Tag Archives: calming interiors

Biophilic Design for Learning

a collage of various biophilic design samples in the real worldDespite the documented benefits of getting outside and experiencing nature firsthand, students spend most of the day indoors and a growing proportion of that time is spent staring at a computer screen.  This reality reinforces the value of applying biophilic design principles to a new school building or campus renovation to create a better learning environment for students.

Open Air School, Netherlands, 1918

Open Air School, Netherlands, 1918 – The health benefits of nature connections have long been appreciated. Open air schools originated in the early 1900s in response to tuberculous outbreaks. The first open air school in the US opened in 1908 in Providence, Rhode Island.

Biophilic Design Defined

Biophilic design has received growing attention in recent years. The idea that nature connections help to inspire, calm and nurture us almost seems like common sense. Biologist Edward O. Wilson, who literally wrote the book “Biophilia,” describes our innate tendency to affiliate with nature.

Biophilic design acknowledges this reality and focuses on strategies to increase occupant connections to the natural environment. This is achieved through a combination of direct connections, simulated nature, and space and place conditions. Continue reading

PATTERN PERFECTION: Making Bold Patterns Work for Your Spaces

different patterns on a variety of surfaces

Patterns are back and making a HUGE impact across the industry in everything from interior design to fashion to rolling pins.

tory burch anthropologie

According to Tory Burch, the patterns we are seeing in 2018, like the items at right from Anthropologie, were inspired by the work of David Hicks in the 60s and 70s.

As is often the case, many of the floral prints, tropical vibes and geometric patterns that are dominating current fashions are now popping up in interior spaces. Both fashion and interior design trends reflect a constantly evolving blend of tradition, culture and innovation that influence self-expression whether it is your personal or business brand.

Patterns, like bold colors, add visual interest and often serve as the focal point for a space.  They foster a sense of energy and dimension that are difficult to achieve with color alone.  When done well, patterns have the power to transform any space or object into quite a showstopper with rich and distinctive interest.  While going bold can be daunting, it does not have to be.  The challenge is developing the right mix of elements to effectively interact and balance one another, ultimately forming a cohesive whole that is both unique and inviting.  If you are scared of jumping in feet first, start small, with a gorgeous pillow or a unique piece of art. Continue reading

NATURE CONNECTIONS: Biophilic Design Strategies for Interior Spaces

Biophilic design Biophilic Design CoverBiophilia is a relatively obscure term for a basic principle – humans are instinctively drawn to nature; it nurtures, calms and inspires us. German social psychologist Erich Fromm coined the term in 1964 to describe our innate need to be connected to nature. E.O. Wilson, American biologist, researcher, theorist, naturalist and author of the book “Biophilia,” came up with the biophilia hypothesis—that the deep affiliations humans have with other life forms and nature as a whole are rooted in our biology. Continue reading

VISUAL CUES: Design Strategies to Support People with Dementia

Memory-Dementia Care Cover GraphicAs the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia have been steadily increasing, the demand for specialized settings is likewise on the rise. There is also a growing movement to empower our towns and cities to better support those with dementia, so they can choose to remain in their personal homes and fully engage with others (not just others with dementia) for as long as possible. In either scenario, we believe careful and respectful design strategies can function as a silent “enabler” to support dignity, personal expression and independence to the greatest extent possible. Continue reading

SERENITY NOW! Exploring Minimalist Design

Minimalist Design Cover ImageMost Seinfeld fans can remember George Costanza’s father randomly shouting “serenity now” in an effort to achieve calm in the chaotic world of the Costanza family. However, he may have been able to achieve the same effect by simply eliminating some of the clutter in his home.

Drawing from Japanese design principles, minimalism exemplifies the concept of “less is more.” Simplicity, openness, and often symmetry are some of this disciplined style’s guiding principles. And while the removal of non-essential elements is key, the end goal is not to create stark or sterile spaces. Instead, a minimalist approach to design helps draws attention to outside views, architectural features, key furnishings or striking artwork. The following are a few minimalist design tips to help create peaceful, appealing spaces by reducing visual distractions and interior clutter.

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