Reduce Anxiety NOW! with Biophilic Design

Image Credit - Evelyn Muller by Claudia

Our homes are very personal spaces that inform our mindset, emotions, productivity and our health. 

A dull dark house can depress us, similarly a home with brightness, light, great design, and interiors lifts our spirits and effects our well being. Homes are where we go to escape; during winter, and this COVID lockdown means many of us are spending 23 hours a day, or more, indoors. 

Here are five ways you can create biophilic harmony, serenity, and reduce anxiety for both your home and work environment.

Toro Canyon House, Image Credit - © 1stdibs
Toro Canyon House, Image Credit - © 1stdibs

A  Soothing, Natural Environment

A soothing environment actively helps to improve our emotional wellbeing, health, happiness and recovery. These spaces can be created within our home through using natural materials that will allow you to connect with nature and the outside world.

Neutral tones create a calming space. Take inspiration from outdoor memories such as a holiday, walking up into the mountains or brushing your feet across the sand with the shore line at your feet. Simple forms and patterns will help you to foster a connection within your home with the outside world.

  • Natural woods such as oak and walnut are excellent used in flooring, doors or furniture. 
  • Soft furnishing’s for upholstery material are best when 100% organic. 
  • Rugs are a simple and easy way to source organic material, eg, natural seagrass that can be used for mats or rugs, which create both warmth and tactility within the room. 

By emulating nature in your home, you are able to create that deep connection to nature. This improves  air quality within the home PLUS  plants are a great addition as they help to purify the air we breathe. 

What about scents?  You can really build a connection with the outside world through the exploration of natural scents such as lavender, lemongrass or pine.

Harleen’s Top Tip: introduce nature though out your home and workspace. Think about how you can create a sensorial connection to nature.

Cliff Top House by Hare + Klein, Image Credit - © 2021 Est Living
Cliff Top House by Hare + Klein, Image Credit - © 2021 Est Living
Designed by Interior Designer Jessica Helgerson. Image Credit: Aaron Leitz
Designed by Interior Designer Jessica Helgerson. Image Credit: Aaron Leitz

Natural Lighting 

If you are fortunate enough to have Natural light streaming through the windows then you are already ahead of the game. If you struggle to get natural light within your home try and identify where you would like the natural light to be and increase your nature light sources whether through windows, light linen curtains or artificial light sources. By amplifying your natural light sources, you will be able to improve your mental well being and creating a more inspiring space to be both for relaxation and work. 

If you struggle to source natural light organically, there are ways to ‘create’ natural light. This can be through daylight lamps or light therapy lights that will allow for adjustments of temperature and colour depending on the day cycle. Without natural light our circadian rhythms are compromised, good artificial lighting can offset the more adverse consequences of poor lighting, or a lack of light.

Another key component to creating natural light with artificial light is having the correct temperature, which will help set the right mood, tone and ambience. When you go to choose your ambient bulbs think about what temperature you want to create. If you want to create daylight choose a range of 5500 – 6500 K and if you want to create an environment that is warmer and inviting chose a range closer to 2,200 – 3000 K.

Harleen’s Top Tip: chose the correct bulb and invest in a good quality lamp.

Designed Mygdal, a glass planter that lets you grow plants inside, even if there are no windows. Designed by Studio We Love Eames (Image Credit)
Designed Mygdal, a glass planter that lets you grow plants inside, even if there are no windows. Designed by Studio We Love Eames (Image Credit)
Mai table lamp, Image Credit - Zuiver
Mai table lamp, Image Credit - Zuiver
Verilux HappyLight Light Therapy Energy Lamp, Image Credit - Amazon
Verilux HappyLight Light Therapy Energy Lamp, Image Credit - Amazon 
SmartSleep Connected Sleep and Wake-Up Light, Image Credit - Philips
SmartSleep Connected Sleep and Wake-Up Light, Image Credit - Philips 

Storage 

Storage is a great solution that will allow you to create focused and refined spaces which are free of clutter, whilst creating areas for the display of interior décor and cultured curated objects. Storage is a great one to have a home office as this will create a calm, clean and organised space where you can concentrate and excel.

