The Biophilic Design Movement

The New Year is under way and many of us continue to run kids to sporting events, keep up with the never-ending laundry, and plan for that much needed vacation. Our homes become our refuge where we can slow down from our hectic schedules, soothe our minds, and calm our souls. Biophilic design has been around for decades, but it has recently become a rising star in architectural design.  

Biophilic design aspires to incorporate elements of nature into indoor spaces to improve the well-being and connection of people with the natural environment. When it comes to materials for biophilic design, many luxury custom homeowners are searching for ways to create a harmonious and nature-inspired atmosphere in their home.  In this article we’re going to show some great examples of how this design can be incorporated in custom home design. 

Bring Nature into Your Custom Home 

Natural wood is a staple when biophilic design is intended to bring warmth, texture and a sense of natural beauty to the interior of a home. Combine this with natural stone and you add weight to the space. In the past, this combination of wood and stone was more often seen in rustic design but has expanded into modern architecture as well. Many clients are even thinking beyond wood and stone to native materials, like birch bark, to use as a wall covering.  

Patterns and textures are another way to bring nature into the home. This modern custom home integrated a simple twig pattern on the metal railing of the stairwell, and was replicated in a TV stand base, frosted kitchen cabinetry panels, and firepit console.  

The ranch style home below took a picture from their wooded lot and had a custom glass panel crafted as a feature wall between the foyer and great room. Bold floral-patterned wallpaper, indoor plants, and nature-inspired artwork are other easy methods to bring biophilic design into your home without a lot of cost and can be swapped out as interior design aesthetics change.  

Connect to the Outdoors 

The biggest trend that isn’t fading in custom home design is incorporating large, expansive windows to bring natural light into the home for a bright and airy interior that mimics the outdoors. Larger kitchen pantries allow additional storage space that reduces the need for upper cabinets and makes room for larger windows in the kitchen area.

Let’s not forget about the views! Following the biophilic principle ensures views of nature such as landscapes and gardens, or in this case, a spectacular lake view from the upper-level home office.

Living in Minnesota, we’ve enjoyed the peace and solitude of the screened porch for decades. But the connection from the house to the porch has evolved over the years. Adding larger door openings from living areas to outdoor areas with lift-n-slide doors or bi-fold doors is increasing in popularity due to their seamlessness. By simply adding ceiling heaters or a fireplace, you can have a comfortable space for relaxation well into the winter months. In fact, more people are creating many outdoor “rooms” that evoke a sense of tranquility and relaxation, like these two homes on Lake Minnetonka. With comfortable seating, soft lighting, and proper shade and shelter, your outdoor space becomes an extension to your home.   

The options are endless for creating a calm and soothing home uniquely customized to your personal tastes. If you are thinking about building a new custom home or extensive renovation, contact Nor-Son Custom Builders. We welcome the opportunity to learn more about your vision.