Bringing the outside in

21st June 2019

Broken into three parts – direct and indirect experience of nature and experience of space and place – what becomes evident from Biophilic design is that as well as increasing elements such as light, air and water into our day-to-day lives, plants are key to both direct and indirect experience of nature. Adding greenery to your home will not just help to improve your mood, it can also reduce stress, decrease pollution levels and increase humidity.

While many of us dream of a kitchen where the doors open out onto a lush, green landscape, it’s not always possible so how do you best create a connection with nature inside?

Be real or go faux?

Adding houseplants into a space will achieve a direct experience of nature. If you’re not the most green-fingered then opt for succulents and cacti, still a big trend, or hardy plants such as Mostera deliciosa (Swiss cheese plant) and a Seventies favourite, Chlorophytum comosum (spider plant) or Aspidistra (cast iron plant) as they’re all pretty hard to kill. In a kitchen, creating a herb garden has the added benefit of being useful, too. Replant supermarket herbs in pretty handmade ceramic pots and keep in a well-lit space, watering from time to time and your basil, parsley and rosemary will be the gift that keeps on giving.

If you do want to add real-looking greenery but worry about it turning brown in no time, then opt for super realistic foliage from companies such as Abigail Aherne, Neptune and Oka. From faux flower stems such as hydrangea, magnolia, peony and rose to large scale cacti and succulents and even whole bay trees there are plenty that will help to give the appearance of a flourishing indoor garden without the work and worry. 

Get the look

Of course, there are plenty of other ways to add a feeling of nature to a space, particularly a living dining kitchen. Creating an indirect experience of nature is easy using foliage inspired wallpaper – such as Farrow & Ball’s Bamboo in soft green, or you could go tropical with Mind the Gap’s Bird of Paradise – on a feature wall

Finally, natural materials such rattan, wool, sisal, rough-hewn wood and crafted ceramics in earthy-tones all foster a connection with the outside world. Even a quick fix such as adding a few cushions with heaps of natural texture and floral or plant motifs will engender a feeling of calm and lift the mood on even the cloudiest of British summer days.