We Need Healthy Interior Spaces

Are you tired of the starkness of the minimalist trend? Does grandma’s 1970’s colorful and cluttered knick-knack décor have your head disarrayed? Then you are going to like the new design trend of Biophilic Design, which is melding nature with indoor spaces. 

Google Tel Aviv biophilic design (Office Snapshots)

Biophilia Definition via Green Plants for Green Buildings “We believe in biophilia. Biophilia is the instinctive bond between human beings and other living organisms and living systems. Research suggests that buildings that contain features of preferred natural environments will be more supportive of human well-being and performance than those that do not contain these features.”

One main factor for this healthy natural design trend becoming popular is the Covid pandemic, this has increased the popularity of Biophilic Design within common areas, public spaces, workspaces, and residences. People are working remotely more and creating a peaceful space in common areas of café’s, libraries and homes offices have become the spaces we spend the most time in. It makes sense to design these spaces more inviting, comfortable, and healthy.

What is Biophilic Design?

Biophilia is defined as the inherent human inclination to affiliate with nature. Biophilic design, an extension of biophilia, incorporates natural materials, natural light, vegetation, nature views and other experiences of the natural world into our modern environment.

Biophilic design has become more popular and evident since the Covid pandemic, it was once of lesser interest has grown into an entire movement that aspires to transform our interiors by combining nature and natural elements into our interior environments.  

Design specialists suggest by adding several live houseplants and trees to a space will create a calming, balanced atmosphere, live plants also help filter toxins from the air. If house plants are not for you, painting natural shades of green, blue and neutrals is also a way to incorporate biophilic design. 

Another idea is to place furniture close, or facing windows as you view nature, large windows will increase the light in a room, thus melding your interior with nature, such as the sky and trees. Natural shapes will incorporate Biophilic Design into spaces with pieces of artwork showcasing ocean waves, trees, and flowers. Larger design examples are sofas, tables, and storage pieces with shapes with smooth lines (opposed to angular) representing tree branches, rolling hills or clouds in the sky. Here are additional components to help transform spaces to have more Biophilic Design elements in them. 

“It’s a movement, not a trend” By Shivani Vora When it comes to new homes and residential developments, biophilic design is quickly gaining traction. It’s a style that connects homeowners to nature with elements such as indoor plants and fountains, terraces, and gardens. Views of the ocean, mountains, and other outdoor landscapes also figure in. “Biophilic design is a movement today, not a trend,” says the celebrated designer Clodagh who has worked on biophilic-focused projects for the last two decades.

Principles of Biophilic Design

  • Environmental features: Incorporating well-recognized characteristics of the natural world into the built environment: color, water, air, sunlight, plants, animals, and natural materials and landscapes.
  • Organic natural shapes: Plants, animal, and shell patterns, shapes resisting straight lines and right angles, arches and vaults and domes, and simulation of natural elements incorporated into art, architecture, design.
  • Natural motifs: Altering the sensory experience of a space, change, and transitions; complimentary
    contrasts, the relationship between balance and tension.
  • Light and space: Understanding how, and why humans react to light such as warm, cool, shaped, filtered, diffused, etc., informs how to use it. The same relates to differing kinds of spaces: Shaped,
    harmonious, jarring, light and dark.
  • Geo-based references: The importance a of place is tied to meaning, Historical, social, geographic, cultural, and ecological.

Benefits of Biophilic Design

Biophilia is more than just a perspective, biophilic design has been found to:

  • Live plants increase oxygen 
  • Increase mood & feeling of well-being
  • Improve productivity
  • Reduced stress levels
  • Improve health
  • Mental restoration & reduced fatigue

Additional Resources

Portable Living Green Walls

Portable living green walls are the answer for small spaces that cannot hold a full scope living green wall. Your local plantscape company will have a design team that will custom design portable living green and floral walls for any type of space, from professional offices to residential homes.

Open or free flowing design style of today’s offices are not a trend, they are here to stay, at least until the next trend approaches. The style does lend itself to benefits such encouraging better collaboration among workers that leads to more creativity and company spirit.

Open spaces do have disadvantages, one being that the acoustics are poor, not to mention privacy issues. Enter portable living walls! You will have your choice to have a stationary wall or one that is easily portable that is on wheels. We have shown some examples below of situations that portable walls can be an asset within a space such as dividing work stations from a conference table and one that adds color and style to the decor.

Advantages of living green walls:
1. Improves Air Quality
2. Reduces Airborne Dust
3. Is a Noise Reducer
4. Stabilize Moisture Levels
5. Reduces Carbon Dioxide Levels

This portable living green wall has a variety of green plants with different color tones, textures and leaf sizes to add interest, the purple plants are bromeliads.

