Biophilic Interior Design at “Our Local @ 117 Kloof”
During our recent trip to Cape Town in South Africa, we discovered a sanctuary of greenery and stunning interiors at a café on Kloof Street, Our Local. Entering the doors, you immediately teleport to a world that’s the opposite of Cape Town’s hustle and bustle. Instead, you find yourself in a nature-lovers delight, overflowing with greenery, neutral tones, and natural light. It is the epitome of biophilic interior design.
Biophilic Design Connects us with Nature
Biophilic interior design – the act of bringing the outside inside – is nothing new. Psychoanalyst Erich Fromm first used the word “Biophilia” back in 1973 in his book The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness. He described it as the “passionate love of life and of all that is alive”, and all people feel these desires; humans have an innate love of the natural world. Greenery improves our moods, makes us more productive, and purifies the air around us. Therefore, the use of biophilia in design has created spaces that improve both mental and physical wellbeing. The global pandemic has further increased our desire to connect with nature, even within commercial spaces. Right now, the popularity of biophilic interior has never been stronger.
Plants, Neutral Tones & Raw Materials
When looking at the interior, it’s clear that café owner and head designer Daniel Hollands’ main mission is to connect guests with nature. The in-house job has transformed the old warehouse into a lush oasis brimming with greenery. Plants and flowers adorn the space. They line the room, sit atop every spare surface, and hang from the wooden beams above our heads. The carefully selected earthy tones of browns and greens also channel feelings of nature. Daniel has also used raw materials throughout, such as in the exposed wooden tabletops and stone flooring.
Collectible Antique Furniture
Another notable feature is the use of quirky antique furniture. Each vintage piece has a weathered appearance – from the aged water fountain to the use of worn corrugated metal – reminding us of the powers of Mother Nature. The selection of pieces and their positioning within the space is also muddled and somewhat chaotic. This mirrors the formation of the natural world, where the growth of every tree and the position of every rock is random. Although Daniel and his team carefully place each item in the space, the disorganized layout evokes feelings of mystery and comfort. However, the venue still feels cohesive thanks to the long, custom-made table running down the center of the room.
Natural Light & Vaulted Ceilings
The architecture of the venue is also crucial in the biophilic design. The vaulted ceiling of the old workshop creates feelings of openness that you feel when standing outside. This is further accentuated by the use of glass panels in the ceiling that provides guests with views of the real skies above. These panels also flood the venue with natural light. In fact, the entire venue feels like a cozy, welcoming greenhouse that’s packed with character and mystery. A true botanist’s delight!