A big part of a successful home design is found in its spatial design features and its relation to cultural and geographical aspects of your life’s journey and that of the place you live in.
The objective is to create interactions and relationships between spaces within a room, between rooms within our home, and between our home and the people, local environment, and community.
Interactions between spaces can be designed to evoke a set of feelings that bring the essence of many nature experiences with it.
Have you ever ice-skated on a frozen lake enjoying its beauty and magic while feeling a bit unsettled that there might be areas of thin ice you could breakthrough? A combination of apparent opposite feelings can create a powerful invigorating feeling.
Just take a moment to think about your own experience, in the mountains, woods, or breaking through the wall of breaking waves to get into the calm ocean behind. What else comes to your mind?
Design elements focusing on space and place are part of the nature-inspired design approach called biophilic design. It is one of three design categories to recreate the essence of powerful nature experiences at home. The three categories are:
- Direct Experience Of Nature,
- Indirect Experience Of Nature,
- Experience Of Space and Place.
These categories were developed by Stephen R. Kellert, known as the godfather of biophilic design. This post describes the third category experience of space and place. For a short general introduction to Nature Inspired Home Décor for Wellbeing, read my blog post How To Harness the Magic Of Nature For A Happier & Healthier Home
Dig deeper into biophilic design in my post Nature Inspired Décor For Your Wellbeing – It’s A Mindset Not A Style.
Examples Of These Design Features
Some of these elements build on some fascinating ideas linked to our evolution in nature like prospect, refuge, or fear, and awe, just to name a few. These design strategies are meant to recreate emotions we experienced living in and with nature.
Prospect & Refuge plays on our desire to survey our surroundings from a safe place – like a comfy chair with armrests and a high back, placed in the corner overlooking a room or the outside can create this experience. Of course, there are many other possibilities.
Fear & Awe, design elements that integrate a feeling of peril as well as wonder and delight. Ever went up a narrow spiral staircase going up or down a floor, or walked over a glass floor exposing a void below? It feels a bit like an adventure, yet somehow we do know we are safe, or are we…
Order & Complexity plays on the stimuli we get from balancing detail and diversity within a controlled order, like smaller patterns as part of a bigger pattern or a complex vignette.
The strategies in this category are more complex to a nature experience at home, yet they are very powerful. Homes that promote good physical & mental health usually connect the parts of this category with strategies of the two other categories.
Here are the design strategies focusing on space, place, and the particular emotions they trigger:
Prospect and Refuge | Organized Complexity | Curiosity and Enticement | Fear and Awe | Attraction and Attachment Integrate Parts to Create Wholes | Sense Of Place
Read my introduction to biophilic design and blog posts about the other two nature experiences for your home decoration projects: