Biophilic Design

On tablescapes, in kitchens and baths, garden and great rooms, green seems to be having a moment.

Photo courtesy of marvin Windows and Doors

Extensive windows and doors link to greenery outside and bring nature inside.

©istockphoto.com / martinwimmer

Photo JORDAN STEAD / Amazon

Not too long ago, it was difficult to spy even a vestige of green in a room. Today, it’s almost impossible to find new interior scheme without a spark of green. “We’re seeing emerald green used on everything from walls to cabinetry to tile and even lighting,” observes Sue Wadden, director of color marketing at Sherwin-Williams.

Green hues, especially deep vibrant shades, seem to be everywhere along with living greenery and plants. But rather than a fleeting color preference, the passion for green might also be the first sprouts, indications of a more transformative movement — biophilic design — edging into residential design and architecture.

Biophilia, according to consultants Terrapin Bright Green, refers to humankind’s innate biological connection with nature. Although social psychologist Eric Fromm first coined the phrase “biophilia,” the concept wasn’t popularized until the 1980s when biologist Edward O. Wilson took up the mantle. Biophilic design introduces natural elements, organic forms, light and water into the built environment. Research shows integrating natural elements increases productivity, enhances creativity and improves mental health. “We’re getting evidence-based design, especially in the healthcare industry, that just by having a view of the outside a patient recovers quicker and requires less medication and attention after surgery,” observes Miami designer B. Pila.

“The use of green in home interiors is picking up steam,” explains Stephanie Pierce, director of design for MasterBrand Cabinets. “There are a variety of shades cropping up today, particularly in the kitchen and bath from deep emeralds to soft sages and dark ivies. Deep, moody hues are making a bold impact on these spaces. The effect is as cozy as a warm blanket.”

“Touches of rich, verdant green can make it feel as though you’ve escaped to the outdoors and are soaking up the invigorating effects of nature — without even leaving your home,” shares Wadden.

“With the growing interest in wellbeing in all aspects of our lives, including the home, people are using nature-inspired lush greens to bring comfort into spaces,” explains Christine Marvin, director of corporate strategy and design at Marvin Windows and Doors. “Emerald green is a bold color that perfectly balances glamour with calmness, evoking a sense of relaxation and inspiration.”


Three spherical conservatories forested with more than 40,000 plants and trees allow Amazon employees to work while surrounded by nature.

Photo courtesy of sherwin-williams

Green, whether an accent or main course, is a mainstay on design menus.

Until recently, biophilic principles were utilized primarily in commercial structures, and the inclusion of nature — living plants, park-like oases, organic forms, natural materials including wood and stone, water and light — is revamping corporate settings including Amazon, Apple and Google. Last year, Amazon’s long-awaited biophilic project, The Spheres, opened on the site of its original headquarters. The three glass and steel domes are forested with more than 40,000 plants. Along with plants and a four-story-tall green wall, there are waterfalls, a river, walkways and meeting spaces. Hotels and other commercial spaces are implementing biophilic design practices but with more modest expressions.

For residential buildings, the addition of natural elements and connections with the outside has been an ongoing evolution, partially in response to consumer attitudes rather than a dedication to biophilia. Designers are just catching on. “Consumers are more educated in wanting healthier lifestyle choices,” says Angela Harris, creative director and principal of TRIO, an award-winning interior design firm in Denver.

Current residential design merges indoors and out, organic and humanmade, using visual and real connections. The integration of outdoor spaces is a response to consumer lifestyle demands, but the end result potentially delivers the cognitive, psychological and physiological benefits biophilia advocates tout.

“We’ve noticed an increase in demand for bigger windows over the past five years, as more people want to feel connected to the world around us while we’re indoors,” comments Marvin. “In a world that’s become fast paced and where our living and workspaces are merging, letting light in allows us to feel alive and connected to space outside our homes. Incorporating large windows into the home plays a significant role in achieving this ‘outdoors in’ feel and connecting to nature. We’re also seeing a pull towards large window walls, or many windows that are mulled together to create a wall of light that heightens the experience of light in a home.”

It may seem biophilia is just another quick moving fad, but more than one organization is promoting the concept and actively formulating certifications for buildings under the auspices of groups such as the International Living Future Institute, a Seattle-based nonprofit that encourages sustainable practices and wellness. In 2016, a cadre of architects, builders and researchers formed the Biophilic Design Initiative to further the movement. Biophilia is also part of the U.S. Green Building Council’s WELL Building Standard.

Whether or not biophilia will exert a long-term influence on design remains to be seen, but there is a good chance wellness and nature will be an important aspect of design’s new normal.

