Bring Nature's Restorative Power Indoors - Biophilic Design

Real Estate Broker/Owner with ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors

Biophilic Design - The Relationship between Humans and Nature

We continue to learn spending time in natural settings is restorative. It's one of the big reasons we specialize in homes located in soothing environments. A growing body of evidence confirms being in nature has a profoundly positive impact on our mental, emotional, and physical well-being


This nature-wellness link is resulting in a rising interest in biophilic design. Biophilia literally translates to "the passionate love of life and all that is alive."  Therefore, from corporate offices to personal homes, architects and designers are working to help people feel happier, healthier, and more focused at work, and at home. 

Over a decade ago, the so-called Godfather of Biophilia, Stephen Kellert, identified more than 70 elements to help create a strong connection to nature in an indoor setting. Rather than discuss the various architectural nuances of biophilic design, we are focused on how to easily create it in your current home. 


A Spirit of Place 


Amanda Sturgeon, author of Creating Biophilic Buildings, believes a structure should reflect a geographic area. An understanding of the region's ecosystem make us better stewards of the land, and help satisfy our need for a harmonious connection at home.  A "Spirit of Place." 

"Spirit of Place" is defined as the tangible and intangible elements that give meaning, value, emotion, and mystery to a place. 


   Tangible: Eg: Buildings, sites, landscapes (rivers, mountains, meadows), routes.


   Intangible: Eg: Memories, narratives, written documents, rituals, festivals, tradition,   values, and textures. 


 In short, the soul of a place. 


How to Increase Biophilia at Home 



Obviously, a soothing and pleasing view is a great way to start working toward biophila at home. However, if your current view is lacking, there are other simple things you can do to foster tranquility. 


Fresh Air - Make sure you allow plenty of fresh air to move freely about your home.  Open windows also allow us to hear the rain, the wind blowing through trees, and the sounds of birds chirping. 


Play with Light and Shadow - having access to daylight helps balance our circadian rhytmns. Take note of shadows and sunlight moving through your home and landscape. If you have particularly sunny corner on a deck, create little spot to breathe in the outdoors. Try to minimize the boundaries between inside and outside spaces. 


Natural Elements - Bring nature inside.  Plants, soothing greens, other natural elements ( think wood and stone), and a simple fountain can help connect us to nature. 


Promote a Sense of Refuge - enclosed spaces help us feel secure, but with the addition of the ability to survey the landscape the space becomes restorative.  Plant trees or shrubs, create a beautiful garden - there are many ways to add a soothing view to a home. 


Natural Shapes and Forms - Obviously not all buildings have natural form in their design, but we can use patterns from nature as decorative motifs. Think of art pieces reflecting an evergreen tree, fern, or wildlife - or another symbols reflecting your particular region. 


Order and Complexity - Nature is orderly, but quite complex in the detail. Consider while every leaf has a similar shape, the size varies. Bring nature's designs and principles indoors. 


The number one rule of biophilic design - go outside and understand your surroundings first. Observe, listen, and learn about your ecosystem - then bring nature's lessons and gifts inside. 


If you enjoyed reading about Biophilic Design, you'll likely enjoy this article, written by Bernie, What can we learn from Nature? Everything! 


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ViewHomes™ grew out of our passion for nature, beautiful surroundings, and peaceful environments. Starting together in an urban environment, over the years we've gravitated towards areas with smaller populations and less density. We now enjoy our lifestyle in a rural environment, but with close proximity to metropolitan areas where we appreciate all the amenities of fine restaurants, shopping, and an easy drive to an international airport.
Living in ViewHomes™ is like having “elbowroom for the soul”.






Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP 05/23/2019 03:48 PM
  2. Roy Kelley 06/14/2019 01:00 AM
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Around The Water Cooler
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biophilic design

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Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Congratulations on being FEATURED!

May 23, 2019 06:16 AM #22
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

I have an open to the room type shower that allows natural lighting and venting instead of an enclosure and it is more natural and appealing. We need more of this in every gadget, convenience, transportation and living quarters etc.

May 23, 2019 06:39 AM #23
M.C. Dwyer
Century 21 Showcase REALTORs - Felton, CA
Santa Cruz Mountains Property Specialist

Thanks for the education - I'd never heard of biophilic design.       Reading through your post, many points resonate with how I've intuitively made my own house a home using these design principals.    It'll be fun to share these concepts with my clients!

