We’re captivated by crackling fires and crashing waves, inspired by a garden view and calmed by a walk in the park.

This attraction to nature and the natural world is biophilia - and biophilic design uses that attraction to create the look and feel of nature in our cities, workplaces and homes.

But rather than being just another interiors trend, biophilic design has proven benefits for wellbeing and improved physical and mental health.

Brio’s interior designer Anna Perivolari explains how biophilic design been incorporated into all of Brio’s retirement communities and the benefits it brings.

Anna explains: “Many of our retirement communities are centred around beautiful natural surroundings such as the stunning Cotswold countryside or the breath-taking coastal views of Aberdeenshire.

“We wanted to incorporate that natural beauty into our Brio homes too and not just because it looks great.

“Studies have shown that using biophilic design - reconnecting us with nature - is essential for people to live with less stress, reduced fatigue, and better overall health and well-being.”

Here are some of the benefits of getting closer to nature when styling your home.

Above: The showhome at Hackbridge incorporates natural finishes like wood and stone on the walls and floors to create an inviting and calming environment

It’s relaxing

By using (a variety of living plants) in our communal spaces and lounge/seating areas it offers a welcoming and relaxing environment – and encourages people to feel and be more sociable. Planting is incorporated as space dividers for a strong visual effect and to create a welcoming ambience.

According to several studies, indoor plants can reduce blood pressure too, as can wood panelling. We’ve incorporated natural finishes like wood and stone on the walls and floors in our cottages and apartments, creating an inviting and calming environment.

It reduces stress

Many of our homes offer great views of the outdoors which is hugely important to homeowners with reduced mobility and who cannot go for long walks.

Green neighbourhoods have long been associated with stress reduction. In a survey by the charity MIND, a group of over 60s who walked in the park compared self-esteem to those who visited a shopping centre. And, 90% of those who walked through greenery said their self-esteem had increased, and 71% said their depression lowered.

Our lush gardens and communal green spaces are designed to bring nature right to your doorstep.

Above/Below: The cottages and apartments at Landale Court in Chapelton are surrounded by lawns and gardens

It’s multi-sensory

Biophilic design is also an important way to enhance multi-sensory experiences and the human-nature connection by incorporating elements such as water features, and open fireplaces. This gives us non-visual connections with nature such as the crackling of a fire or the sound of flowing water.

It’s vibrant

Using bright and inspiring organic colours, shapes and patterns can help us re-connect with nature and improve our well-being. We have created comfortable spaces with plants, wood finishes and vibrant colours and shapes. You’ll see in our showhomes that we have chosen patterns of nature on wallpaper and blinds too.

Getting the balance

We wanted to enhance the environment as a whole by balancing elements such as air quality and lighting, with large windows offering stunning views of nature.

Natural light is important as it boosts the creation of melatonin. This hormone regulates your sleep-wake cycles and, therefore, makes a material difference to your energy levels.

The biophilia effect proves that humans long for a connection with nature, and when biophilic design stimulates more than just our visual senses, it is the best way of meeting that innate need - and keeping us healthy and happy.

Above: This CGI of a bungalow at Beechwood Park shows how homes connect with nature and offer great views of the outdoors

Find out more about Brio’s retirement communities

Brio Retirement Living is developing three new retirement living communities which are set to welcome the first homeowners this summer – Brio Landale Court in Chapelton, Aberdeenshire, Brio Beechwood Park in Stow-in-the-Wold and Brio Hackbridge in the London Borough of Sutton.

Please get in touch if you would like to find out more about Brio Retirement Living or wish to register your interest in one of our retirement properties.

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