Live Your Best Light

If your home's style is feeling a little under the weather, try experimenting with some new lighting. You might be surprised at the life it brings.

Picture Perfect

The right wall decoration can give a home that unique touch that helps further showcase you and your style.

Declutter Your Space

Start 2020 off right by organizing your space and making room for a decluttered start.

Colorful Royalty

In an interview, Nelson De La Nuez discusses the incorporation of images from American pop culture, today’s advertising and high-end branding in his art.

Be My Guest!

Make your guests feel more at home with these tips to improve your guest room, making friends and family feel as if they stepped into a five-star hotel!

Out with the Old, in with the New

Give your home a new spring in its step with colorful windows and doors that will draw the eye and boost curb appeal.

A New Style for the New Year

Lovers of Scandi’s enlightened sense of style will rejoice at the discovery of the beautiful Farringdon and Dorset collections of reclaimed wood furniture from Modish Living.

Green Dreaming

The color green symbolises life, renewal, harmony and growth and is set to steal the limelight of new interior design concepts in the year ahead.

Custom Stone and Glass Mosaics

New Ravenna, a designer and manufacturer for both residential and commercial installations offers unforgettable collections of custom stone and glass mosaics that are envious and full of detail.

Design Predictions for 2020

As 2019 comes to an end, we are looking at trends for 2020 and how our sense of style is bound to change.

A Guide to the Michelin Guide

Bvlgari Hotels & Resorts is proud to announce that both the hotel’s signature restaurants, the Italian Il Ristorante — Niko Romito and the Chinese Bao Li Xuan, have been awarded Michelin stars during the Michelin Guide Shanghai 2020 presentation ceremony.

The Art of Writing

Exclusive writing instruments elevate the tradition of putting pen to paper — a ritual technology cannot erase — into fine art

Bedding for a Cause

The Good Sheet, a luxury bedding brand based in Tasmania, Australia partnered with non-profit organization, One Tree Planted, is planting five trees in its home state of Tasmania with every bedding set sold.

Modern Midwestern Makes

These two Midwestern brands, both with a reputation for timeless design, craftsmanship, and innovation, will debut a new collection in January 2020.

Concrete-Inspired Gift Guide

Looking for inspiration this holiday season? Check out this gift guide with an edge. These concrete-inspired items are perfect for your home or office and will stand the test of time to celebrate for years to come.

Lovers of Scandi’s enlightened sense of style will rejoice at the discovery of the beautiful Farringdon and Dorset collections of reclaimed wood furniture from Modish Living.

Modish Living was founded by husband and wife, Chris and Hellen Barlow in 2012 with an idea born around a wooden kitchen table to create an online boutique selling a handpicked collection of beautifully crafted, reclaimed, rustic and sustainable wood furniture.

Renowned for its simplicity and beauty, Scandinavian style shows no sign of losing its popularity in homes and interiors. Its pared-back and minimal style have evolved into a more cozy feel, focusing on sculptural organic shapes, earthy pigments, natural materials and textures, such as wood.

Everything from tempting trestle dining tables and family-friendly extendable tables to a welcoming wood bench and seriously stylish sideboards, these naturally rustic additions will add an instant Nordic vibe to your dining space. Made using aged reclaimed wood rescued from old buildings, Modish Living’s Farringdon and Dorset collections are the perfect fit for Scandi design devotees. Skillfully crafted to enhance the natural tones of the wood and given a renewed sense of purpose and style, these pieces evoke a sense of comfort, style and happiness.

As well as providing essential storage, this sideboard has a natural beauty and character. The natural markings of the reclaimed wood shines through the white painted finish, giving it a lived-in authenticity perfect for a Scandi feel dining room.

The distressed white base of the Dorset Extendable Trestle Table keeps the aesthetic neutral while adding warmth.  Accessorize with a sheepskin rug and the large white bamboo pendant is styled here.

Three central drawers and two large cupboards offer plenty of storage for your kitchen essentials. The subtle lacquer accentuates the natural markings and history of the wood, whilst giving it a distinct Nordic feel.

The large pendant above the Farringdon extending table is made out of biodegradable woodchip; the perfect pared-back accessory to complement this 100-percent reclaimed wood collection.

Photos courtesy of Modish Living

Cheerful and perfectly imperfect, terrazzo is a trend that was popular in the 1970s and derived from mosaic artforms. Building on the popularity of marble over the last few years, terrazzo now offers a playful alternative with more color.

