Design + Decor

Outside In: How Biophilic Design Can Make Us Happier

Design by Eve Gunson | Photo by Hannah Blackmore | Adore Magazine


By definition, “biophilia” is the love of life and living things. By our very nature, human beings are biophilic, which means we have an innate biological connection with nature; that spending time outdoors can have a positive impact on our mental and physical wellbeing.

That helps explain why crackling fires, crashing waves and a beautiful garden captivate us and bring us joy and enhance our creativity. According to research on the topic, it can also  explain “why shadows and heights instill fascination and fear; and why animal companionship and strolling through a park have restorative, healing effects.”

Biophilic “design” then, centers on the idea that interiors which mimic the great outdoors will make us happier, calmer and generally improve our lives.

And science agrees. In a fascinating 2019 study, children in Denmark who had been exposed to more greenery had 50 percent fewer mental health problems later in life compared to those who weren’t exposed to nature.

I personally have always subscribed to the idea of biophilic design, even before I knew it was a thing. I’ve always loved being outdoors and could never live in an apartment that didn’t have a patio or deck. My current townhouse has one patio and three decks and backs up to a wooded area with a stream, where deer and owls make regular appearances.

I also love fresh flowers and plants and have many inside my home and on my deck during the summer, and I am lulled to sleep each night by the sound of ocean waves.

Even much of my art features beautiful landscapes!

Here’s my dining room. Note all the plants and the landscape art. Even my furnishings have an organic, natural vibe.

Photo by Karen Palmer


Today I’d like to share some beautiful examples of biophilic design and even some ideas if you’re thumb is a little more brown than it is green.


Open to the Outdoors

Open those doors and let the outside in! The more glass surfaces your home has, the more you can enjoy the outdoors, even if you can’t bring it inside your home These homes are truly at one with nature.

Homeowner and designer Eva Gunson said about her home: ““We wanted to create an oasis within the inner city because we live in such a high density area. Screening the back wall of the terrace with mature bamboo gave us privacy, but also a luscious, natural green wall.”

Design by Eva Gunson | Photo by Heather Blackmore | Adore Magazine


Every single room in Eva’s home has views to the outside and includes lots of plants.

Design by Eva Gunson | Photo by Heather Blackmore | Adore Magazine


Design by Eva Gunson | Photo by Heather Blackmore | Adore Magazine


Via Andréa Alcantara

Love this! Almost looks look a glass house with patio doors above and below.


Architect: Sean Lockyer | Photo by Noah Webb


Architect: Ong & Ong


Architect: Ong & Ong


Bring the Garden Inside

Courtyard gardens and garden rooms are a beautiful way to bring the outside in and are becoming increasingly popular as we are staying at home more these days. Garden rooms are basically rooms that are dedicated to nature and plants. Some even have a water feature. They are a place to retreat, relax and enjoy being “outside” anytime.

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How cool is this enclosed terrarium!


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Let the Sun Shine In

Expansive windows that create an intimate connection to the vistas outside are an important element in biophilic design. (For more glorious glass and wondrous windows, click here).

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Love this window above the shower!


Casa Haus

A pretty cool reading nook


Renée Finberg Blog

Now that’s a view!


Live in a high-rise? No problem. You, too, can take advantage of biophilic design with a rooftop or vertical garden. (Read more about vertical gardens, here).

And finally, if you love the idea of biophilic design but just don’t want to get your hands dirty, botanical-inspired wallpaper is trending right now and can really make a style statement in your home.





Now that I have you all excited about biophilic design and how it can have a direct impact on our happiness and wellbeing, CLICK HERE to discover the perfect plants to place in your home.

In the meantime, if we can help you bring a little design (biophilic or not)  into your life, please give us a call at 314.395.1114 or CLICK HERE to send us an email.

We’re back running full speed at Marcia Moore Design but if you’d still prefer to work virtually, we understand and can do that, too. Whatever works best for you and makes you the most comfortable is great with us.

Stay safe and healthy,

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P.P.S. CLICK HERE to check out our portfolio. We recently uploaded several new projects that we’re super excited about.


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