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An Introduction to Biophilic Design for Children’s Spaces from The Benholm Group

Children's rooms soften with plants

Biophilic design is the concept used to increase your connectivity to the natural environment. It affirms that bringing the outside in is soothing and beneficial.

One of the 2020 Design Trends for Children’s Rooms is biophilic design and it feeds into the use of colour palettes and materials based on nature. This month, I am pleased to say that I have a guest blog from The Benholm Group, a family-run business based in Falkirk, Central Scotland who specialise in a wide range of plant-related services for many commercial customers.  Mainly focusing on the Corporate Office market sector and the Hospitality market sector, they also work within various other sectors too, such as retail, education, health and the public sector. You will undoubtedly have seen their work if you have been to Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen or even the Edinburgh festival. At the heart of their business are the concepts of biophilic design. Their blog will be introducing the concepts of biophilic design to help us all get nature into our homes. 

You may have heard the term ‘biophilic design.'(1) It is something that we at Benholm Group (2)are passionate about. 

Just as adults do, children have an innate biological tendency to bond with the natural world known as biophilia. Biophilic design incorporates natural materials, natural light, plants and experiences of the natural world into our modern built environment.

Plants provide cleaner air, lower the risk of illness, boost mood as well as enhancing concentration and memory so its not hard to see why it’s a huge trend for interiors that is showing no signs of abating. In addition to the huge health benefits of bringing the outdoors in, another reason could be that you can have so much fun with it!

Recent studies add to the evidence that time spent in natural environments improves the health and wellbeing of both children and families. Nature has a calming impact ideal for babies and children

Studies (3) show plants are fantastically adept at absorbing gases through pores on the surface of their leaves, and not just carbon dioxide.  Plants can absorb many other gases including a long list of volatile organic compounds. They help eliminate benzene (found in some plastics, fabrics, pesticides and cigarette smoke) and formaldehyde (found in some cosmetics, dish detergent, fabric softener and carpet cleaner). These have been linked to numerous acute conditions, including asthma and nausea. 

When it comes to designing nurseries, many parents are looking beyond blue and pink – exploring gender neutral palettes and design concepts.  Plants and nature are a fantastic fit with these looks, softening spaces and adding a splash of colour. They look just as at home in fun, modern spaces as they do against darker colours and vintage furniture.

Plants bring softness to a design.

As inquisitive little minds and bodies outgrow cots and changing units, a bedroom redesign is on the cards! 

Studies show during early childhood, the main objective of environmental education should be the development of empathy between children and the natural world. As well as exploring and playing in nature with plants, one of the best ways to foster empathy with young children is to cultivate relationships with animals. Both real and imagined!

Young children are implicitly drawn to animals, especially baby animals. They are an endless source of wonder for children, fostering a caring attitude and sense of responsibility towards living things. Children interact instinctively and naturally with animals, talk to them, and invest in them emotionally. Children younger than age 6 reveal that as many as 90% of their dreams are about animals. There are many fun ways of supporting these developments – plants and animals go hand in hand!

Help your child learn empathy for the natural world by introducing them to plants at an early stage.

Playrooms are another perfect space for having fun with nature. Nordik Moss walls can work particularly well in lively spaces like playrooms as the moss acts as natural sound absorber – ideal for adjoining rooms, as well as being interesting to look at and touch. By encouraging imagination through role play, who knows how the next generation of designers, academics (hopefully some botanists too) will change the world 💚

Have fun with plants.

Links

1 https://www.benholm.com/biophilic-design-planting

2 https://www.benholm.com/plant-displays

3 https://www.livescience.com/38445-indoor-plants-clean-air.html

About Benholm:

(https://www.benholm.com/plant-displays/about-us/)

We use plants creatively to enrich people, places and spaces.

Ever since the Benholm Group was established in 1993, we have been creating and maintaining beautiful planted environments for our customers using the principles of biophilic design.  

Our services include the provision of interior and exterior plant displays for many different types of organisations and market sectors.

Hopefully this blog has inspired you to bring the outside into your child’s room. Show me your plants and any fun kid friendly plant pots as I’m always on the look out! Next month my blog will carry on with the ever hopeful Spring theme of bring the outside in.

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