Healthy Home-Feel Good with Biophilia

Healthy Home- Feel Good with Biophilia by Northern Lights Home Staging and Design

Our intrinsic desire to connect with nature and living entities is encapsulated in the term “biophilia.” Coined initially by Erich Fromm and later popularized by Edward O. Wilson, this concept has found a renewed emphasis in contemporary interior design.


Throughout history, our bond with nature has been pivotal, not only for sustenance and survival but also for spiritual rejuvenation and inspiration. Nature, in all its splendor, offers a plethora of colors, shapes, patterns, and textures that have always intrigued our aesthetic senses. Beyond the visual delight, nature nourishes our well-being. Plants, for instance, not only beautify our spaces but purify our air and offer sensory pleasures. Similarly, our reverence for animals can be traced back through art, religion, and their cherished presence in our lives as companions.


My personal journey as a wildlife biologist for 33 years, trekking the terrains of Arizona and Alaska, deepened my appreciation for nature’s designs. Be it the intricate patterns of plant parts under a microscope or the harmonious color schemes, I’ve often been inspired by nature’s unparalleled creativity.


In an ever-evolving technological world, the essence of biophilia reminds us of the solace nature provides. So, the question is, how can we bring this comforting connection to nature into our homes through interior design?


Healthy Home- Feel Good with Biophilia by Northern Lights Home Staging and Design
Design by Northern Lights Home Staging and Design

Natural Materials

Opt for eco-friendly and sustainable materials in both your construction and interior design choices. Discover more in my article on Eco-Friendly Interior Design. Embrace nature by integrating unique finds from your outdoor excursions – think branches, rocks, or shells – into your home decor. Elevate your space with indoor plants that not only beautify but also purify. Enhance your home’s synergy with the outdoors by strategically landscaping visible from your interiors. Design outdoor sanctuaries that beckon you outside. Seamlessly blend indoor and outdoor spaces with design choices and window placements that frame nature as living art.

For example, in this office design, the focal point is the desk area. The focal point is a combination of the hot pink desk and unique green fractal art on the wall behind, creating an area with drama that harmonizes with the dramatic outdoor view and colors. The focal point draws you into the room but also extends your focus outdoors at the same time.
Office Edesign and energy art by Northern Lights Home Staging and Design.


Incorporate native plants in your garden to not only attract local wildlife but also ensure sustainability. These indigenous species are tailored to thrive in local conditions, ensuring they’re resilient and eco-friendly by preventing the spread of invasive species that could harm native ecosystems. On my Alaskan adventures, I’ve handpicked native perennials like wild roses, blueberries, and geraniums, which beautify my garden, attract wildlife, and even offer delicious treats. Indoors, adorn your space with houseplants that enhance aesthetics and purify the air. Choose flowering varieties for a burst of vibrant color!


For many, including me, a home feels incomplete without the affection of a pet. Their presence greatly enhances our overall well-being. When designing interiors, consider pet-friendly choices that not only facilitate but celebrate life with animals. Opt for durable upholstery and washable rugs to minimize pet-related wear and tear, reducing any stress that may come with adding a furry friend. Moreover, cultivate an outdoor space that’s both visually pleasing and teeming with life. Plant flora that captivates the senses and invites wildlife. Thoughtfully positioned plants near windows can provide natural ‘entertainment’, as you watch birds, butterflies, and pollinators drawn to your garden.

Living with pets feels great and can be easy with the right design elements. Photo from Unsplash.


  • Incorporate nature’s hues into your home’s interior and exterior. As a certified color strategist, I’ve often drawn inspiration from the landscaping colors of clients’ gardens, converting them into paint shades for walls, front doors, or interior palettes. Think of the calming blues of the sky, lush greens, earthy browns, muted grays, and soft off-whites. Highlight with vibrant shades inspired by garden blossoms in pinks, purples, yellows, and reds or the autumnal tones of foliage like golds and oranges. While stark black and pure white are rare in nature, they can accentuate and uplift these natural shades. And remember, if a color dominates your view—even from a neighboring property—it’s worth integrating into your decor palette.
What does the color of your house say about you? Pick paint colors that tell your story. Get help from a certified color strategist that uses both the art and science of color. Northern Lights Home Staging and Design. #colorstrategist #certifiedcolorstrategist #colorfulhome #exteriorpaint #pickingpaintcolors #moscowmidnight #sherwinwilliams #forwardfucsia #bedandbreakfastdesign
In this home the color of the front door was created from measuring the colors of the roses in front of the house. The home is adjacent to the ocean, so the exterior color and metal art of sea gulls connects it to the surroundings. Color palette by Northern Lights Home Staging and Design.


  • Get great photos of your outdoor adventures that evoke the feeling you had while you were there for art.
  • Consider art that shows landscapes, plants, animals or other natural elements that bring you joy and work with your design and color palette.
  • Incorporate energy art that connects energetically and spiritually to nature.
Crow Wisdom. Energy art and Edesign by Mary Ann Benoit.
Office Edesign and energy art by Northern Lights Home Staging and Design.
Spring Energy Art
Office Edesign and energy art by Northern Lights Home Staging and Design.


Scents can have a huge impact on the way you feel.

  • Try a diffuser with natural oils of lavender, orange or other scents related to herbs or fruits to make the connection through smell.
  • Flowering plants add a beautiful scent to your indoor space.
  • Avoid products that emit harmful odors.


  • Use full spectrum bulbs to get the quality of natural daylight, especially in northern climates where light can be very limited in the winter. Living in Alaska, I can personally attest that they work and affect your mood.
  • Lots of strategically placed windows provides an abundance of natural light.
How to Make Magic Happen in Your Home with Lighting by Northern Lights Home Staging and Design
Edesign and energy art by Northern Lights Home Staging and Design.

