Biophilic Kitchen Design: How to Embrace Nature Into Your Home

Last Updated on April 23, 2024 by SampleBoard

A "biophilic kitchen" is a kitchen design concept that incorporates elements of biophilia. Which is the idea that humans have an innate connection with nature and benefit from exposure to natural elements.

In the context of a kitchen, a biophilic design aims to create a space that fosters well-being by integrating aspects of the natural world.

The goal of a biophilic kitchen is to create a harmonious and health-promoting environment by bringing the benefits of nature into the heart of the home.

This design approach aligns with the growing awareness of the positive impact that nature-inspired spaces can have on our well-being.

This can be done in several ways, from using natural materials in the build of your home or the furniture, fixtures, and fittings.

Or by physically including plants, greenery, and other natural elements.

Biophilic Kitchen

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What is Biophilia?

"Biophilia" is a term that was popularized by biologist E.O. Wilson in the 1980s. It refers to the innate human connection to nature and living organisms.

The concept suggests that humans have an inherent affinity for nature and a biological need to interact with and be surrounded by natural elements.

Biophilia recognizes the positive impact that nature has on human well-being and emphasizes the importance of integrating natural elements into our built environments.

Key principles and aspects of a biophilic kitchen include:

Nature-Inspired Design

Biophilic kitchen design involves incorporating elements of nature or natural patterns into the design of spaces.

This can include the use of natural materials, colors, textures, and organic shapes that will help you create an earthy kitchen design. 

Indoor Plants

Bringing live plants into indoor spaces is a common biophilic design element. Plants not only add visual appeal but also contribute to improved air quality and create a connection to the natural world.

Incorporating nature into your home and kitchen and adopting an innate biophilic design from the outset, presents you with so many opportunities to accessorize and adapt to interior trends.

The neutral and adaptable nature of this style allows ample room for growth and will always mesh seamlessly with new homeware purchases, gifts, and more.

Whether you’re receiving an ornate bouquet of Sympathy Flowers from a loved one, or you’re given a vintage vase as a family heirloom. A nature-inspired kitchen will always be versatile and adaptable.

Natural Light

Maximizing natural light in interior spaces is a biophilic design strategy. Exposure to daylight has been linked to better mood, productivity, and overall well-being.

Views of Nature

Providing views of nature, whether through windows, skylights, or other openings, allows occupants to connect with the outdoor environment and promotes a sense of calm.

Water Features

Incorporating water elements, such as fountains or indoor water features, aligns with biophilic principles.

The sound and presence of water can have a soothing effect and enhance the overall experience of a space.

Natural Materials

The use of natural materials, such as wood, stone, and bamboo, is a key aspect of biophilic design. These materials contribute to a sense of warmth and authenticity.

Organic Shapes and Patterns

Biophilic design often includes organic shapes and patterns inspired by nature.

Curved lines, fractal patterns, and biomimicry are examples of design elements that emulate natural forms.

Sensory Experience

Engaging the senses is important in biophilic design. This includes incorporating elements that stimulate sight, touch, smell, and even sound, creating a multisensory experience.

Biodiversity

Encouraging biodiversity in outdoor spaces, such as gardens or green roofs, is another aspect of biophilia. It involves creating environments that support a variety of plant and animal life.

Biophilia has gained prominence in various fields. Including architecture, interior design, urban planning, and healthcare.

Researchers and designers recognize the positive impact that connections to nature can have on physical and mental well-being.

The principles of biophilia are applied to create environments that promote health, productivity, and a sense of harmony with the natural world.

Biophilia in Kitchen Design

When it comes to a biophilic kitchen design, the obvious choice is to use natural woods and supplement it with herbs and other edible plants, so that it is both practical and rustic.

This works just as well in modern kitchens as it does in the more traditional farmhouse-style kitchen. Plus, the self-sufficiency of ‘growing your own’ is bang on trend.

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One of the most important aspects of biophilic design is how it makes you feel. It isn’t all about aesthetics.

You want to be able to create a multi-sensory environment, using a variety of materials, colors, and textures.

And, what is more natural than cooking up fresh ingredients to create meals for your family and friends?

