We sit down with Kate Haynes, Founder of EHG Home and owner of the stunning ‘Natural Connection – W6’ location in West London, for an insight into biophilic design – the concept that is at the core of her styling ethos – as she shares her top tips for easily creating a more biophilic home.
Hi Kate. First off, please tell us, what is biophilic design?
I came across the concept of biophilic design relatively recently. Biophilia literally means “love of life” In 1984, a renowned scientist Edward O Wilson introduced the concept that human’s connection and attraction to the natural world is not only inherent but crucial to our physical and mental wellbeing. We feel good in nature, being in nature, connecting with nature, looking at nature and interacting with nature. It is key for our well being and helps us keep calm and thrive which is why I am focused on a wellness biophilic approach to my styling services to help you bring the mood boosting natural world in to your homes.
How have you incorporated it into your home?
I naturally steer towards a natural palette – cool, clear blues, fresh greens, warm woods and earthy tones and like to style using nature inspired textures, shapes and patterns, combining real or faux plants and artwork, soft furnishings and natural décor and accessories with pictorial representations of nature.
I love to introduce natural materials into my interior schemes, such as rattan, linen and bamboo – their tactile surfaces help combat the smooth, man made finishes, straight lines and hard edges of modern life. As a sustainable stylist I also like to choose natural décor to accessorise with, using an artisan handmade cushion, sourcing a vintage lamp or introducing a piece of furniture made from wood. It’s all about establishing and maintaining that connection between the home and the natural world. It is truly a fabulous inside/outside living experience come sun or rain with the oak tree outside taking centre stage!
What are your top tips for someone looking to create a more biophilic home?
There are some simple steps towards creating a more biophilic home environment that we can all adopt. firstly….free your windows! The quality and provision of natural light is integral to biophilic design and windows are your home’s key source, despite the fact they can often be partially obscured by curtains, drapes and blinds. By pulling these back or removing them entirely, you can maximise both the light they let in and what you can see out – a view over a garden or tree tops, or even just a glimpse of the sky is precious. Keep sills free of clutter and windows clean and throw them open wide, not only for the fresh air but to connect you with the sounds and smells of the outdoors.
Secondly, have a look around and see whether you have positioned your furniture to best connect with your outdoors, creating recuperative areas within your home to retreat to and relax in. Comfy chairs or sofas turned towards patio doors will enable you to enjoy the outside even when inside, while a reading corner in a bedroom with a chair backed against the window will best utilise the natural light coming in.
Finally, if you work from home, think about moving your desk or table in front of a window. According to the biophilic train of thought, not only should this boost your productivity and keep you focused and inspired, it will enable you to literally turn your back on all those distractions from inside your home. Even the simple repositioning of a mirror to reflect a window may better bounce light around a small or dark space.
What is your favourite thing about biophilic design from your perspective as a home stylist?
Not only does it focus on connecting us more with nature, thus improving our general wellbeing, it fully supports sustainable styling since natural fabrics and materials not only last longer but create far less waste and impact on our environment than man made alternatives. What’s not to love?
(Kate Haynes is a home stylist and the Founder of www.ehghome.co.uk)
If you’re looking for a space that has biophilic design at its heart then ‘Natural Connection – W6’ is an ideal London location for your next photoshoot, film or video production.