Get the Look and Feel Good

Even amidst urban sprawl, it’s entirely possible to forge a natural sanctuary in your living space. Let’s explore how I transformed rooms with views of nothing but an adjacent brick building into rejuvenating havens. By leveraging earthy tones like greens, blues, and browns, incorporating artwork showcasing flora and fauna, and introducing real plants, I managed to evoke a “feel-good” ambiance that resonates with the calming embrace of nature.

Healthy Home- Feel Good with Biophilia by Northern Lights Home Staging and Design
Design by Northern Lights Home Staging and Design.

We spend more time in our homes in general than we do anywhere else. Why not make it feel great with some of these tips! If you need help with your design, check out my local and online Design and Color Services.

Get Connected to Nature in Your Design

Why Work with Northern Lights Home Staging and Design

Aligned Design©– All Rights Reserved.

Terms of Service  |  Privacy Policy  |  Disclaimer |  Brochure

Prices are subject to change without notice.

Call 907-362-0065 today

Healthy Home- Feel Good with Biophilia. #edesign #edesigntribe #edesignrevolution #onlinedesign #virtualdesign #interiordesign #homedecor #interiordecor #homedesign #interiordesigner #colorfulhome #interiorstyling #moderndesign #modern #globaldesign #bohemian #globalstyle #contemporary #boho #biophilia #greendesign #sustainabledesign #fractal art #nature
Healthy Home- Feel Good with Biophilia. #edesign #edesigntribe #edesignrevolution #onlinedesign #virtualdesign #interiordesign #homedecor #interiordecor #homedesign #interiordesigner #colorfulhome #interiorstyling #moderndesign #modern #globaldesign #bohemian #globalstyle #contemporary #boho #biophilia #greendesign #sustainabledesign #fractal art #nature
Healthy Home- Feel Good with Biophilia. #edesign #edesigntribe #edesignrevolution #onlinedesign #virtualdesign #interiordesign #homedecor #interiordecor #homedesign #interiordesigner #colorfulhome #interiorstyling #moderndesign #modern #globaldesign #bohemian #globalstyle #contemporary #boho #biophilia #greendesign #sustainabledesign #fractal art #nature

By Mary Ann Benoit

President- Northern Lights Home Staging and Design Owner- Arctic Paradise Bed and Breakfast Artist- Stained Glass, Jewelry and Alcohol Ink Art Wildlife Biologist Director- Kaleido World Percussion and Dance Company Director- Tavus Dance Company of Alaska Lover of music, art, dance and animals.


  1. Such great suggestions, Mary Ann! I love that you thought to include pets as part of this list! Connecting to nature always makes me feel good even though I would never consider myself “outdoorsy”… but my favorite spot in my house is on my deck (in the summer!) surrounded by bird feeders, birdbath, and overflowing containers of plants – with all the squirrels and chipmunks and birds, I feel a bit like I’m in a Disney princess movie(?!) but it always makes me smile!

    1. Thank you! My favorite spot is my balcony which I allow my indoor cat to join me for her outdoor adventure, where I can look at the ocean and glaciers and see my front yard landscaping filled with flowers. A few birds nest in the trees that I get watch being sneaky and carrying food to their babies. Once in a while a moose or a bear comes around:) Can’t put bird feeders out because the seed attract bears. I also created a “secret garden” in my back yard where I am trying to grow vegetables and fruit. That is also a new favorite hang out.

  2. So many great insights on creating a connection to nature! Love the idea of our pets being a connection to nature! I hadn’t really thought of that and it’s so true!

    1. Thanks Lisa! Yes, our little animal buddies help us connect on a whole different level. They are much more connected to nature than we are:)

  3. I just loved reading this post, MaryAnn. With 33 years as a wildlife biologist, I can only imagine just how attuned you really are to the concept of biophilic design. I loved reading about the front door color to that lovely home was hoses due to the color of the roses blooming in the front yard.

    And I’d love to know much more about full spectrum light bulbs for seasonal affective disorder.

    1. Thanks Leslie! As a certified color strategist I have measured colors for several clients from their landscaping such as colorful bushes or flowers to get a paint color for their their front doors and always love the results. In Alaska, there are lots of people affected by SAD or seasonal affective disorder that purchase “happy lights” to deal with it. I don’t suffer from it but distinctly recall a day when we had the light bulbs in my previous office all replaced with full spectrum lights and by the end of the day, I noticed I felt “happier” and knew it worked!

  4. So much “good suff” here Mary Ann!
    But I love how you covered indoor plants, correct lighting, uplifting colors, and of course pets.

    It is so eciting that FINALLY we are realizing the profound impact our spaces have on our quality of life.

    I will be sharing your wondeful post.

    1. Thank you Mitzi for reading and sharing! I am excited that getting connect to nature is finally a trend. Probably the best design trend ever!

  5. This is also a great breakdown for Biophilic Design.

    As many have said above, it was great that you included pets.

    1. Thanks Sheri, I am biased as someone with a career as a wildlife biologist focused on animals, but making a connection to animals is the first thing I think of when I consider how you connect to nature and feel good!

  6. I love that we thought about the same topic this week! I think this concept is one that so many of us could benefit from, if we gave it the time, and really tried to incorporate it into our lives. As a former scientist, I can see how you relate to this topic on a much deeper level; I feel the same way as an artist. Great post Mary Ann!

    1. Thank you Amy! I understand that:) I am also an artist and most of my jewelry, alcohol ink art and stained glass work has been inspired by natural elements, colors and patterns. Mother Nature is my favorite designer:)

Comments are closed.