 

This speckled mosaic of marble scraps originated with Venetian craftsmen over 1,000 years ago, but it couldn’t look more cutting edge. When created with contemporary colors and placed within a modern scheme, terrazzo brings interest and texture to countertops, floors, and staircases. It also works incredibly well as a graphic design for fabrics and wallpapers.

Photo courtesy of  Idyll Home

Terrazzo is a favorite in design, graphics, and architecture, and it’s likely going to last. 

While the real historical terrazzo consists of a mix of really small pieces of scraps scattered in the concrete, the terrazzo we see at present in design and interiors is a mix of different marbles with bigger sizes, less density, and a more striking graphical look.

Going together with the rising popularity of pattern decor, terrazzo gives you several different possibilities for decor, and to add color in original shapes.

Photo courtesy of  einrichten-design.de

Rugs, Curtains, Tablecloths and More

Terrazzo, an Italian flooring composite, is one of the biggest current trends in fashion and interior design, thanks to its bespoke and unreplicable look. Rug’Society is proud of bringing this craze to the tapestry world with our Terrazzo Rug, one of the most trendy choices to bring any ambiance together.

Photo courtesy of Rug’Society

Wall Decor that’s Functional

Karlsson Tom Terrazzo Wall Clock Pink

The Karlsson wall clock Tom Terrazzo in pretty pink adds a chic industrial touch to your walls. It is finished with black hands, a red second hand and a high-quality quartz movement.

Photo courtesy of The Design Gift Shop

Throw Pillows and Wallpaper

Eye-catching terrazzo works as a decorative display, whether it’s on an elegant throw pillow or covering the walls.

Photo courtesy of  Patricia Braune Textile & Surface Designer

 

Photo courtesy of  einrichten-design.de

Featured image courtesy of  Maison Valentina

Whether you live in a modest studio or a trendy loft, it can prove challenging to design and organize a small living space. Luckily, there are simple and creative ways to make a tiny apartment feel [almost] like a penthouse. 

Photo courtesy of Original Style.

In the kitchen, a large, rectangular dining table takes up most of the space. Opt for a small, round table so you can maximize the space to move around in when cooking or entertaining guests. Cabinetry tends to have extra space at the top and bottom. Go for cabinets that go all the way up and down, making the room feel higher. Mirrors create an allusion that a room is larger than it seems. The oldest trick in the design book, mirrors expand the space and add dimension.  

Photo courtesy of Oak Furnitureland.

Photo courtesy of Essential Home.

Day-beds double the size of a bedroom. Try and find a day-bed that is multi-functional, providing storage space or an extra bed when a guest stays over for a night. Don’t have a spot for a desk? Install a wall desk, which takes up less room compared to a regular one. Mount shelves about it for extra storage. 

For studio apartments with less area and no defined rooms, create zones by using dividers or other furniture. This design strategy helps designate where people can go when they visit and what is more private. 

Photo courtesy of Noa and Nani.

Photo courtesy of Einrichten-design.de.

Photo courtesy of Go Modern Furniture.

Utilize pieces of furniture for more than one use. A coffee table can be used as a dinner table, an extra chair means a nightstand. Sofa beds are a great way to take advantage of a location for people to sit and become a place to sleep at night. Murphy beds keep where you sleep hidden and some come with shelving for storage. 

Cheerful, bright colors open up space and liven it up. Pick out colors such as turquoise or pink hues. Cool, even tones make the room feel as if it’s larger than it is. If bright colors aren’t your thing, try neutral, even tones such as tans or grays. This color scheme tricks the eye into thinking the room is bigger than it is.

Photo courtesy of PLACE TO BE.

Tropical decor is a bold statement that can be difficult to balance. Avoid over-the-top details and learn how to embrace muted accents and elements that elevate a space without making it too whimsical. 

If tropical brings to mind luxurious retreats and dream vacations, you may want to incorporate the look into your home. Here are a few tips for bringing tropical to a high-end level that you’ll love throughout the seasons.

 

Photo courtesy of English Blinds

Bold Wallpaper

Most tropical decor involves a playful wallpaper or large piece of art. There are a variety of quality wallpaper brands that can help create an oasis of color and charm for your space. Have fun with your wallpaper, there are many to choose from and it is the quickest way to transform a space. 

Photo courtesy of  Wallsauce.com

Add Foliage

Tropical prints are just the beginning. If you are looking for an authentic feel and want to avoid a staged look, incorporate real tropical greenery that will play off accents, prints and other details in your decor. A snake plant or peace lily truly capture the tropical feel, yet they are low maintenance and easy to care for. Greenery can also bring out muted tones that might appear in prints. 

