Of all the countries we have visited in the past year, one immerging trend that captured our hearts is biophilic interior design. This aesthetic works on harnessing our innate love for the natural world and creating innovative interiors that bring nature inside. In an urban world where technology and industrial architecture are taking over, maintaining this connection is crucial. It’s great for human health and boosts our mental wellbeing. It also makes for some of the most inventive and creative interiors seen today.
In this article, we delve deeper into some of the best examples of inspiration for biophilic design. These are some of the most astonishing and naturally beautiful parts of our planet. We also run through examples of biophilic interiors we discovered on our travels. Lastly, we share some of our custom carpet ideas and mood boards inspired by this influential design trend.
Inspirational and Beautiful Natural Surroundings
Biophilic interior design is all about incorporating nature into our built environment. Thankfully, there is so much variety within our world that offers near-endless sources of inspiration. And it is this variety that makes our planet so beautiful. Simply take a look at the world around you. The mountains, lakes, forests, flowers, animals, and other natural features all hold beauty. This gives us so much choice when creating a biophilic interior. Which natural wonders do we wish to bring inside? What will be our inspiration?
We want to start by looking back at some of the most awe-inspiring natural environments we had the pleasure of visiting. First, we are heading back to the pink salt lakes in Aigues-Mortes, South of France. The place is a pink paradise. From the waters of the lake to the shrimp living in its depths and flamingos lining its shores, it’s like nothing we’ve seen before. The place is magical and the unspoiled nature is immense. You can read more about our trip to the lakes here. This scenery would make a bold and unique twist on a biophilic interior. Rather than using colors traditionally associated with nature – such as greens and browns – this landscape pulls on pinks, blues, and white.
Our trip to the Fayoum Desert in Egypt also left a profound impact on us. The desert truly is inspiring and a must-see for anyone visiting Egypt. A far cry from the bustling streets of the capital, standing in the desert leaves you feeling peaceful and calm. With nothing to see but sand and blue skies, all your problems disappear. Capturing this feeling of serenity within an interior through biophilic interior design would be incredible. Again with a non-traditional color palette – this time of sandy yellows and blues – there is plenty to draw on. Textures of sand and rock could also be incorporated.
Restaurants Integrating Biophilic INTERIOR Design
While traveling, we frequently saw biophilic interior design adopted in restaurants. First, we are off to Our Local @ 117 Kloof, a Cape Town café that is a true nature lover’s delight. The space is a lush oasis filled with plants and flowers. The use of green and brown throughout have an undeniable connection with nature. From the stone flooring to the exposed wood tabletops, the designers used plenty of raw materials throughout. Even the architecture of the building aims to bring people and nature together as one. Its glass greenhouse-like roof floods the café with natural light, another key consideration when designing a biophilic interior.
Another of our all-time favorites is the Botania Restaurant in downtown Madrid. Combining bright and playful colors with natural elements, the designers perfectly captured the spirit of Spanish people while drawing on nature. Many raw materials are used, including a stunning rattan ceiling and wicker chairs. Plants also feature heavily in the design. The fern-filled roof is one show-stopping element that instantly connects diners with the natural world.
Two more Madrid-based restaurants – New York Burger and Restaurant Santita – also hopped on the biophilic design trend. The New York Burger restaurant features a statement grass ceiling and lots of exposed wood. Restaurant Santita relied on rattan elements and foliage to bring the natural world inside. The use of exposed stone walls has a raw element, reminding us of mud-brick structures in the Fayoum desert. You can read more about this trio of inspirational restaurants here.
Nature Inspired Hotels Bringing the Outdoors Inside
Being greeted by greenery when entering a hotel can work wonders on the mental state of the anxious traveler. As such, it was no surprise that many hotels visited on our travels have incorporated nature into their interiors. One of the best examples of biophilic design in hospitality includes the La Donaira resort in the South of Spain. This eco-resort is extremely rustic, using materials such as wood, clay, and sandstone throughout. The resort blends seamlessly with the landscape outside, yet includes modern touches for a luxury-feel stay. This clever use of biophilic design immerses guests in a paradise-like world, instantly upping the experience of their stay.
Stockholm is home to several can’t-miss biophilic interiors. One example is the Ett Hem Hotel, a far step from the typical Scandinavian design. The space feels undeniably modern and warm, brimming with unique Scandinavian furniture pieces. However, the designer has not forgotten about our innate love and need for nature. Rooms are flooded with natural light and full of lush green plants. The Downtown Camper and Hobo Hotel in downtown Stockholm rely on similar design tricks to bring the outdoors inside. You can read about both of these interiors here.
Nature Themed Custom Carpet Patterns
We took the inspiration from our travels to create some stunning custom carpet patterns working on the biophilic design trend. For our tropical banana leaf carpet, we took inspiration from the Renaissance portraits by Cooper and Gorfer. Using their loud and flamboyant colors and patterns, we repurposed our original banana leaf print. This just shows how flexible and creative you can be when designing biophilic interiors. Your color palette does not have to be subdued and natural. You can use bold colors and clashing patterns by relying on plant-like shapes or natural textures to bring the outside inside.
Alternatively, using a carpet that mimics a natural terrain also works well. Take our moss carpet, for example. Using this in any interior transforms the floor of the building into a rainforest trail. It is lime green and loud, but still similar to real-life moss. Similarly, our 3D carpet inspired by a 3D moonscape room can also be repurposed and used within a biophilic interior. Its sand-like texture and warm sunset colors are both seen in the natural world. The overall effect, when used in combination with other design techniques, transports you to a sandy desert-like landscape.
Biophilic Mood Boards for Interior Inspiration
Using some of our other nature-inspired carpets as a backdrop, we made several mood boards that can be utilized for a biophilic interior. For our rainforest mood board, we took inspiration from nature itself. We layered light and dark green hues to resemble wildlife and trees over our chevron carpet background. Our bird of paradise mood board is also nature-inspired, this time from the exotic South African flower. Known for its bright colors, we incorporated similar yellows, blues, and pinks over a green backdrop. By taking colors directly from nature it is easy to build color pallets that reflect the environment but that also work seamlessly together.
For a forest-themed interior, the colors and textures put together in our forest neutrals mood board work effortlessly. We chose Jun Takahashi’s SS21 Women’s Collection cover as inspiration for this look. Using the same brown, green, and blue tones, we created a natural color palette that features interesting woven, stone, and wooden textures. This mood board offers a prime example of how the inspiration for biophilic design can be found outside nature as well. Using these as inspiration for your next project is bound to create a welcoming environment that connects with nature.