If you have not already heard of biophilic design, get ready to. It continues to gain momentum in the design world, and experts predict it will be long-lasting.
Erich Fromm, a psychoanalyst, introduced the world to the term "biophilia." He defined it as a "passionate love of life and of all that is alive." Although the name is recent, indicators of biophilic design are evident in architecture from as far back as the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.
Incorporating biophilia into our homes improves our mental and physical health. Since people spend an average of 90% of each day indoors, interior design and architecture that enhances our overall well-being are hard to argue.
It seems that people show their preference in their housing purchases. I recently read a study that showed that people are likely to spend more on houses with views of nature. The study indicated that buyers are willing to pay 7% more on homes with landscaping, 58% more on properties that look at water, and 127% more on those that are waterfront.
I want to be clear about what biophilic is not. If we insert an object from nature into our condo or casa, there is not much positive impact on our health and well-being. Biophilic design is a space that fosters engagement and repeated contact with those elements from nature that have helped humans survive and evolve. One isolated plant or picture of the ocean hanging over the sofa does not make a biophilic design. Decor based around the theme of a desert or arctic tundra is not regarded as biophilic.
Among the elements in the biophilic design are light and space, natural shapes and patterns and environmental features.
Regarding light and space, there is no question the importance of maximizing one's exposure to natural lighting. This means letting as much light flood into your home daily as possible. Keep glass windows clean and move any item blocking light such as plants and curtains. Move your favorite chair so that you maximize your view and sunlight. (For those concerned about discoloration of fabric, remember to get a performance fabric cover for your sofa and chairs. Performance fabric lasts much longer and keeps colors from fading.) Open, uncluttered spaces are equally important. Studies show that most people can significantly reduce stress levels when they are in areas that feel expansive and are organized.
Biophilic design style takes its cues from nature. It is essential to include curved or rounded lines and fractal patterns. A round edge sofa, coffee table or headboard are perfect because they emulate the soft lines we see in nature. A fractal pattern is a detailed pattern that repeats, looking similar at any scale. Good examples are shells, waves, ferns, and tree branches. Décor items with fractals are ideal for creating the biophilic style. (For those interested in reading more about fractals in nature, google "Fibonacci sequence.") The biophilic design color palette incorporates green, blue, and other earth tones in nature. Did you know that green is one of the most calming colors for humans and animals? Through research, scientists have linked green to reduced heart rate.
It will come as no surprise to those who live or visit here that our minds and bodies appreciate being so near the water. Water increases feelings of tranquility - no wonder our blood pressure goes down when we hear the ocean waves. Many biophilic interiors and exteriors incorporate water features such as pools, fountains, and waterfalls.
If your preference is to relax, rejuvenate and recharge at your condo in Puerto Vallarta, a biophilic design style is certainly one to consider.
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