How to bring the outdoors in

Anna Sjöström Walton of sustainable interiors store Chalk & Moss explains how biophilic design can reduce stress and improve wellbeing, as well as create a beautiful home

We humans have an innate need to connect with nature for our wellbeing. Incorporating biophilic — literally, a love of the natural world — design at home can really help you feel happy and healthy as it blurs the boundary between inside and out.

When it comes to adding biophilic design elements to your home, we tend to have a preference for colours, patterns and textures that link to or allude to nature. Calming interiors with natural textures evoke the calm feeling we experience when we’re close to nature. Try to bring in elements such as wood flooring and soft furnishings in natural materials such as wool and leather. It can also be artwork, a pattern, a wool blanket or a tactile wooden surface — calming biophilic features that will improve overall feelings of wellbeing. If you’re fortunate to have a green view, angle furniture to look out of a window or a door to the garden. If not, hang plants in front of the window to create a green view.


Nature-connected homeware design also means a return to simplicity — raw, honest and long-lasting materials in natural colours and textures, together with real, breathing, air-purifying, mood-lifting plants. Having natural materials in your home also has the added benefit of reducing toxins and plastic waste, so it goes hand in hand with sustainable living.

If you surround yourself with natural textures, light a comforting candle and care for houseplants, this gives you a calming antidote to daily stresses. You may be less tempted to get back to your laptop or phone and instead opt for a bath, read a book, do some crafts, pick up the guitar or play a board game with your family — you’ll have a better night’s sleep for it.