Our home is our haven, but is it also hampering our health? Americans spend about 87% of their time indoors and 6% inside an enclosed vehicle, but studies prove that a connection to nature promotes healthier lives. “Biophilia” is the love of life and living things, a term coined by psychologist Erich Fromm in 1964. Biophilic design has become a growing trend for architects as they look at how natural light and air impact your home and your life in it.
Architects and designers, explored the concept of biophilic design when they recognized that urban life and modern design prompted a disconnect with the vital natural elements that humans strive for—either consciously or sub-consciously. Think about being cooped up in a windowless room lit with fluorescent bulbs. Are you feeling drab just at the thought of it? Now, picture yourself in a room with large windows that overlook a lush garden. Imagine sitting in a courtyard under a starry sky or having your morning coffee with gentle breezes and the scent of your garden filling your senses.
The lack of sunlight triggers a reduction in vitamin D, which can lead to a variety of conditions, including depression, muscle weakness, bone pain, stress, and even cognitive impairment, particularly in older adults. Biophilic design harnesses the power of natural light, with large windows positioned to provide you with vital vitamin D from the sun’s rays.
Similarly, the lack of fresh air can cause fatigue, inability to concentrate, headaches, and coughs, and trigger allergic reactions, asthma attacks, and respiratory infections. Indoor air is filled with allergens, pollutants, dust, dirt, mold, carbon monoxide, radon, and other unwanted microscopic attackers to your health. Like you, these contaminants are stuck inside. Without the proper ventilation, your indoor air quality is more polluted than the outdoors. Is that how you want to live?
Increasing your exposure to fresh air and natural light can deliver valuable restorative benefits:
- Increase awareness and alertness
- Maintain focus
- Promote energy
- Reduce pain
- Increase ease of movement
- Recover more quickly from illness or injury
Biophilia in your home means you cultivate your connection with fresh air and sunlight. Here are some ways you can enable your home to provide the spiritual and healthful support it should:
- Open your windows, even for a few minutes each day.
- Bring live plants into your home and in your garden, so you have a constant view of nature.
- Start your day by sitting in a natural light-filled space, like a sunny kitchen or nook, four seasons room, patio, courtyard, or outdoor living space.
- Incorporate natural elements into your décor, like bamboo, wood, stone, and natural fibers.
- Use natural air fresheners—not candles or sprays—like diffusing essential oils, simmering sliced citrus fruits and spices, or hanging fragrant herbs and leaves, like eucalyptus, lavender, and rosemary.
- Display artwork with natural images, like landscapes, water views, flowers, wooded areas, and wildlife.
- Keep a vase of fresh flowers in your home.
Since our beginnings more than 30 years ago, Epcon Communities has promoted the connection between home and nature. Our new single-family homes in our communities are designed with a private courtyard that’s central to the home. Most of the rooms have a full view of this outdoor living area! We also encourage sunlight to stream into each home through the large windows incorporated in the floor plans.
Give yourself the natural advantage that biophilic design presents. Visit one of the Epcon Communities in an area near you. Our single-family homes are designed with your comfort and convenience in mind, which is why we often include some exterior maintenance. Reduce your stress, increase your health. Choose the right home in the right community. Contact Epcon Communities to live in a home that takes care of you.