potted plants on a shelf, outdoors

Biophilic Interior Decor [Natural Fibers, Colors, and Patterns, Complexity and Order]

What is Biophilic Interior Design?

Popularized and explained in various books by Stephen Kellert et al., biophilic design is an emerging field that explores new research into the health, environmental, and economic effects of satisfying innate human needs via a multisensory connection with nature. While these design principles can extend to architecture and building standards, biophilic interior design has its focus on the elements in the interior of the home. 

burgundy, grey, and blue blankets

The Dimensions, Elements, and Attributes of Biophilic Design

There are two main dimensions of biophilia: 

  • Experiences of the organic/naturalistic
    • Direct experience
    • Indirect experience
  • Experiences of space and place 

Because of the aim of this article is to identify those attributes of biophilic design that relate to our products at Asterlark, we specifically denote those key attributes among the listing of elements below. 


Element 1a:  Direct Experience of Nature

sunlight over flowers

  • Light
  • Air
  • Water
  • *Plants - Plant based textiles, such as cotton, provide a haptic connection with nature and natural processes.
  • *Animals - Animal based textiles, such as wool, provide a haptic connection with nature and natural processes.
  • Weather
  • Natural Landscapes
  • Fire

Element 1b:  Indirect Experience of Nature

wood panel chevron

  • Images of Nature
  • *Natural Materials - Materials such as wood, stone, and natural fabrics are inherently preferred as they can be mentally stimulating and bring the evocation of the patina of time.
  • *Natural Colors - Brighter colors should not dominate a room, instead used as an accent to earth-tones such as browns, greens, and blues
  • Simulations of Natural Light and Air
  • *Naturalistic Shapes and Geometries - A space with biomorphic forms & patterns feels interesting and comfortable, possibly captivating, contemplative or even absorptive.
  • Evoking Nature
  • Information Richness
  • *Change and the Patina of Time - There is an inbuilt intrigue by nature, the passage of time, and our place among that change. Organic materials that are susceptible to change their the course of use allows us to be reminded of this change.
  • Biomimicry

Experiences of Space and Place

sunlight through room

  • Prospect and Refuge
  • *Organized Complexity - A space with both complexity and order feels engaging and information-rich. Examples include a repeating but eye-catching design in wallpaper or weave pattern. 
  • Integration of Parts
  • Transitional Spaces
  • Mobility
  • Cultural and Ecological Attachment to Place

What are the Health Benefits of Biophilic Interior Design?

woman meditating

Resiliency, economic, and environmental evidence aside, the health benefits associated with different biophilic elements includes improved mental health, physical recovery, reductions in stress, increase in pain tolerance, enhanced creativity, and improved social connectivity. 

For a more in depth discovery of this topic, check out the work of Stephen Kellert and his collaborators. 


Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.