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Integrity

Using Stone to Create a Biophilic Design

by Rachel Lyon, Editorial Director for The House Designers

With great leaps and bounds in technology changing the world we live in faster than ever before, it’s no wonder people can feel so overwhelmed these days. If you’re looking for a way to add a little reprieve, try going back to basics with your home! Nature has long been touted as a treatment for the strain of modern life—even just a walk in the natural environment can improve mood and lower the physical indicators of stress—so why not design with that in mind?

Biophilic design takes pieces of the natural world like stone, wood, plants, etc., and brings them into places that could use a breath of fresh air. You’ll find it everywhere from built-up urban spaces to personal residences, and in some cases, biophilic design goes all the way down to the architecture itself! Whatever the scale you have to work with, here’s how you can add some natural beauty to your home.

Eldorado Stone RoughCut in Casa Blanca

With roughly cleaved edges and a bright color, RoughCut® in Casa Blanca beautifully complements a rustic-yet-contemporary space with wood plank wall paneling and white paint.

Consider Your Space

It’s not just a matter of tossing natural elements together—great biophilic design takes so much into consideration. The space should feel intentional and visually connect to the actual outdoors, if possible. Take advantage of any views through the windows by maximizing their breadth. Don’t have much to see? Make it yourself! You can design on both sides of the wall to improve the feel inside and out; add some flower boxes to windows or build a great outdoor living space and/or yard so you can enjoy the view from inside. Mirror some of your design choices in your interior and voilà—natural connection!

Of course, biophilic design comes in different flavors to suit different schemes. If you like modern style—bright and airy with clean lines and simple embellishments—choose complementary elements like a neat stone profile in a light color and a few plants to add interest and fill gaps in the space. Those with traditional tastes will find classic and historically inspired stone options to match a more formal feel. There are also plenty of rough and rugged stone products to create the perfect vibe in a rustic home! As you can tell, stone is exceptionally flexible when it comes to design, and it makes a great addition to any biophilic scheme whether you’re looking for a background to offset other choices or you want it to stand out as the centerpiece.

Eldorado Stone Stacked Stone in Castaway

This application of Stacked Stone in Castaway® was installed vertically with blue tile to help produce a waterfall effect around a bathtub. With large windows to take in natural views, this design definitely feels like a personal oasis!

Combine Elements

Stone provides tons of biophilic appeal, but it can’t do the job alone. Just think of how diverse most landscapes are—they include all kinds of different natural materials from the ground to the treetops. Don’t be afraid to incorporate more of those things into your home; whether you like the look of wood planking on the walls or beams overhead, or perhaps you have particular tastes when it comes to house plants and how to display them, the final picture ultimately depends on your preferences but will be better for the diversity!

Whatever you choose to use, make sure that you still stick to basic design rules with your selections. For example, invest in color contrast that offsets each element and adds depth to the room. Look for a variety of shapes and sizes to keep the picture balanced. That could mean something like pairing a broad-faced stone with thin-leafed plants or narrow stone with broad leaves. You can also specify building products that create the illusion of nature like deep green paint, botanical wallpaper, water-colored tile, viny light fixtures, and so on. The goal is to integrate natural elements into everyday life, so pick a few things that promote the calming effect of nature for you and see how they look together.

Eldorado Stone Cypress Ridge in Orchard

Pulling from a long history of building with natural materials, Mediterranean homes look particularly good with stone exteriors. Cypress Ridge® in Orchard® makes a great architecturally appropriate choice with rugged shapes and a mix of warm tones.

Take It Outside

Don’t forget the exterior! It can be easy to focus on building up the effect for the interior, but you can also design a more biophilic façade. The surrounding environment will decide what looks best—warm adobe is best left to the Southwest while shingles are right at home in northern regions. Of course, stone exists everywhere, so it makes a wonderful addition, too. Check out our article Find Stone Accents Perfect for Your Location to learn more about selecting regionally appropriate stone!

Your builder or a landscape architect can help you embellish your exterior and increase your curb appeal even more. Consider a trellis, arbor arch, or pergola to dress up the view and encourage natural vine growth. Plant native trees and shrubbery—they’re adapted to the climate, require less care on your part, and will sustain local pollinators. It doesn’t get much more biophilic than supporting your local ecosystem!

If you’ve been inspired to create a biophilic design, check out Eldorado Stone to find the perfect stone veneer for your vision. They offer a diverse catalog spanning all aesthetic styles, and each profile comes in different color blends to tailor the look. Try their Product Selector or get a personalized recommendation from an expert with their Concierge Design Services today!