects dom­i­nate our built envi­ron­ments, we ought to intro­duce nat­ur­al ele­ments. Peo­ple tend to add nat­ur­al things like plants to their envi­ron­ments, any­way. We need to find sup­ple­men­tal mate­ri­als for indoor spaces for ceil­ings, walls, and floors. In our fast paced lives, mate­ri­als sur­round­ing us have high demand on them. Mate­ri­als must be hard wear­ing, envi­ron­men­tal­ly-friend­ly, water­proof, as well as soft.

Nova­co Day­care — EZFit, Mocha Mousse


We need to search and find solu­tions to keep in touch with nature. Some of the cur­rent prod­ucts on the mar­ket for floor­ing, for exam­ple, can be found on the EZ lay floor­ing web­site. Look at these pho­tos and see how well the vinyl emu­lates wood, and is durable as well. EZ Lay floor­ing offers life-like pat­terns of wood in their selec­tion of vinyl floor cov­er­ings. Par­tial­ly-recylced mate­ri­als that have low emis­sion rat­ings are the best choice tech­ni­cal­ly and aes­thet­i­cal­ly. Exam­ples of these include floor cov­er­ings from XL Floor­ing.

Language mimicking nature

Even in our lan­guage, we find idioms such as “blind as a bat” and “eager beaver,” invoked as evi­dence of bio­phil­ia. Some of the names giv­en to mate­ri­als also mim­ic nat­ur­al con­nec­tions. “Bris­tol Beach” or “Rain­cloud” vinyl floor cov­er­ing from EZ Lay floor­ing exem­pli­fy this. Using nature-inspired names makes us feel com­fort­able. Design­ers are drawn to prod­ucts with names that mim­ic nature, and most like­ly will select them.

Application of colours and patterns

Bio­philic bath­room design by Askey Stu­dio, using EZ-Lay floor­ing (Eng­lish Break­fast) and bam­boo coun­ter­top. Pho­tog­ra­phy by Bernadett Askey.
Drop & Done — Garibal­di Summit
Flex­i­plank — Savan­nah Bay, Pewter Moon, Zanzibar

Pat­terns such as tree-grain will evoke our inner con­nec­tion with nature. By select­ing colours in shades of browns, tau­pes, and greens, we also ref­er­ence plants and oth­er liv­ing things. In our lives, we face many stress­ful sit­u­a­tions, whether at work, in a pub­lic space or at home. It is very impor­tant to try to add ele­ments of nature to liv­ing spaces to improve our cog­ni­tion and emotion.

Should you be look­ing for more design ideas or prod­uct infor­ma­tion that sup­ports bio­philic design, feel free to mes­sage me.



  • Kellert SR, Wil­son EO. The Bio­phil­ia Hypoth­e­sis. Island Press; Wash­ing­ton, DC, USA: 1993. Wil­son EO.
  • Bio­phil­ia. Har­vard Uni­ver­si­ty Press; Cam­bridge, MA, USA: 1984.