It’s no secret that working from home can hold many benefits for both our physical and mental health. But if you’re sitting in the dark while staring at your computer screen for 8 hours a day, those health benefits may not be able to take full effect. In this regard, it’s important to make sure that your home office is somewhere you actually want to be. The best way to do this is by harnessing the power of biophilic design.
Biophilic design is a school of interior design that’s characterized by its focus on bringing the outside in. This trend is all about connecting people and the natural world within our built spaces. Today, we’ll be sharing how you can use biophilic design principles to elevate the look, feel, and atmosphere of your home office.
Naturally, the first step of welcoming the outdoors in is to make sure that there’s some greenery in your home office space. But before we start talking about houseplants, it’s important to keep in mind that there are other ways of welcoming natural elements inside without having to be mindful of pots of soil and carpeting.
For example, you could find a lattice structure or stylish batten fencing with a local fencing company, install this fencing right outside your home office window, and then grow some attractive climbing plants like ivy, white-flowered jasmine, or striking wisteria. Having this botanical display right outside your window can be a great way to take a mental break from your work here and there to just watch the flowers sway.
And if you are keen on getting a few plants into your home office space, then you can do this too! There’s evidence that keeping houseplants in your home can actually boost productivity (amongst other benefits), which makes them a perfect addition to your home office space. Many companies even use indoor plants in their offices for this reason.
If you’re a relatively new green thumb, you can choose some easy-to-care-for and difficult-to-kill house plants like peace lilies, spider plants, and philodendrons. You can also never go wrong with a few potted succulents here and there.
Designing with wooden furniture and other natural origin materials can be another great way to incorporate biophilic elements into your home office space. Amongst your new greenery, a timber desk and some matching cabinets or shelving is definitely going to invoke the feeling of your home office being its own little forest, or perhaps a charming, rustic farmhouse! And considering just how much wood veneer or hardwood furniture is available on the market today, this decor and furniture swapover should be a breeze.
You could make your wooden furniture that much more beneficial for your health and wellbeing by investing in a timber standing desk. As well as being an excellent way of practicing biophilic design at home, a timber standing desk can also help you feel more present and active during your workday. Sitting for too long can compress your hips, spine, shoulders and neck, and you can wind up feeling stiff and sore after hours of work. But by standing periodically, you can help to decompress these parts of your body, ultimately reducing the chances of an injury or feeling stiff at the end of a hard day’s work, where you deserve to do nothing but relax.
Yes, water can be a tricky element to include in your home in a feasible way, but it’s not impossible! And the ambient sound of running water can also work wonders for keeping you present, grounded, and focused throughout your workday.
So what’s the best way to add a splash of water to your biophilic home office? We recommend investing in a small water feature. This could be a small fountain or bubbler that mimics the sound of a babbling brook. And this water feature can either be placed inside your home office or right outside its window, framed with all the flowers and foliage you’ve cultivated outside.
Or you may even decide to invest in an aquarium or a terrarium for your home office – to house a few fish or even froggy or scaly friends. This little living ‘water feature’ is sure to provide just as much mental stimulation as your flowered lattice or batten fencing, or all the little succulents and other house plants that also call your office home.
When you’re looking to incorporate the outside world into your home spaces, there are two key elements that should be considered: airflow and natural light availability. You should feel encouraged to open the windows in your home office every now and again to encourage a healthy airflow, both for yourself as well as all your new plant friends. And if you’re worried about bugs, consider installing a flyscreen to your windows so that you can enjoy free-flowing air without any fear of infiltration by creepy crawlies.
You might also want to keep your door open and have other windows in your home open so that air can circulate throughout your house. The fresh air will keep your space from becoming stuffy. And if it’s too wet or hot to keep windows open comfortably, then you can stimulate the feeling of fresh airflow by having a fan run gently or even by using an air purifier.
Now let’s have a look at how you can maximize the amount of natural light in your home office space. Even something as simple as keeping your blinds up or curtains open during daylight hours can work wonders on maintaining your body’s circadian rhythm. And if your home office is on the top storey or you have a single-storey home, you could consider installing a skylight in your room. If you have windows that don’t receive much natural light and installing a skylight isn’t an option, then let us share one design hack that real estate agents have been using since the dawn of the industry: mirrors! Reflective surfaces can help maximize your natural light availability by reflecting light around the room. This provides the illusion that your home office has more light availability than it actually does.
If you’re able to follow these easy design tips to a tee, you should find that your home office has transformed into a light, airy, and very green haven where you can feel free to work without fears that you won’t see trees or sunlight during your workday. So enjoy this ode to nature that you’ve created from your workspace, and let yourself build positive working from home habits off of this very green and earthy foundation.