When it comes to storage, this isn’t something that should be rushed. Time and consideration should be taken when positioning objects in storage systems and be proportioned evenly within the space. This will help create harmony, balance and composition with the space. Some great storage suggestions are floating shelves with can be fitted within a kitchen or in the alcoves of a living room. Think about buying timeless pieces of storage that will help create a flow within the home and can be adapted as you and your home grows. 

Harleen’s Top Tip: when choosing storage consider smart storage hacks that will allow for the display of beautiful, cultured objects and artwork as well as being able to conceal clutter.

Kreis Design Freetsanding Room Divider, Image Credit - Wearth London Limited
Kreis Design Freetsanding Room Divider, Image Credit - Wearth London Limited 
Octagon Bamboo Shelf, Image Credit - © 2021 Little Deer
Octagon Bamboo Shelf, Image Credit - © 2021 Little Deer
Designed by Adeeni Design Group, co-designed with Sutro Architects Image Credit: Christopher Stark
Designed by Adeeni Design Group, co-designed with Sutro Architects Image Credit: Christopher Stark
Designed by Henrietta Thompson and Ed Padmore, Image Credit - The Modern House
Designed by Henrietta Thompson and Ed Padmore, Image Credit - The Modern House

Relaxation Spaces

Relaxation spaces within the home are more important than ever before.   Living in a world pandemic for the last year we have had to learn to adapt and change to form a new normal whether that be working from home, being on furlough or home-schooling. 

We all need a space. Within the home we need to  be able to separate the daily chaos of our lives with a calming serene environment. A quiet corner, alcove, or bespoke created space will help all members of the household weather the Pandemic blues.

Resting and relaxing in downtime is essential and that will help to elevate stress and boost immunity.

Consider creating a  readings nook,  a yoga room, or zen environment.  Acoustic listening rooms that could play sounds of nature and music will bring you in to a state of relaxation. 

In these relaxation spaces you can not only enjoy your hobbies, but explore new interests and learn skills such as pottery, painting or drawing. 

Top Tip: when it comes to your home make a space where you can devote your time to activities that will aid happiness and restorativeness for you.

Image Credit - Garden Soul
Image Credit - Garden Soul 
'The great escape: 10 spaces made for "me time"' Image Credit: Richard Powers
'The great escape: 10 spaces made for "me time"' Image Credit: Richard Powers
Designed by Simo Design, Image Credit - Boni Bryant & Joe Reichling
Designed by Simo Design, Image Credit - Boni Bryant & Joe Reichling
VERZELLONI Zoe, Image Credit ( Verzelloni 2017)
VERZELLONI Zoe, Image Credit ( Verzelloni 2017) 
Frida Florentina's Workshop, : Image Credit - Betina
Frida Florentina's Workshop, : Image Credit - Betina

Simplification

The key to simplification is the process. Japanese interiors are known for their simplicity. If we go back and take a look at traditional Japanese interiors, you will be able to see how spaces are formed through balance of restraint, light, shadow, materials and texture to create a harmonious environment. These attributes are considered to sharpen our senses and calm the spirit. 

Simplicity is something we have learnt through living in a pandemic to simplify our living spaces to retain only what is truly necessary for functional everyday living. The only objects that we do need in our home are ones that embody our lifestyle such as artwork from places we have visited, photography of your favourite memories to books, art and soft furnishings like throws. 

Harleen’s Top Tip: As we learn to navigate our way through a pandemic, strive towards simplicity and de-clutter that will enable you to de- stress and reduce your anxiety levels day by day. Just ask yourself, if it is not functional for your day-to-day life or beautiful, what do you need this item for?

Image Credit - Rose and Grey
Image Credit - Rose and Grey 
Delightfull, Unique Lamps, Image Credit - Jéssica Justo
Delightfull, Unique Lamps, Image Credit - Jéssica Justo

So, in summary you can see there are some amazing ways to create a biophilic anxiety reducing space. Let me know which is your favourite way to de-stressing your home? Join me next week where I will be talking about my favourite biophilic books in aid of it being world book day.