May 23, 2019 08:01 AM #24
Karen Rice Madison AL Realtor
Keller Williams Realty Madison - Madison, AL
434-282-7936 Call/Text

Like Kathy Booth, Setting the Stage, I felt calmer just reading your post.  The bathroom in the photograph is gorgeous!    

May 23, 2019 10:33 AM #25
Brad Andersohn
Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty - Fairfield, CA
ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876

Loved your post, and congrats on your feature :)

There's something about a nice peaceful and tranquil environment that really helps remind us that any house can become someone's home. I was checking out that reading room and parlour when I realized it was the bathroom! :-O 

May 23, 2019 10:37 AM #26
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

I loved this.  I am not familiar with the term, but certainly familiar w/ the concept.  You would also like some of Usonia homes here (Frank Lloyd Wright concept) as they really extend this concept outdoors.

May 23, 2019 04:08 PM #27
Lottie Kendall
Compass - San Francisco, CA
Helping make your real estate dreams a reality

I didn't know the term "biophilic design" before your post, but the concept certainly resonates with me. Last week I had the opportunity to visit Fallingwater, a house in Pennsylvania designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in the  mid-1930s; I was awed and hated to leave; the harmony between house and nature is superb.


May 23, 2019 07:32 PM #28
Andrea.B Ferreira 954-303-8289 CRS
Keyes Co. - Davie, FL
Miami Dade, Broward and Palm Beach County in FL

I loved this information,  never heard about this term before. Thank you, it is good to learn something new everyday 😘

May 24, 2019 06:24 AM #29
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much for your special lesson on this very interesting topic.

Our special relationship with nature today is a dozen peonies in our family room and another dozen in the kitchen. 

May 24, 2019 10:03 AM #30
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good evening Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD ,

OMG..just learned another wonderful word and it makes so much sense. Love the article written by two are quite a pair!

May 24, 2019 07:29 PM #31
Stephen Turner
Gemcraft Homes (TriCorner Realty) - York, PA

Great article. Gets to the root of "this place just FEELS right!" and thanks for expanding my vocab to now include: biophilic design

May 25, 2019 08:52 AM #32
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

This was very interesting, and it would seem very obvious, but I suppose many people are so far removed from nature that they don't get it.  What a shame.

May 27, 2019 07:12 PM #33
Ricardo Mello
Manhattan Miami Real Estate - Manhattan, NY
Manhattan & Miami Real Estate Agent

Excellent tips!

May 27, 2019 08:10 PM #34
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Timely information!  One of my clients specializes in creating spaces using this design.  Love it!  I need to do more of this in my own home.  Thank you for the inspiration!  GREAT post!

May 28, 2019 08:29 PM #35
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

I’m definitely a nature person and definitely understand the restorative power of nature in full form. :)

May 30, 2019 10:12 PM #36
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

I had to come back and let you know I am thrilled that the Gold Star found this post Endre

May 30, 2019 11:17 PM #37
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

I love the look of that bathroom, Debb and Bernie!  And, this is the first time I have read that term, "biophilic."  I'm glad to learn it was something that didn't require penicillin.

Jun 07, 2019 01:27 PM #38
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Myrl Jeffcoat - you're making me laugh and laugh. 

Jun 07, 2019 02:38 PM #39
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team

Good morning, Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD I almost missed this one were it not for Roy Kelley's reblog..... I never thought of taking a page out of nature's book for designing the interior of a home.... and I love the waterfall.... great look for an inground pool...

Jun 14, 2019 01:37 AM #40
Brigita McKelvie, Associate Broker
Cindy Stys Equestrian and Country Properties, Ltd. - Lehigh Valley, PA
The Broker with horse sense and no horsing around

Good morning, Debb & Bernie!

What a great niche you have!  It compliments my niche.  I am outdoors in nature as much as possible.  I find nature so relaxing and calming.  My horses and the farm is my peaceful place to be.  There are times I go there just to think.  It would be so nice to convert my living quarters to reflect nature. 


Jun 20, 2019 07:18 AM #41
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Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD

REALTORS® in Clark County, WA
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