Biophilic design is all about connecting humans with nature and creating interior environments that inspire wellness and wellbeing, so that we can feel and sense health benefits in a more present and grounded way.
For the past two years, we have seen a growing trend in the way in which people use bathrooms as a haven in their homes. – A space in which to de-stress, boost moods and relax.
Biophilic design enhances practical spaces with all things natural, and so in our homes, the bathroom is an obvious candidate for styling in this way.
If you are considering a bathroom inspired by nature and tranquillity, there are some key aspects to consider first.
Materials that come from, or that are inspired by natural elements, are a great place to start when it comes to designing biophilic bathrooms.
The continuity, blend and subtlety of material usage is one of the key elements in creating a cohesive, organic style. Everything needs to tie in together, without distracting or drawing the eye to any one part of the design.
Some materials to consider as part of biophilic design, include:
With more of a masculine and modern edge with a slight nod to the current industrial trends, concrete makes a great option for organically styled bathrooms. The imperfect qualities of this material give it a look that will create a standout bathroom design, particularly for elements like free-standing basins and seamless concrete flooring.
Natural stone is a warm, durable material to opt for, and makes a very hardwearing floor. It has an understated elegance that elevates bathrooms, with many of us now opting for stone slab worktops as a growing trend. It looks fabulous when used as tiles on feature walls, for example in shower enclosures and as other visual accents in bathrooms.
Non-toxic, sustainable materials
Bamboo is quite tolerant of high temperatures, and can take a fair amount of steam too, making it a wise choice for natural looking bathrooms. With a softer, more rustic aesthetic, the introduction of other sustainable materials such as cork and wood will also create an effortless, relaxed look and feel.
Keep in mind these materials throughout the process, including in the selection of worktops, furniture, and accessories too.
Because the aim of biophilic styling is to create a tonal, relaxed, and natural environment, it’s best to avoid strong and dark colours, which tend to draw the eye to specific elements and create bold and more harsh schemes.
Instead, select paler, warmer colours and consider using harmonious and tonal colour palettes.
If white and sand colours are a little too bland for your tastes, inject further interest with textured tiles and towels, or add hues inspired by nature like ocean blue, slate grey and botanical greens.
Muted versions of colours also work well in natural schemes. This is where the colour itself is slightly desaturated or has an addition of grey mixed in to tone it down a little.
Light it up!
Due to the enhanced connection with the outdoors, creating a natural source of light is a key aspect in terms of successful biophilic design.
But not all bathrooms have big windows, so how can you obtain a (false) ‘natural light’ effect if you do not have one?
- If space allows, use large mirrors to bounce any light that there is around the room, and reflect the illusion of space. The bigger the better, and when it comes to organic styling, select mirrors with rounded edges for a softer, flowing feel. Place them opposite doors or to the sides of small windows to help reflect light into the room. Mirrors with an illuminated edge will further help provide the impression of more light.
- Alternatively, illuminated mirrors or cabinets will help give a brighter glow to an otherwise dark room.
- White, polished finishes can help make a bathroom brighter
- Select white or neutral tiles, with soft tones to help reflect more light around the room
Whilst not the most obvious choice in a bathroom, considering wicker and rattan storage boxes will help obtain a relaxed and homely vibe. When opting for items like these, it is wise to position them on shelving that sits away from the wet areas such as showers and baths
Bamboo accessories such as trays and soap dispensers add a natural element to further support the organic styling.
In bathrooms where children aren’t bathed, a simple bamboo bath rack with a soy wax candle and plant can really help pull an organic scheme together, as well as add a little feeling of wellbeing and luxury.
Fabrics help soften bathroom spaces, which is an important aspect in terms of Biophilic design.
Consider sustainably sourced, neutral-coloured towels with textural elements such as waffle, woven or fringing and tassels for a natural, more bohemian scheme.
Layer up different coloured tonal towels and roll a few into a basket for a homely aesthetic.
Drapes and panels help soften the harsh edges of windows. – Use simple wooden knobs as tie backs to assist with ventilation.
One major aspect of biophilic design, and one which will immediately transform a bathroom from dull to dreamy, is the addition of a few plants.
En masse they can provide a real sense of bringing the outdoors inside, and they work well to help break hard lines and angles, which bathrooms are notorious for.
They also provide numerous health benefits, including air purification, improving the atmosphere, and enhancing mental health.
Our top tips for styling with plants in a bathroom:
Consider using plants of differing sizes and display them at various levels within the room. – Corners are great for hanging plants like Spider plants and Air plants and help if space is at a premium. Choose macrame style hanging planters to reinforce the natural element.
If space allows, a floor standing plant like a Fiddle leaf fig is a great option for a bathroom.
For pots, avoid strong colours and manufactured materials, choosing wooden, bamboo and concrete options instead, that’ll help blend into the scheme and stand the test of time.
Lastly, have fun! The aim is to end up with a bathroom space which brings you joy and boosts mood and wellbeing.
nvironments that inspire wellness and wellbeing, so that we can feel and sense health benefits in a more present and grounded way.