I am often asked about the benefits of Biophilic Design, how Biophilic Design works in the home, and what are the easiest ways to achieve the benefits of Biophilic Design.
Biophilic Design can be easily introduced to any home, office or organisation, one of the simplest ways is by increasing natural light.
It’s that time of the year again as we approach spring our evenings are becoming lighter, and our mornings are becoming brighter. It’s time to make the most of the natural light in our homes and optimise it. Allowing natural light into your home can provide you with so many benefits like,
- improving our productivity and focus,
- increasing our intake in vitamin D,
- regulating our circadian rhythms and helps our body clock to regulate and improves are psychological wellbeing
- help combat seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
Natural light is a key element for biophilic design and is the 6th pattern to biophilic design. In biophilic design we talk about Dynamic and Diffuse Light which is all about natural light whether moving or accompanied by elements of shadow. This biophilic pattern can be easily incorporated into your design through harnessing the natural flow of lighting in the world and using it to create a visual focus within your space. It can simply be created through adding skylights to your living space which will add natural brightness to the area.
Dynamic and diffuse light helps us to incorporate nature back into our homes and eliminate the unproductiveness of certain environments.
I am going to share my top 6 tips on how to make the most of natural light within your home.
1. Light Sources
A key thing to consider throughout your home is expanding window space wherever possible. This can be created in various ways such as
- small windows above doors,
- interior glass doors or
- light wells between the floors.
If you are considering an extension think about adding skylights to that space or a glass wall this will help you to maximise the amount of natural light that comes into the area.
You can also think about using different materials throughout the home such as Perspex or toughened glass which can be used for partitions and balustrades for the staircase. These small details will help compliment and enhance the natural light that comes into the space, particularly on dark gloomy days.
How to add more light to your life through Biophilia, Image Credit - Architect Elina Vila and interior designer Agnés Blanch
Stone House Transformation in Scaiano / Wespi de Meuron Romeo architects, Image Credit - Hannes Henz
2. Warm up the Space
When it comes to maximising the natural light within your home, you need to have a clear understanding of the direction of your property and work with its limitations. For example, if you have a north facing property these are often darker and create shadows around the home. To resolve this issue, I would recommend using warmer colour tones throughout the home such as mint blue greens and terracotta reds.
When you come to choose soft furnishings stop and consider that dark colours absorb light and softer textures like linen will bounce the light around the room.
Mirrors are an excellent, quick, and budget friendly way to bring light into a room, especially when placed near a window. Not only do they reflect light but they bring the view inside, which creates the illusion of more space and helps to brighten the room.
When you add windows or an opening to a wall in your interior, I always recommend painting the immediate wall area in a brighter colour, this will help to make the light glisten when entering the room.
4.Let it Flow
When its time to dressing windows I like to use light, long, flowing, sheer curtains, especially in the living and dining spaces. This adds softness to the room and allows light to pass through while reducing any glare from the sun.
If you are looking for a sheer fabric at harleenmcleaninteriors we offer bespoke fabrics that can be printed on sheer light weight fabrics. (Clink on link).
If you are looking for something that will bring a bit more texture and detail into the room, I would recommend an open weave fabric this will help you to maximise the light input.
How to add more light to your life through Biophilia, Image Credit - Georgina by Templeton Architecture
Colour is such an important element when trying to maximise light in a space.
My advice is to always take your time and test samples. This will ensure that the shade you pick works best with the natural light you have; you can never be too thorough when it comes to your paint selection. Try painting large sheets of paper in the shade you are thinking of using and stick them to the four walls of that space, this will allow you to see how the colour captures the flow of light within the space. ALSO think of adding plants to your space. Plants bring natural energy into your home and always feels like nature’s sunshine to any space.
Shadows create darkness, to minimise their impact start by moving furniture away from your windows as this will help to allow as much light as possible to flow into the room.
When it comes to decorating your space, I always say opt for light - toned textured finishes and furniture that allows contrasting shadows to move across them. This will draw the eye to the natural pull of the light from the windows.