Biophilic bedrooms: a natural approach to a good night's sleep
It's widely known that spending time outdoors is good for your health. Exposure to nature can reduce stress levels, boost your immune system and even lower blood pressure. But how do we bring this feel-good factor into the bedroom to encourage a good night's sleep?
Here, we explore ways to apply the principles of biophilic design to create a calming bedroom where you can rest and relax.
WHAT IS BIOPHILIC DESIGN?
The word 'biophilia' means 'love of nature', so when it's applied to interiors, biophilic design refers to the practice of creating a link with the natural world. This can be achieved by bringing lots of natural light into a space and introducing greenery, nature-inspired colours and raw materials.
"Biophilic design uses features or patterns that elicit a similar mental and physical response to those we have when we're in nature. It's not just literally bringing nature to a space, but also considering natural light, fresh air and replicating the cosy or stimulating feelings that nature evokes in us." – Interior designer and biophilia expert Oliver Heath
Creating a soothing, restful environment is particularly important in the bedroom because that's where we go to unwind and recharge. Bringing natural elements into the bedroom can promote feelings of calm, and plants can help purify the air to encourage better quality sleep.
Although it may sound counterintuitive to flood your bedroom with light during the day, exposure to natural light has been shown to aid sleep because it helps regulate circadian rhythms linked to our body clock.
‘’Light is essential for our health and wellbeing. Ensuring that we receive adequate light levels at the appropriate time of day benefits our alertness, mood, productivity, sleep patterns and many aspects of our physiology." – Sleep expert Dr Victoria Revell
Related read: Creating the perfect bedroom sleep sanctuary
BIOPHILIC DESIGN IN THE BEDROOM: IT'S NOT JUST ABOUT PLANTS
Introducing lots of house plants is the most obvious way to bring biophilic design into your home. And while introducing greenery is a vital part of the biophilic approach, there are more subtle ways to reference the natural world, such as selecting a gentle, nature-inspired colour palette.
Soothing tones of blue, green and grey reflect nature and help create a serene and restful backdrop for your bedroom. We associate tones of blue with sea and sky, and these links can help relax us and encourage sleep. Greens are strongly associated with the natural world, so painting a bedroom in pastel green or gentle sage can remind us of how we might feel while walking through woodland or lying in a grassy meadow.
Botanical patterns are another great way to bring nature into the bedroom. Fabrics and wallpapers with floral or jungle-inspired designs make a cheerful nod to the natural world and serve to 'bring the outside in'. Fruity motifs are trendy now, as are patterns featuring monkeys, ferns and palm leaves.
Get inspired with our bedroom-themed Pinterest board
EMBRACE NATURAL MATERIALS TO CREATE A RESTFUL ENVIRONMENT
The biophilic design celebrates nature, so add rustic charm to your bedroom by incorporating natural textures such as wood, rattan and bamboo. These can be introduced via furniture such as a headboard, bedside table or ottoman, or you could even clad your bedroom walls in slatted oak or walnut. Not only does this bring nature into your home, but it also creates a sense of the room extending beyond its boundaries.
Bedding should be natural and breathable, making choices such as cotton and linen perfect for a biophilic scheme. Surround yourself with nature by bringing in greenery like house plants. Popular options such as spider plants or boston ferns are easily available, and bigger plants such as a dragon tree or monstera are spot-on for creating an immediate impact.
If you're short on space, consider using macramé hanging baskets for your plants. They will bring welcome natural textures into your bedroom and tie in with the current trend for 70s-inspired interiors.
Read more about calming design schemes: Wabi-sabi: The stress-free design style we all need
At FibreGuard, we believe in simple, beautiful design using high-quality materials. Life is complicated, but living doesn't have to be.