Using Biophilic Interior Design to Bring the Outside Inside

Over the last year, we’ve seen new interior design ideas go outside to accommodate the influx of outdoor dining. Likewise, with more people working from home, there’s a growing trend of bringing the outdoors inside. As the need to be around nature grows, interior designers impress us with how they’re bringing natural elements indoors and integrating nature into design. Our human love of nature – biophilia – is an innate desire, and that’s where the term biophilic interior design derives. Biophilic design is the interior design trend of bringing the outdoors inside. The outdoors in this context can mean colors, textures, materials, plant life, lighting choices, and more.

We’ve had the opportunity to see this trend firsthand at places like Cordoba, Spain, at the Palacio de Viana Courtyards filled with climbing vines, or Mama Shelter Patio in Marseille, France, with their eclectic rooftop.

We adore Restaurant Botanica in Madrid, Spain, where plants and herbs are part of the décor and design; and Le Jardin Secret hotel in Brussels, Belgium, where large bay windows bring hidden outdoor gardens inside.

Hobo Hotel and Ett Hem’s natural elements in Stockholm, Sweden, where potted plants filled every inch of space, are surreal. At the same time, Downtown Camper hotel is unforgettable with its moss-covered pillars and wood branch chairs.

The biophilic design of those spaces makes us feel we were a part of nature and the environment around us. Instead of separating from the design, we are immersed in it.

These are five elements biophilic interior design incorporates
Plant Life or Vegetation

One of the easiest ways to create a biophilic interior design sanctuary is through plant life. Plants come in many different shapes, sizes, textures, and colors that combine to create various athletics. Additionally, planters and potting elements, such as moss or stones, are another part that can add to the overall effect.

Plants can be placed on the floor, on shelving, hung, and made to complement any décor. Not only does the greenery add variety to the design, but many plants have added benefits. They act as filters to clean the air, reduce carbon dioxide, increase humidity, and even keep air temperature down.

Stones, Wood, and Textiles

Another natural element familiar to our everything day lives is stone, wood, and textiles, which surround us. These natural elements can be everywhere, from the stone countertop, wood floor, and fiber couches and blankets we use.

There are many more ways to incorporate natural textures. Consider sand textured wall covering, wicker and jute furniture and accessories, burlap or leather accents, wood panels, and cotton linens.

Window treatments are an area of remarkable versatility in bringing the outdoors inside. There are many choices when deciding on potential coverings – from wood blinds to linen curtains or even a fiber shade.


The outdoors’ natural light can be one of the most difficult to replicate in your interior design plan, but it doesn’t need to be.

First, if you’re in the building phase, consider the size and shape of the windows. Floor-to-ceiling windows or skylights will naturally bring the elements inside for you.

Consider also lightweight, sheer window dressings that let light in a while, still supplying privacy. If your design calls for a heavier drape, consider natural fibers such as hemp, burlaps, cotton, jute, or linen. The pattern can also be floral or plant-based designed. Top it off with wooden rods or decorative end caps, or tiebacks to bring your design together.


Lastly, in all choices you make, the color will play a big part. There is no wider diversity of palette than that found in nature. From the green and brown of the earth to the blue of the oceans, yellow of the sun, or the flowers’ unlimited colors, the choices are limitless. Your challenge will be to incorporate the shade in significant, precise ways reminiscent of a particular outdoor space.

With the biophilic design, each of these interior design choices overlaps the other and works together to create the aesthetic. Consider using the beach’s palette, colors from a Moroccan street market, or the warm tones of a desert oasis. Use the textures you’d find in those places and the plants that would be native there. In this way, your biophilic design will bring the outdoors inside.