by Christia Gibbons
“STUDY NATURE, LOVE NATURE, STAY CLOSE TO NATURE. IT WILL NEVER FAIL YOU.”
—FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT
As the father of organic architecture, which strives to design and build structures in balance with their natural surroundings (think house not on a hill but as part of that hill), some would say Frank Lloyd Wright sparked today’s biophilic design.
This growing architectural trend brings nature inside. It connects humans to the nature they love.
Studies show that even looking at nature can have a calming effect. Biophilic architects take that further by designing buildings — even skyscrapers in the form of vertical gardens — by incorporating elements of nature to impact the way people feel, work and create.
Bringing nature inside has been shown to boost productivity and reduce stress in offices, hospitals, schools and in urban living spaces. It can be restorative physically and emotionally, lowering blood pressure and heart rate.
And since 93% or our time is spent indoors or in our cars (and even more so during the winter), finding a way to bring nature into your living environment may be just what you need.
Consider taking these steps to create your own nature-based nirvana:
• Blend organic forms (rocks and plant shapes, for instance) with water features and outdoor views. Find a way to let in lots of natural light.
• Bring in real plants.
• Make subtle changes in temperature and air flow through your heating and cooling system.
• Use plant oils in a diffuser and surround yourself with calming sounds. Perhaps nature sounds?
• Use patterns that mimic nature in curtains, pillows, wall hangings or flooring. Incorporate nature’s colors
and textures like wood and stone.