Biolphilia –  the future of interior design


One of the key interior trends this year is Biophilic design which seeks to connect people and nature.  Creative designer, Cindy Austen of Habit@tHillcrest, winners of a gold medal award at the ECR House & Garden Show for an outstanding exhibit, shares her take on this latest trend that is turning dreams of outdoor tranquil spaces into indoor reality

What is Biophilia?

Biophilia as a principle is concerned with the direct relationship we have with our natural surroundings. Our bustling 21st century lifestyle does not always allow time for personal contact with nature. Incorporating natural elements first-hand into our interiors enhances the environment and provides us with an astonishing list of essential psychological and physiological benefits.

Our stand at this year’s ECR House & Garden Show showcased this design theme through the use of plants, natural feel woods, a stone-inspired rug, natural scenting and a variety of lighting.

“We combined this with the pantone trend colour Living Coral. Pantone describes this trend colour as: ‘an animating and life-affirming coral hue with a golden undertone that energizes and enlivens with a softer edge.’ We felt this was just the right contrast to bounce off the grounding theme of Biophilia.

Elements of Biophilic Design you can add to your home

Using Biophilic design and its elements in your homes is part of creating a stronger environment that synchronizes with the natural biorhythms.

One of the easiest ways to start introducing a biophilic design into your home is to add natural shapes, textures and colour resembling nature along with very important elements such as air, plants and light.

It is important to understand that the Biophilic design is not just a choice of one of these aspects, but a complex interweaving of many elements to achieve a satisfying result within your home.


Light enhances any space, big or small and is vitally important for our wellbeing.  It is important to maximise natural light in your living room. This can easily be done by introducing blinds or shutters which can be used instead of curtains.

Fresh Air

A room really should connect with nature and bring the outside in. If you don’t have a room with a beautiful wide opening, then open any inter-leading and surrounding doors and windows for fresh air whenever you can. The airflow prevents staleness, and the increased oxygen will make you feel more energised.

Bringing nature indoors

Too often our inside spaces are sterile and have no reference to nature in them. Bringing nature and natural elements into your home can connect us to the natural place that we live within. Plants, small indoor green walls and simple water fountains, even on the countertop, connect us to nature. Natural materials like wood or stone offer us textural and pattern variations that replicate the sensory variation we experience in nature.

Benefits of the using the Biophilia Design in your home

Biophilia is so important for our physical and mental well-being. If we are deprived of the ability to affiliate with nature, it most certainly has a negative effect on our wellbeing. Studies have shown that our ability to directly access nature can alleviate feelings of stress, promote recovery from mental fatigue, and enable better focus, mental stamina, and productivity.  Perhaps surprisingly, it has been found that even looking at pictures of scenes of nature has the ability to lift our spirits and make us feel more relaxed.  Exposure to natural daylight is another important element. It can help to elevate our mood as well as balance the hormone that regulates sleep.

Biophilic design isn’t just another design style to improve the look of your interior. It is essential for your happiness and well-being.

It is also not just another passing trend, but a practice that will become inherently more important in the future of design, interiors and architecture. Even more than this, it’s going to be one of the guiding principles.”

If you can’t do it on your own, Habit@t Hillcrest have an enthusiastic team of professionals who are well versed in Biophilic design and will transform your living spaces ensuring a more vibrant and harmonious environment. You can follow them on Facebook or Instagram: habitat hillcrest, contact [email protected] or call 079 294 5337