Photo courtesy of Mindthegap

Try Traditional 

Fun details can be luxurious. Black and white, monochromatic, or muted prints can still embrace tropical imagery. A palm tree wallpaper or a pink flamingo statute can be toned down in terms of color, allowing more flexibility in your decor. Don’t shy away from traditional items but the balance between just enough and too much is delicate.

Photo courtesy of Brabbu Design Forces

Keep it Neutral

Neutral tones help to balance bright colors and bold shapes that appear in tropical wallpapers and prints. If you’ve decided on a statement wallpaper and you’re worried about overwhelming your senses, it helps to choose natural accents such as wood furniture and flooring. Light grays and white also tone down the intensity of a space. 

Photo courtesy of Essential Home

Mix and Match

If you want to truly embrace the tropical sentiment, be bold and confident with your choices. For an earthy tropical feel, mixing a variety of prints that play off of each other with color palettes that work together will bring your space to life. Mixing and matching prints, designs and elements can come together to create a luxurious balance. 

Photo courtesy of Essential Home

According to The Architectural Review, “The arch was used as early as the 2nd millennium BC, but it was the ever precocious Romans who began the systematic use of the arch, in their greatest engineering feats and as a means of celebrating their greatest military victories.”

Photo courtesy of https://parlourbrooklyn.com/

The Colosseum is an iconic historical site that is recognizable for its grandeur and the well-known arches that make up the exterior. But other cultures and builders throughout the world have also embraced and embellished arches in their architecture. The pointed arch, as seen at Tintern Abbey, Wales and in other gothic architecture, the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, and The Leaning Tower of Pisa are just a few examples of arches found around the world. Arches are often marveled at for their complex structure and their seeming ability to defy gravity.

Photo courtesy of https://parlourbrooklyn.com/

Here and Now

The Parlour

In an effort to honor the historical identity of Brooklyn’s highly sought-after Park Slope enclave, INC infused classic elements from the neighborhood with a modernized approach into the design of the new boutique residences at Parlour.

                                                                                                Photo courtesy of https://parlourbrooklyn.com/

The custom-crafted, mullion-free arched windows from Europe are an homage to the signature arched bridges in Prospect Park, and the limestone brick a nod to the limestone townhomes with arched motifs that face the park.

Photo courtesy of https://parlourbrooklyn.com/

Luna

Also, located in Brooklyn, New York is Luna — 39 condominium residences designed by Luca Andrisani with a host of amenities tailored to make every day a holiday, according to lunagowanus.com

Building Rendering: Credit PAX Brooklyn

130 Williamby David Adjaye in New York City

“At 66 stories and nearly 800 feet tall, Adjaye’s first New York City high-rise tower is an important contribution to the New York City skyline. 130 William’s hand-cast concrete facade creates a striking form against the cityscape of Lower Manhattan,” according to the 130 William website.

130 William also includes the intriguing arched windows. At the top of the building, the theme has been turned on its head, with upside down arches lining the upper floors.

Often serving as the focal point of a living area, a fireplace can take a room from ordinary to extraordinary.

Whether it’s a fireplace that hangs from the sky or a fireplace with multi-colored LED lights, European Home has compiled research to form the definitive ‘what’s hot’ list of luxe outdoor modern fireplaces for the summer of 2019.

This is what’s trending in modern outdoor fireplace design.

Fire that hangs from the sky. For example, the suspended Ergofocus by Focus Fires combines the humble backyard fire pit with the high art of the sculpture garden at MoMA. This fireplace even rotates so you can enjoy every square foot of your outdoor living space.

Ergofocus by Focus Fires
Image courtesy of Focus Fires

Paxfocus by Focus Fires
Image courtesy of Focus Fires

A linear fireplace with a twist (or a corner rather). The J Series: Corner outdoor fireplace can dramatically draw attention to the architecture of your outdoor living space with its unique wraparound corner design.

 Industrial textures. This wall-mounted outdoor fireplace features a rusted, corten steel finish which is the perfect textural accompaniment to an industrial or minimalist outdoor living space.

The architectural fire pit. At actress Courteney Cox’s Malibu home, custom seating becomes an extension of the patio and surrounds a teak and steel gas fire pit.

Custom Architectural Fire Pit. Photo by Simon Upton
Image originally published by Elle Decor

Color + Illumination. The JM2 outdoor fireplace offers the ability to illuminate the interior of your fireplace with multi-colored LED lights so you can create a tantalizing outdoor ambiance with or without the flames.

The fireplace is the epitome of luxury, and many other brands are also creating innovative fireplaces. Here are only a few:

napoleonfireplaces.com

modusfireplaces.com

flarefireplaces.com

Trends and styles traditionally fade out of the limelight only to resurface a few generations later, usually with a few twists and fresh perspectives. But retro themes and designs remain popular and are now making an appearance in the realm of luxury.

