No Longer 14 Patterns Of Biophilic Interior Design

Stacey Lapuk, ASID

There are 15.

Fifteen patterns of biophilic design. Fifteen distinct opportunities to bring nature inspired interior design into your life and into your home for the measurably proven benefits to your health, well-being and even your happiness.


There were 14. And then came AWE. That feeling of connectedness. Magical sunsets, inspirational artwork, a bud opening on an orchid in your entry. The sound of water finally running after so much drought. So now there are 15.


I LOVE nature! Really. I love spending time outdoors.  I like  the warmth of the sun on my skin, and the sound of the ocean. And I love what I get to do in nature. I hike, horseback ride, bike ride, raft, ski – just about anything outside in nature. 

I think one of the reasons I like the outdoors so much has to do with my height. I’m under 5’0” – actually under 4’11” – and being this short, I get claustrophobic very easily.  If I’m in a group of people, it’s difficult to make eye contact. If I’m at a standing room only concert, I’m staring at the middle of someone’s back. 


This feeling of claustrophobia was then transferred to my home. I found that I physically NEED to have light, high ceilings, and lots of windows in my home in order to feel comfortable, in order to breathe. I have to bring nature inside to have living things around me – plants, wood, shells and stones, in order to relax. 


Imagine living in isolation, without access to the outside world. You don’t smell the grass or the scent of a flower. You don’t hear the birds sing or the running water of a brook. You can’t experience the sunrise, feel the awe and wonder of the mountains. It’s easy to see how depression would set in. Lack of energy, lack of desire. 


The point is, nature is critical to our health and well-being. Because we physiologically need beauty in our lives, through our experiences with nature. The science of neuroaesthetics  – beauty and the brain – is catching up with what we know intuitively. That beauty is a necessary component to our well-being. And that we feel better in the beauty of our natural environment, outside.


Think about your own home, particularly through Covid. Being cooped up there most of us realize it’s become stale. The best way to bring new life into your home, make it more beautiful so you feel happy every time you walk through your front door is to implement the 15 patterns of Biophilic Design. I know it sounds like a disease, but think of it as literally meaning Love of Nature and natural materials and systems.


Whether you’re simply updating a room or planning a major renovation, paying attention to Biophelia has now been measurably proven to be beneficial to you. It can lower your blood pressure, excite you, calm you, regulate your heart rate among a myriad of other benefits. You can literally align your biology with your home’s interior design, and create happiness.


We can bring in more light, more beauty. Nature creates conditions that are conducive to life. So bringing in nature will help us create a more beautiful experience of home.


Do you feel at home, in your home? Is it your sanctuary, do you feel alive there? Do you feel safe? 


Biophilic Design is made up of 15 specific patterns, 15 ways in which you can bring nature into your home. Nature inspired interior design is composed of the textures and colors, the shapes and even the expressions – of the breeze, light and shadow, the mystery of what’s over the ridge and the awe of a sunset. Implementing aspects of nature into your home will bring you joy, health and happiness. 


Here are a couple of examples. Notice the size of the window in this first before and after room. We didn’t physically change the window, but by designing the treatment the way we did we gave the appearance, the feeling, of a larger window. This allows a greater expanse of the outdoors to come in. It feels better as it addresses the biophilic pattern called our visual connection to nature.

In this second example, Kate Salenfriend’s commissioned work not only draws one’s eye upward with the height of the trees, your eye then continues to the wallcovering above the picture rail helping the trees fan out throughout the space. This calls to mind being in a forest, a pattern of refuge, proving a sense of comfort and safety. The gold in the trees plays with the light, another biophilic principle, that of non-rhythmic sensory patterns that happens with light and shadow, sporadic bird song or the rustle of leaves, or the wafting scent of a plant. Victoria Veedell’s painting carries us down the road creating mystery and wonder, even a bit of peril, another biophilic pattern.

Think again – what does home mean to you? What does it feel like? Where you can breathe? Where you come alive?

Close your eyes, and imagine your home. Consider: What is one thing that will make a difference to me in my home? You don’t have to remodel your entire home. But what small step can you bring into your home to increase your feeling of sanctuary?  Will you bring in a plant? Will you upholster in natural materials such as organic linen rather than polyester? Will you install a magnificent piece of art? Maybe you’d like to install a living wall – imagine a beautiful, vibrant wall of plants and flowers. Will you call a designer?

Choose just one thing. And if you like, click on this link to receive your free introductory guide to biophilic design. Free Guide

Remember, you ARE nature. We’ve been around in this current human form for about 200,000 years, yet we’ve only lived in built environments for about 20,000 of those years. Our DNA expects us to be a part of our natural environment. That’s where we’re most at peace, where we’re happiest.

Live in joyful, barefoot luxury, and create something extraordinary. Design happiness into your home through the implementation of the 15 patterns of biophilic design.



Stacey Lapuk, ASID

Stacey Lapuk, ASID is celebrating her 30th year with her firm. Named “One of America’s Ten Designers To Watch” by Design Times Magazine, one of the “Top 100 Interior Designer in North America” by Blink Art Resources, and the winner of multiple national design awards.  Her goal is simple: To co-create with her clients the home of their dreams with responsive and comprehensive solutions, and timeless, beautiful results. 

Her full service firm attracts clients desiring the finest workmanship, materials and custom design. Facets of work include partnering with architects on new construction, remodels, kitchen design and bath design, color consultation, custom furniture, flooring, area carpets, wall and window treatments, lighting design, art procurement and antique acquisition.  Service areas include but are not limited to Marin County, San Francisco, Napa, Sonoma, Ross, Kentfield, Belvedere, Tiburon, San Rafael, and Pacific Heights.