Bring the outdoors in with biophilic design

08 November 2023

Creating a home that is your sanctuary is about more than just assembling four walls and a roof, it's about designing a space that speaks to your soul and, in many cases connects, you to the beauty and vitality of the natural world. 

Embracing the Australian lifestyle means acknowledging the fluidity between our indoor spaces and the rugged beauty that lies just beyond our doorstep. But how can you channel this harmonious balance into your own home? The answer lies in the art of biophilic design.

Biophilic design is more than a design trend, it's a philosophy that brings the outdoors in, making your home feel like a seamless extension of the natural world. It takes cues from nature to shape an environment that's not just visually pleasing but also emotionally fulfilling.  

“Biophilic design means incorporating nature into our indoor space to create a calming space with a visual connection with nature,” Oak and Orange co-founder and Andersens partner Sarah Jobse says.

By blending natural materials, colours and textures, you not only beautify your space but also enhance your well-being, offering a sanctuary where you can truly relax.”

Wondering how to make it happen? Here are some practical ways to incorporate biophilic design into your home.

Embrace Natural Flooring Options

When it comes to flooring, consider options that are not just visually appealing but also evoke a sense of nature. Sustainable materials like Andersens’ Calais Cream Cork flooring range, bamboo and luxurious wool carpets not only look good but feel amazing underfoot.

For coastal homes, think of lighter shades of timber flooring that mimic the hues of sand and sea. For urban settings, natural stone or sleek bamboo can add an organic touch to contemporary design.

“One of our biggest tips for homeowners is to consider the flooring not just as an isolated choice but in harmony with other elements in your home, not only the interior but also outdoor living spaces.  A flooring sample may look beautiful on its own, but its true essence comes out when it complements the wall colours, kitchen hues, tiles and even the materials you’ve used on a patio,” Sarah says.

Mindful Window Dressings

Your choice of window coverings can dramatically impact how connected you feel to the outdoors. Opt for window dressings that let in ample light and offer an organic feel. Oak and Orange suggest timber or natural-fabric blinds such as Andersens’ Sheer Vision that allow light to filter in gently, echoing the natural world outside.

Consistency is Key

Keep a consistent colour palette that resonates with your local landscape. If your home is near the coast, shades of blue, sand and weathered timber can create a serene atmosphere. If you're closer to a bushland area, then greens, browns and earthy tones might suit you better.

The aim is to create a fluid visual experience as you move from indoor to outdoor spaces.

Don’t Forget the Details

Small touches can make a big difference. Consider accessorising your home with natural elements like potted plants, timber or stones. Choose furniture made from natural materials like timber, rattan or jute. Even your choice of fabrics for blinds, cushions and upholstery can contribute to the biophilic vibe. Think linen, cotton and other organic materials that might mimic the natural world.

Function Meets Form

Create functional zones both inside and outside your home that naturally extend into each other. An indoor reading nook that overlooks a garden or an open-plan dining area that flows into an outdoor patio can make your living space feel more expansive and connected to nature. 

Sarah says to remember each choice is a chance to connect more with the natural world as nature and its charm are incorporated into your home, whether through flooring or the colour of the walls.

“Creating a home that truly serves as a sanctuary is an ongoing journey, not a one-time event. It's a thoughtful blend of aesthetic beauty and emotional resonance, influenced by the world right outside your doorstep. Let your home be not just a dwelling, but a living space that continually enriches your well-being,” Sarah says.  

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