Photo courtesy of DelightFULL

Photo courtesy of Essential Home

Incorporate Brass

Overall, brass contributes to a classical ambiance and can complete the vintage look you’ve been searching for.

A vintage floor lamp will fit perfectly in your mid-century modern living room or vintage retro design hallway. With a structure made in polished Estremoz marble and with multiple lampshades made in brass and aluminum, this floor light is a modern lamp full of grace and charm.

The Monocles Screen is a refined room divider. The folding brass structure holds three walnut panels with brass holes that let you glimpse into the other side. Stylish and functional like no other.

Photo courtesy of The French Bedroom Co

Photo courtesy of Smithers of Stamford

Rattan and Recycled is Retro

This Retro Rattan Console blends craftsmanship and texture with a little bit of artisan vintage into your space. Cane wickerwork and teak framework work perfectly together to reinvent the 70’s furniture trend into a more refined, elegant shape, styled more for modern homes.

Made from solid recycled boat hardwood, the satin hand-painted finish has been added to bring out the beauty of this retro speedway range. It’s retro, unique and a lifetime buy that will never go out of fashion.

Photo courtesy of Yellow Octopus

Photo courtesy of Lights4fun

Props that aren’t Played Out

The GPO 200 classic, British Rotary Telephone is a one-stop communication portal for all your conversation needs. Touch base with friends and family, then buzz, dial and connect with a classic design of modern technology. Bring a piece of iconic phone technology right back into the present.

Retro Cinema Lightbox is the perfect opportunity to customize your decor. Create a fun message that suits your mood and enjoy the classic element that will elevate your space.

Gather around the fireplace and embrace the comfort of warmth and fresh designs with these fireplace trends.

 

The fireplace is so much more than an accent today. A crackling fire has become a central point of design in some rooms, a conversation starter, and a gathering place within the home. Transform your home with these stylish and modern trends.

Don’t Be a Square

There are endless opportunities for creativity when it comes to fireplaces. The time for traditional fireplaces that are built of bricks and right angles is officially over. Embrace the variety of shapes to choose from, including round fireplaces. This stunning circular fireplace is eye-catching and adds to the warm and inviting atmosphere. The placement, color, and overall style produces an unforgettable element in this space.

Divide Your Space

A dividing wall or partial wall is the perfect place for a fireplace. Adding a component like this simultaneously separates the rooms and brings it together. The coziness of the fireplace easily spreads to both areas. This trend is also the answer for those struggling to spice up an otherwise bland dividing wall. Avoid overwhelming the space by keeping the fireplace low to the ground and subtle.

Make it a Focal Point

A fireplace doesn’t have to blend in to be functional and beautiful. Whether guests are settling down for a movie night or assembling with some wine and good conversation, it is increasingly popular to make your fireplace the central point in a room. This type of fireplace will not only attract guests but is bound to start a conversation. Is there anything more relaxing than an afternoon around the fire? Don’t be afraid to make your fireplace really stand out!

A Subtle Spark

If your fireplace isn’t a large part of your space for most of the year, then a subtle addition can be as equally appealing. A smaller element that is close to the ground could be the perfect touch of warmth that you’re craving. This design is grand without overpowering the space.

Visit https://modusfireplaces.com/ for more of their luxury fireplace collection!

Photos courtesy of Modus Fireplaces

The Pantone Color Institute has named 2019’s Color of the Year — Living Coral, an animating coral hue with a golden undertone that energizes and enlivens with a softer edge.

 

Vibrant, yet mellow PANTONE Living Coral embraces warmth while providing comfort and buoyancy.

The Color of the Year selection process requires thoughtful consideration.

 

To arrive at the selection each year, Pantone’s color experts at the Pantone Color Institute comb the world in search of new color influences.

Each year, Pantone is influenced by diverse industries — including the entertainment industry and films in production, traveling art collections and new artists, fashion, all areas of design, popular travel destinations, as well as new lifestyles, playstyles, and socio-economic conditions. 

 

Influences may also stem from new technologies, materials, textures, and effects that impact color, relevant social media platforms and even upcoming sporting events that capture worldwide attention.

In turn, the Color of the Year has influenced product development and purchasing decisions across industries for 20 years — from fashion, home furnishings, and industrial design, to product, packaging, and graphic design.

 

This year, PANTONE Living Coral will embody a sociable and spirited energy, encouraging light-hearted activity and symbolizing our need for optimism and joyful pursuits.

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