Naturally inspired homes: how nature can help you create a soothing and efficient space

Naturally inspired homes: how nature can help you create a soothing and efficient space

The concept of “design inspired by nature” has become a popular trend recently and it’s easy to understand why. According to the principle Biomimicry, nature has already found sustainable solutions to our design problems and can teach us how to create better living environments. Here are just four examples of how looking to nature can help you create a more soothing and efficient space.

Naturally inspired homes: how nature can help you create a soothing and efficient space

Photo credit: BHG

1. Let the natural light in

Plants have already proved that sunlight is an excellent source for gathering energy, so why don’t we take more advantage of natural light? If you already have south-facing windows, open the shades and let the natural light fill your space. Otherwise, you might also consider installing skylights. You’ll be surprised at how this simple change will make you feel more energetic and happy during the day.

Naturally inspired homes: how nature can help you create a soothing and efficient space

Photo credit: Top Inspired

2. Use recycled materials

As humans, we create a lot of waste from manufactured items. Nature, on the other hand, uses materials wisely and we could benefit from following its lead. Furnish your home with recycled pieces like light fixtures or tables. They’re just as stylish and you can feel better about reducing your impact on the environment.

Naturally inspired homes: how nature can help you create a soothing and efficient space

3. Find new uses for old products

The cycle of life shown in nature can teach us a thing or two about repurposing items. You might not be able to use that old piece of luggage anymore when traveling, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use the suitcase to meet a need somewhere else. Repurposing household items is a great way to reduce waste and give your space a unique look.

Naturally inspired homes: how nature can help you create a soothing and efficient space

4. Bring natural products into your home

Are there times when you step outdoors and just feel instantly better? Nature tends to have that effect on people, so why not bring a bit of the outdoors inside to create a more soothing space? Naturally inspired furniture like jute rugs are becoming more and more popular, making it easy for you to create an organic space that boosts your mood.

When you’re stuck on a home decorating problem, look to nature for inspiration. Nature can help you create a space that makes you happy and is better for the environment.

By Wendy Weinert

Defining design terms: What is biomimicry and what does it mean for you?

Defining design terms: What is biomimicry and what does it mean for you?

Decorpad

Biomimicry. The concept has been sort of a hot topic for designers in recent years, but rarely is it discussed or even heard of by consumers. So let’s change that. Biomimicry might be a discipline used in design but it affects consumers too and can dramatically change our future.

Defining design terms: What is biomimicry and what does it mean for you?

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First of all, what is biomimicry? In basic terms, it is a discipline that focuses on bringing nature inside and using nature as a way of solving human design challenges. You may have noticed the recent trend of nature-inspired products. For example, a chandelier made out of wood or a jute rug created from plant fibers. Well you see, biomimicry relies on the assumption that in the past, nature has already found solutions to many of the problems we as humans are trying to solve. All you have to do is study nature to find the answers.

Defining design terms: What is biomimicry and what does it mean for you?

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Biomimicry is not simply looking at nature and being inspired for a new fabric print, light fixture or table design. It’s much, much more than that. In biomimicry, nature is used not only as inspiration for a product’s aesthetic form, but for its construction, development and process as well.

This might all sound very scientific and a bit confusing, but it’s simpler than you think. In fact, you have actually used products designed following biomimicry without even knowing it. Velcro, for example, is a product of biomimicry. George de Mestral, the inventor of Velcro, came up with the idea after observing the burrs stuck on his dog’s fur and his own clothing. By studying and copying nature, Mestral was able to develop a successful product that is still used today.

Defining design terms: What is biomimicry and what does it mean for you?

Inhabitat

Now that you better understand what biomimicry is and how it’s used in design, why should you care? Well, because finding answers by looking to nature can help designers develop more intelligent and sustainable products, meaning consumers too can benefit from biomimicry. You might even be benefiting from biomimicry right now in your own home! By observing and mimicking the internal structure of a firefly’s lit-up abdomen, researchers have been able to create more efficient LED light bulbs, therefore lowering the cost for consumers who use them.

A sustainable environment is better for everyone, so keep your eyes out for products that were inspired by nature and help biomimicry take on today’s environmental challenges.

By Wendy Weinert