We are here to get you up to speed on the design trend that is taking over for 2021.

What Is Biophilic Design?

Let’s take it back to the basics – Biophilia is humans’ inherent tendency to seek out connections with nature and other life forms.

A combination of the Greek word for “Life” (Bio) and “Love” (Philia) biophilia can be translated literally as “love of life” — but in this case, life is interpreted as organic life, or nature, rather than the act of living.

Biophilic design, then, is an effort to fulfill this desire to connect with nature by incorporating natural elements into the built environment, and interior design specifically.

Some elements of biophilic design even maintain that it is less of a want and more of an innate need, directly tied to our mental and physical well-being. After all, humans have spent most of their history on earth living in and among nature, and those ties don’t just disappear.

What Are the Benefits of Biophilic Design?

Beyond the fulfillment of our need to connect with nature (or perhaps because of it), biophilic design provides many additional tangible benefits.

Health Benefits of Biophilic Design

Terrapin Bright Green explains that connecting with nature has been proven to improve psychological and cognitive well-being:

  • Cognitive benefits: The ability to learn and think both logically and creatively, as well as memory and mental agility, all comprise our cognitive functioning. Regular or strong contact with nature presents the chance for mental restoration, during which time we can give our cognitive functions a break and increase our capacity for future tasks that require focusing.
  • Psychological benefits: Our mood, emotions, attention, alertness, concentration, and adaptability make up our psychological state. Interacting with natural environments has been associated with lower levels of fatigue, anxiety, confusion, tension, and anger than urban environments. Nature is considered to be emotionally restorative and stress-reducing.
  • Physiological benefits: Physiological well-being is related to our general physical comfort and as well as that of our respiratory, musculoskeletal, aural, and circadian systems. Connecting with nature has been shown to improve our physical well-being, such as by lowering stress hormones in the bloodstream, lowering diastolic blood pressure, and even causing our muscles to relax.

How to Incorporate Biophilic Design Into Your Space

According to the professionals, there are 3 categories of biophalic design: direct experiences of nature in your space, analogue representations of nature, and spatial elements of nature.

Each of these categories provides a number of options for biophilic design.

  • Direct experiences of nature in your space: Just as it sounds, this involves bringing elements of nature into your space, such as:
    • Plants
    • Animals
    • Water
    • Natural light
    • Shadows
    • Natural scents
    • Air
  • Analogue representations of nature: If you can’t bring natural elements into your space, the next best thing is to incorporate representations of nature. This might include:
    • Images of nature
    • Natural materials
    • Natural textures
    • Natural patterns
  • Spatial elements of nature: Finally, you can create biophilic design in your space by replicating spatial elements found in nature, such as:
    • Sweeping views, such as large windows overlooking a natural landscape
    • Spaces that stimulate sensory refuge, such as a dark, quiet room reminiscent of a cave
    • A minor sense of risk, such as a pond with stepping stones.

Benefits of Ceramic Tile for Biophilic Design

Some materials naturally lend themselves to biophilic design more than others, and that’s certainly the case with ceramic tile. Biophilic advantages of tiles:

  • All-natural
  • Resists damage from water and scratches
  • Will not fade
  • Can be used both indoors and outdoors
  • Comes in limitless natural styles

Let’s explore some of the many natural styles that are possible with tiles.

Biophilic Tile Ideas

Biophilic tile encompasses any tile that emulates, depicts, or reminds you of nature — whether the connection is as subtle as a color or as direct as a natural pattern.

Tile in Natural Colors

Porcelain tiles

Let’s start simple: Incorporate biophilic design into your home with ceramic tile in natural colors, such as concrete and stone effect tiles.

Stone-Look Tile

Tile sizes

Stone effect tiles combine classic style with a natural aesthetic, proving that biophilic design can be as refined as any other trend.

Wood-Effect Tile

Japandi tiles

Wood effect tiles are a must-have if you are going for this look. One benefit that wood effect tiles provide over natural wood is that porcelain tiles are resistant to fading, scratching, and water — all potential issues when you expose building materials to the natural elements!

Tile in Natural Patterns


An alternative to tile in a natural look is tile with nature printed onto it. With modern printing capabilities allow us to achieve realistic replicas of naturally occurring patterns.

We would love to see your designs – please tag us on Instagram @merakiceramics_