embracing biophilic design

Tom Kalinski, RE/MAX of Boulder

Coloradoans love the outdoors and it shows up in home design preferences. Many Boulder County homeowners design their environments to provide outdoor living and bring the outdoors inside, enhancing home enjoyment and real estate value.

Every year new design choices in outdoor living emerge and this year, a new-ish term gained attention when Pinterest named biophilic design a top trend of 2022. Biophilic design is an exotic sounding term to express what we in Boulder County feel every day — a human desire to feel connected to nature. Pinterest noted significant spikes in search traffic for terms such as “biophilic architecture” — up 150%, “biophilic office design” — up 300% and “biophilic design bedroom” — up 100%.

“Millennials are turning to plant-first design solutions this year to increase their connection to nature and enhance their well being. Staircase gardens, biophilic interiors and floral ceilings are all trending up,” Pinterest writes.

Following two pandemic-shadowed years, much of our entertainment transitioned to the outdoors for health’s sake. Now, it makes sense to see homeowners also want their indoor spaces to be nature-focused. Here are four biophilic design ideas from Better Homes and Gardens (BHG) that will enhance your enjoyment of your home and increase its appeal to prospective buyers.

Bring live plants into your design
One of the easiest ways to get started with biophilic design is through live plants. BHG suggests starting small, beginning with “a low-maintenance plant for your desk or a set of potted herbs on your kitchen windowsill.” The next step up is to add more plants, making them integral to the room’s design, such as an entire wall of plants or large floor pots filled with plants.

To protect the surfaces the plants sit on, place a large waterproof saucer and a coaster under the pots. For floor plants, add a plant caddy for another layer of protection and easy mobility.

Make window views a focal point
Be sure to remove unnecessary drapes from picture windows. Position your furniture to capitalize on the view, gazing into the yard, but take care not to block the glass and maintain an open feeling. Allow extra light to fill rooms with either traditional or tubular skylights, which can even frame the night sky when placed strategically.

Create a seamless flow from indoors to out
Use sliding doors or even frameless sliding glass walls to enhance the passageway from inside your home to outside. BHG also recommends a bedroom balcony or a deck that connects to your kitchen.

Boulder’s cool mountain evenings beg for open windows with night sounds drifting in and it’s an ideal way to bring the outdoors in. Do take care to install security and safety measures to protect young children and prevent unwanted entries. Always close and lock your windows and doors before going to sleep or leaving the house.

Use nature in your decorations
BHG advises the power of textures, colors and shapes that mirror nature to add a sense of the outdoors to your home’s interior. You can accomplish this with wood, leather and stone materials and muted natural colors.

These nature-inspired tips resonate with the lovely outdoor settings of Boulder County. If you are selling your home, adding biophilic design touches will boost its appeal as potential buyers imagine their life in the setting.

Read the full articles at www.bhg.com/decorating/lessons/expert-advice/biophilic-design and business.pinterest.com/en-us/pinterest-predicts/2022/biophilic-design.

By Tom Kalinski. Tom is the broker/owner of RE/MAX of Boulder, the local residential real estate company he established in 1977. He was inducted into Boulder County’s Business Hall of Fame in 2016 and has a 40-year background in commercial and residential real estate. For questions, email Tom at [email protected], call 303.441.5620, or visit boulderco.com.