One With Nature: Biophilic Design


Biophilic design is an increasingly popular concept for those seeking to bring the outside world indoors through colors, textures, and patterns that mimic those found in nature. Here, local experts weigh in on how different tile options can evoke the beauty of nature inside the home.

Bethe Motlow Louisville TileLouisville Tile | Bethe Motlow

Biophilic design trends today are a modern-day ethos of the organic architecture promoted by Frank Lloyd Wright at the turn of the 20th century. Simply defined, organic architecture is designed to exist in harmony with nature, using as many natural materials as possible to recreate ideas from nature in built environments. Homeowners can incorporate biophilic design principles by choosing tile products that mimic nature. Installing saturated emerald-green wall tile breathes life into any room, infusing the inspiration of green leaves on an early summer’s day. Feature walls created with stacked natural stone embody textural rock formations one might see while driving through the mountains that enfold our lush landscape. Tumbled blue-green glass mosaics incorporated in a shower room offer the visual of coastal waterways found along oceanic shorelines. Invite the beauty of nature into any interior environment and experience a conscious shift to oneness with the world.


Stone Source, Inc. Anna BakerStone Source, Inc.| Anna Baker

Biophilic design is everywhere you look in the tile and countertop world. In tile designs, we use shapes that replicate patterns found in nature. The hexagon-shaped mosaic tile on your shower floor is the same honeycomb pattern found in your honey jar. A shower wall with a vertical stacked subway tile replicates the feel of tree bark. The herringbone pattern tile on your backsplash reflects the tree branches in the backyard seen through the kitchen window. These simple shapes and patterns are familiar and comforting. Natural stone countertops are a direct way to bring nature into the kitchen. There is nothing like the soft touch of a soapstone countertop or the watery veins of quartzite to mimic a river flowing across your kitchen island. Using these shapes and patterns in your home is just another way of surrounding yourself with the restorative qualities of nature.


The Tile Store Jessica Hurst The Tile Store | Jessica Hurst

The best way to incorporate biophilic design in the tile and countertop business is to use natural materials. With countertops, opt for a natural stone such as marble, granite, or quartzite instead of an artificial quartz option. The same goes for tile – choose a natural material such as limestone, marble, or clay over a porcelain tile. Using materials sourced from nature utilizes biophilic design to help create a more peaceful and restorative space. The next best thing in the tile world would be to use a tile that mimics a natural one, such as porcelain tile that mimics hardwood or natural marble. Each option helps to fulfill our inherent tendency to seek out connections with nature.

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