Bringing the Outside Inside!

Posted by Phoebe Oldrey in Biophilic Design, Interior Design Advice, Interior Styling Advice

first sense interiors

Meera, from First Sense Interiors lounge shows you how to execute simple parts of Biophilic design 

Bringing the Outside Inside!

There is a wrestling match between what our bodies crave and what our lives are doing. We are spending 90% of our time indoors yet research is saying that we have a general happiness and wellbeing from contact with nature. Even when I look at my own family I can see this in action. My husband blossoms when he is outdoors as if his soul is filled with joy. I however am an indoor girl but find true pleasure from flowers, seascapes and greenery all while avoiding mud and cold.

When doing my research into Biophilic Design I have become fascinated with how you can give people that contact with nature, which makes my husband happy, through interior design. I am aware that not every home has a beautiful aspect onto a garden or a beach and the people working or living in those buildings also need the benefit of the uplifting contact with outside.  So here are my ways to subtly bring the outdoors indoors.

meera first sense interiors

Meera, from First Sense Interiors has layered real plants with images of plants for a hit of nature on the inside. 

Something Living

Of course, true contact with nature is best so my first suggestion is to bring real life plants into your home. When Interior Designer and all-round interior guru Emily Henderson layers her room designs, she always insists there is something living in them by adding plants, big and small throughout.  It is the simplest way to literally bring the outside in. Succulents, Ferns and Cactuses are a great way to fill shelves and then look for your large fellows such as the Fiddle Leaf Fig to fill a corner.


Art is such a powerful thing for people to experience anyway but landscapes and seascapes are a great way of putting a window onto the outside world direct onto your wall. Art has to speak to you in the first place so when shopping for it make sure that the picture you are considering makes your heart skip a little, as it will say so much about who you are in your home. I would also say that you should think about what the landscape or seascape is depicting; you might feel a little bit chillier and winter sad if the image you choose is a snow scene, but you will be uplifted by something light, fresh and spring-like.

-blue sofa and butterfly chair

Meera, from First Sense Interiors has blues, tans and browns blended into her lounge for a colour scheme that echo mother nature.


I touched on this in my blog about Biophilic Design but there are a number of colours that simulate our reaction to nature. This is related to the Savannah Hypothesis which suggests that the following colours help create a link between us and nature:

Blue – for water and sky
Dark and medium greens – like lush heathy plants
Tawny golds, tans, browns and earth colours which are all found in the African savannahs.

But vibrant colour isn’t absent from Mother Nature and is often used to entice us towards things like purple flowers and red berries. To get the balance right just like Mother Nature you need to use small accents of these colours in your room to bring it to life.

Maria from The Interior Editor has skillfully used this Photo wallpaper in her kitchen makeover and layered it with real plants

Wallpaper and Fabrics

Fake it baby. The Palm House look is a great one to add to “fake” the outside inside. So you might be living in an urban jungle but your walls can feel as if you are living in a real one. This look is still going strong so you can easily find the wild wallpaper that is just right for you.

Image Credit

I would like to thank both Maria from The Interior Editor and Meera, from First Sense Interiors for so kindly getting in touch and sharing their photographs with Smartstyle Interiors.

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