Key benefits of a Green Wall:

Improved Indoor Air Quality – Air that has been circulated throughout a building with a strategically placed green wall (such as near an air intake) will be cleaner than that on an uncovered building. The presence of vegetation indoors will have the same effect. These processes remove airborne pollutants such as toluene, ethyl benzene, xylene, and other volatile organic compounds.

Noise Reduction – The living plant surface provided by greenery such as moss walls and green walls will block high frequency sounds, and when constructed with a substrate or growing medium support can also block low-frequency noises.
Value in Marketplace – Green buildings, products, and services now possess a competitive edge in the marketplace.

Higher Standard of Health and Well-Being – Buildings that feature and promote Biophilia have been documented as having a greater positive human health impact than those without. Studies have shown that visual access to natural settings leads to increased job satisfaction and productivity and post-operative recovery rates in medical facilities.

Here you see portable living green wall dividing a conference area from personal desks in an open office setting.
A portable living wall designed with red Antherium brightens up an industrial office space. The living wall can be moved to different areas of the open space to divide and areas.

Your local plantscape company can assist you with your questions pertaining to placement, design and to installation a portable living green wall. You can read more about buildings and offices going green in The Wall Street Journal and Green Plants for Green Buildings.

Why are living Moss walls becoming so popular?

Moss walls are a healthy choice as they help cleanse the air, reduce noise and add a natural design element to a space without adding clutter.  Hopefully you have seen a moss wall, or possibly you have seen one without knowing exactly what it was!

Moss walls along with living green walls are the latest trend for live greenery in Interior design for esthetics as well as wellness benefits.  Innovators in the plant industry found that they could create dimensional art pieces that abstracted natural design, which could be custom designed to complement all styles of interiors. They began incorporating moss along with beautiful and sustainability hand-harvested pieces of driftwood and other natural elements, into custom vertical moss pieces.

In the plant rental service industry clients ask for designs that required minimal maintenance.  A moss wall is created from preserved mosses; therefore they need very little care. Your preferred local plant rental service company is able to custom design moss walls that are a work of art, or prefab framed Moss walls are available with customization.

(photo) -Modular units of different species of Moss are mixed with cork and stone to create a zen-like wall art.

Biophilic is a word that you have most likely started hearing about much more and it’s going to have an increasing influence on your world with interior design and architecture.  We have an intuitive and deeply ingrained attraction to nature, and a biological need for contact with the natural world.

The word ‘biophilia’ literally means a love of life or living things. (It stems from Greek and is the opposite of phobia. Phobia = fear of. Philia = love of.)

Edward O Wilson, an American biologist made the concept popular in 1984 with his book ‘Biophilia’. He won a Pulitzer Prize in 1978 for On Human Nature. In the 21st century, He defined it as “the urge to affiliate with other forms of life”. In the last decade or so biophilia has been recognized by the scientific and design communities. There have been studies that show convincing evidence of the positive benefits of interaction with nature.

Research shows that it can:

  • Improve productivity,
  • Lower stress levels,
  • Enhance learning comprehension,
  • Increase recovery rates from illness.


(photo) Fallingwater, the famous house by Frank Lloyd Wright is a good example of Biophilia, melding life with nature.

Living moss walls will not only make your space look better, but it also adds appeal to the indoor air aroma and makes the areas air quality much healthier! Live plants, trees and moss use CO2 that helps circulate air throughout an area. They help remove harmful VOCs (Volatile organic compounds) from the ambient air while releasing fresh, pure oxygen.

If controlling indoor sound is a concern, try a moss wall! Distractions from noise are one of the top complaints from employees in workplace with open layouts. Reindeer moss walls have been tested and found to have a NCR rating of .9, that’s very efficient!

I hope I have given you some insight on the background, esthetics, and health benefits of moss walls. Now that you understand the theory of Biophilia, melding human life with nature and our surroundings, and how it is incorporated with interior design you will see why it is a growing trend in our health and beauty conscience society.

I hope this information will intrigue you to explore your surroundings and to find a space to install a colorful artsy moss wall. You can start with a moss bowl on your table or a small moss piece in a small picture frame style wall hanging.

You can find examples of moss walls, moss bowls and moss art on internet sites such as Houzz, Pinterest, Instagram.  You can also contact your local plant-scape business that are listed under Interiorscape, Plant Services and Plant Rental Companies.

(Photo) You can start small with a moss bowl. This moss bowl almost appears to be gravitating up to reach out to you!

(photo) This Moss wall presented in a frame incorporates plants to create even more texture and color for art lovers.

(photo) A representative from a Plant Service Company demonstrates how versatile a modular Moss system can be. This sample combo-pack shows Moss mixed with stone and bark panels for color, texture and design appeal. Panels come in many sizes or they can be custom designed.