Your kitchen is so much more than a practical space, it is also an area for gathering and socializing.

With that in mind, you will want to design somewhere in which people want to stay and feel comfortable in their surroundings.

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Image credit: isthatsoh.com

Furniture to suit your style

Depending on your style of kitchen, you may want to have wooden furniture for a traditional look or glass furniture for something more clean and modern.

Both options tie in with a biophilic kitchen design, making the most of natural resources and bringing a feeling of airiness into the room.

Add soft furnishings in eco-friendly materials and neutral colors to make your kitchen feel cozier, but without detracting from a feeling of space and comfort, both physically and mentally.

Informal mismatched seating inspired by the different colors and textures found in nature, combined with Swedish hygge aspirations and feelings will ensure your kitchen really is the heart of your home.

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Cabinets and worktops in earthy tones

Most cabinetry for kitchens is made of wood as default, but to give it a fully wooden look, strip it bare and varnish it to bring out the grain.

Or opt for a non-painted and non-laminated frontage and stick to the natural wood.

Alternatively, paint your cabinets in earthy palettes such as greens and browns, to blend in with the outside.

Pair your cabinets – whichever style you choose – with a wooden worktop.

Walnut worktops add timeless beauty to any style of kitchen, with their wavy design creating interest and the dark tones complementing most shades and colors.

For a brighter, lighter kitchen opt for beech or oak wooden worktops.

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Shelving and ornamental displays

The beauty of wood like oak is that it is hardwearing and, as such, can be used in other parts of your kitchen too, such as shelving.

Combine the shelves with rope fixtures for a nautical look, or use copper piping for something more industrial.

Dress your shelves with plants, terrariums, or even small water features.

Choose stoneware or glassware and incorporate different textures to create a more organic interior biophilic kitchen design.

Tactile displays bring an added sense of holistic wellbeing to the room too, helping you to feel grounded and becalmed.

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Image credit: apartmenttherapy.com

Natural flooring materials

Solid stone floors or stone tiles are a great way to add another biophilic kitchen design element.

As well as being a practical choice for a kitchen with heavy footfall areas as they can withstand any amount of use whilst maintaining their original aesthetic.

For something potentially cheaper and less likely to break anything that may be accidentally dropped, using cork for your flooring is both environmentally friendly and makes use of yet another natural resource.

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Flood your kitchen with natural light

Letting the light in is a fundamental part of biophilic kitchen design.

So having large windows or even a wall of bi-fold doors if you have the space and the means, is perfect for really bringing the outside in and creating that feeling of being out in the fresh air.

You want to avoid harsh overhead lights where possible. Opting instead for some warmer tones that light the areas where you actually need them.

You can achieve this with spotlights standard lamps, or hidden LED lights under your kitchen cabinets, producing a mixture of light and shadow.

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Additional accessories to create wellbeing

Dressing your kitchen with plants and greenery not only contributes to biophilic design but is also a great way to naturally purify the air around you.

Using the likes of bamboo washing-up brushes, cotton dish towels, and natural sponges is both sustainable and eco-friendly.

Any form of organic cleaning products, or choosing to make your own with lemon juice and other natural ingredients, adds to the whole ethos.

Shapes that mimic those that are naturally occurring in nature can be incorporated into tiling and splashbacks.

Herringbone is a particularly popular biophilic design feature and is an ideal pattern for your kitchen tiles.

Alternatively, use wallpaper to make a feature wall somewhere in your kitchen. Opting for designs that feature aspects of the natural world, such as trees, leaves, and water.

Installing a curved island to give the room a flow and create a designated path through the kitchen adds to the sense of well-being and automatically strengthens and eases mental health.

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Final thoughts

Creating a sample board is a great way to put all your ideas in one place, gain inspiration, and see what works and what doesn’t when it comes to interior design.

Ultimately, you can include anything that brings you joy, warms your heart, and makes you feel at home.

Sample different colors, materials, and textures and get a feel for how your kitchen could look before you make any changes.

Putting you on the right track for when you are ready to get stuck in and design the biophilic kitchen to which you aspire.

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