Birch bark panels - Article: How to choose materials to create better nature connection

How to choose your indoor materials to increase your contact with nature?

Photo: Our Birch Bark Panels

There’s something about the aesthetic and physical experience of natural materials that taps into a deeper part of ourselves.

When looking to make our spaces better resemble nature, we need to think about natural materials.

What kind of materials can work well in a biophilic interior?

The first important thing to note is that there’s no one formula for creating a material connection with nature. 

However, there are some principles that can point you in the right direction.

Let’s have a look at some of these principles when choosing your own materials.

1. Think BOTH building AND decor

If you’re at building stages, great. You may choose more natural materials for construction. 

Often, a natural material used in the structure of a building is so attractive that it can even act as decor, for example imagine stone, timber frames or handmade bricks.

If you have an already built space, you can use natural materials in your finishing touches and decor. Think about including different kinds of wood, clay, or glass.

2. Envision the purpose or function

Let’s say you’re looking to add some comfort and warmth to your floors. Instead of using a synthetic fabric rug, think about a soft and insulating natural material. For example, sustainably sourced wool is an amazing choice. Plus, it has excellent sound absorbing properties.

Another example is bamboo. Because it can withstand extreme changes in humidity and temperature, it’s a great choice for bathroom and kitchen decorating. 

3. Create sensory rich interiors

Nature is complex. So, we can recreate interiors that allow us to physically experience lots of natural materials with our senses: by touching them, walking on them, lying on them, seeing them, smelling them, hearing them and even tasting them!

We can point to hemp for providing excellent sensory experiences, being a coarse fabric that is extremely durable.

4. Use local variety when possible

This could mean using local woods, stones, dyes from natural plants, and more. If there are local building traditions, how can you incorporate them somehow?

This is also a sustainable way to source for materials. You’ll create a direct connection between your living space and geographical location.

5. Prefer less-processed when possible, without compromising comfort or utility

The aim is that the material, whatever it is, should be recognisable as it is and not hidden under layers of industrial processes.

Take for example, our Birch product variety, where the material itself is centre to the design and functionality of the products.

6. Support interior mood and earth elements

Finally, natural materials have millions of varied forms, textures, colours and patterns. Play along with these characteristics to support the mood of each room and represent a desired earth element.

For example, a welcome or reception area can be supported by elements of flow, clarity, and water, such as those shown in glass.

We hope we have provided useful tips to use materials in your space, and we’re curious to know how you use them in your own interiors.

Let us know in the comment box below. 

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