Living Well by Design

A greenhouse full of lush green tropical plants.
A greenhouse full of lush green tropical plants.

Have you ever entered a solarium full of plants and felt your body relax? Do you enjoy spending time outdoors? There is actually an innate human instinct to connect to nature — it’s called biophilia. Some people may feel it more strongly; many people may have been so cut off from nature by their manmade environment that they don’t realize the difference it would make to their physical and mental well-being to have natural elements present in their daily life.

As we’ve all had to make adjustments to our daily lives because of the pandemic, some people have been altering their home environments to be healthier for their physical well-being. The natural result is that such changes are also better for mental well-being.

Kitchen Herbs - Growing herbs in the kitchen has been gaining popularity with cooks who will use them.

Growing herbs in the kitchen has been gaining popularity with cooks who will use them.

Contemporary kitchen with LaCantina® folding doors opening the kitchen to the patio.
LaCantina® Doors

The social changes brought on by the pandemic have led to a closer study of biophilia by designers of home spaces. In addition to promoting psychological well-being, biophilic design supports physical health and cognitive function. That has led to the wellness trend of increasing connections to the natural environment to foster a sense of wellbeing. Even before the pandemic, there had already been a movement towards connecting people with the outdoors with the development of walls of glass doors that fold away to connect indoors with outdoors, as shown in the photo above of LaCantina® Doors connecting a contemporary kitchen with the patio.

Illustrations of assorted house plants
Illustrations of assorted house plants

House plants are becoming popular as a small way to bring nature indoors. Studies show that having plants in the home lowers blood pressure, improves mood and sleep, and the connection to nature makes people more energetic. One doesn’t need to be an enthusiastic gardener; there are many low maintenance house plants for those without a green thumb. Some plants, such as the snake plant, are known to help purify the air from pollutants and alleviate chemical contamination, while they also create oxygen to freshen the indoor environment.

Omega®, Natural Maple Cabinets, Shaker Style with Slab Drawers
Omega®, Natural Maple Cabinets, Shaker Style with Slab Drawers

In kitchen design, natural elements that inspire well-being include cabinetry such as this Omega® example with natural finish maple cabinets. Sage has become a popular color choice for a soft natural tone, or you may prefer darker rich brown wood stains or deep forest green paint colors both of which are reminiscent of the forest. Think of maple, alder, or quartersawn white oak in simple, clean door styles such as slab or shaker.

Beauty shot of kitchen with granite countertop from Skyline Granite
Beauty shot of kitchen with granite countertop from Skyline Granite online gallery

Natural stone countertops add visual warmth as a grounding element in the kitchen design, such as the beautiful example above from Skyline Granite.

Andersen® Casement Windows
Andersen® Casement Windows

Or consider this example with a wood countertop on an island with seating for casual meals and Andersen® windows shown here providing a view of the outdoors. Clean lines of shaker style cabinet doors in white brighten the space by softly reflecting natural light. Stone tiles in the backsplash add that natural element plus stylish design.

Potted basil plant on natural wood
Potted basil plant on natural wood

Whatever you choose for natural elements to bring into your home, you’ll find them to be a soothing palette for a healthier life.

These biophilia ideas are from Mary Jane Robillard. Based in our Warwick location, she travels across the region designing beautiful homes. Check out her portfolio for more inspiration.

Mary Jane Robillard
Kitchen Designer
Kitchen Views at National Building Products
3356 Post Rd, Warwick, RI

0 Responses to “Living Well by Design”



  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s




Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 4,739 other followers

Twitter Updates


%d bloggers like this: