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Bringing Nature Indoors

Bringing Nature Indoors: 7 Tips for Using Natural Materials to Create a Biophilic Hospitality Design

In today's increasingly busy and demanding world, the importance of quality downtime cannot be overstated. With constant pressures and a fast-paced lifestyle, finding ways to relax and unwind has become essential for our well-being. One powerful method to achieve this is by bringing elements of nature indoors, creating a sanctuary that promotes calm and relaxation.

Understanding Biophilic Design

Biophilic design is an innovative approach to architecture and interior design that seeks to connect building occupants more closely to nature. This concept is based on the inherent human inclination to affiliate with natural systems and processes, known as biophilia. The goal of biophilic design is to create environments that improve well-being, increase productivity, and promote healing by incorporating natural elements into the built environment.

Key Principles of Biophilic Design:

  • Natural Elements: Incorporating natural materials, light, vegetation, water, and natural landscapes into the design.
  • Nature Analogs: Using patterns, shapes, and forms that evoke nature, even if they are not natural themselves.
  • Nature of the Space: Designing spaces that mimic natural environments, such as open spaces, sensory variability, and places of refuge.

While using natural elements in interior design is a significant aspect of biophilic design, it does not automatically create a biophilic design. A holistic and integrated approach that considers the physical, emotional, and psychological connection between people and nature is necessary.

1. Incorporate a Natural Focal Point to Capture Calm

Have you ever sat down in your garden or a park on a summer’s day and watched the world go by for 10 minutes? Did you watch the clouds drift by, or were you fixated on some flowers or birds that you saw? How did this make you feel? For many, there is a moment of instant relaxation, and these simple elements captivate us. Creating natural features inside can help to capture this feeling of tranquility. A window seat with a bench or banquette seating, allowing guests to look out while enjoying a drink, can be incredibly soothing.

Inside Out Contracts offers bespoke banquette seating, sofa centrepieces, or large communal tables to create these calming focal points.

Magnolia Hotel Danos Restaurant Furniture By Inside Out Contracts 054
Central Banquette with Plants at Danos

2. Wood: The Timeless Classic

Wood is a versatile material that can be used in various ways in your hospitality venue. Its warm tones and natural grain patterns add a touch of elegance and sophistication, which is just one of the reasons why wood is such a popular choice. Perhaps it is also that wood, having come from trees, that when mixed with foliage in an interior design, can create a forest like ambiance which is instantly soothing. We recognise natural wood as being natural, and so the message of being aligned with natural produce s

Product Tips for integrating Wood in Hospitality Spaces:

  • Un-upholstered Chairs: A simple natural wood un-upholstered chair can make a big statement with its simplicity and being made from only natural materials. We have seen some wonderful examples of this being used such as the Noah side chair and Vienna Armchair.
  • Reclaimed Wood Table Tops: We are happy to see that reclaimed wood table tops and becoming increasingly popular and are a wonderful way of integrating wood into your hospitality design. The Chevron design has been especially popular.
  • Benches: Consider benches made out of wood, such as the Grazer Bench, as a great way to re-enforce a wood theme.
  • Table Bases: A wooden table base, when combined with a wooden table top makes an especially strong statement as metal table bases are such a popular choice. The Zephyr Table Base makes an impressively chunky statement, whereas the bespoke Metropole turned base, is much more understated in its size but still elegant in its unique shape.

Highlighted Product - The Linden Dining Table is a wonderfully simply but contemporary table design which combines functionality with natural beauty, making it an ideal choice for hospitality dining areas. A wonderful example can be seen at Kenwood House.

Kenwood House 14
Linden Table at Kenwood House

3. Cork: The Sustainable Choice

Cork is not only eco-friendly but also offers unique visual and tactile experiences. It’s lightweight, resilient, and adds a modern touch to any space.

Product Tips for Using Cork in Hospitality Spaces:

  • Table Tops:
  • Stools: Consider using cork stools such as the Sparta Cork Stool

Highlighted Product - Bouchon Stools. These stylish and sustainable stools from Inside Out Contracts are perfect for bar areas, offering comfort and a unique look.

GAIL's, Soho - Bakery 4
GAIL's Soho showcasing the Bouchon Stool

4. Metal: The Modern Element

Metal adds a sleek and contemporary feel to hospitality spaces. When combined with wood or cork, it creates a balanced and harmonious design. Metal's strength allows for innovative design possibilities, including light frame constructions that offer both durability and aesthetic appeal.

Product Tips for Using Metal in Hospitality Spaces:

  • Chairs: Opt for metal chairs with a natural texture or patterned upholstery from Inside Out Contracts.
  • Benches: Metal benches like the Ola Metal Bench provide durability and style.
  • Table Bases: Metal table bases
  • Stools: Consider Metal stools with rope upholstery detail to provides a natural texture, which can be a powerful combination.

Highlighted Product - Mercury Soft Side Chair. The Mercury Soft Side Chair showcases the strength and versatility of metal. Its light frame design, combined with a net pattern, creates a visually striking piece. This design not only ensures durability but also allows for a contrast of colours with the fabric, making it a standout addition to any hospitality space. The metal frame provides stability and support, while the patterned design adds a touch of modern elegance, perfectly complementing a variety of interior styles.

Terrace by L'Opera Gallery 2
Mercury Soft Side Chair as seen at Terrace by L'Opera

5. Marble: The Luxurious Touch

Marble brings a sense of luxury and sophistication to a hospitality venue. Its unique veining and polished finish make it a standout material that feels cool and solid.

Tips for Using Marble in Hospitality Spaces:

  • Small Table Tops: Due to the weight of marble, marble table top sizes tend to be smaller, to enable the tables to be moved easily. Marble is a simply stunning and beautiful material which is available in a variety of natural colours which range from soft grey to deep red. Discover options like the Arabescato and the Rosso Levanto Marble Table Top.
  • Tables: Marble tables, such as the Sula Side Table offer a luxurious statement.

Highlighted Product - Carrara Marble Table Top. Quarried in Tuscany, the Carrara marble finished with a matt polish is our most popular choice for marble table tops. As marble is a heavy stone product, please ensure you combine marble table tops with a table base that can sufficiently support its weight. Carrara marble is a natural product and so variations in veining and colours will occur.

Glow Bar London Spa And Sauna In Marelybone With Bentwood Furniture By Insideoutcontracts

6. Stone: The Natural Foundation

Stone is durable and versatile, bringing a natural and earthy feel to spaces. To find out more read our blog In the Know | Stone Table Tops and What is Quartzite.

Tips for Using Stone in Hospitality Spaces:

Table Tops: From dramatic options like the Quartzite African Fusion Table Top to soothing centrepieces like the Epic Stone Dining Table, stone has been used in hospitality for many years.

Highlighted Product - Manufactured Quartz Top Starlight White. A durable and stylish material, making it perfect for creating inviting outdoor spaces. Its bright, polished finish adds a touch of elegance while ensuring long-lasting durability.

Peggy Porschen Chelsea Photo By Tom Bird 15 Commercial Interior Furniture By Insideoutcontracts

7. Creating a Cohesive Design

When incorporating natural materials, it’s essential to maintain a cohesive design. Here are a few tips to ensure harmony:

  • Colour Palette: Stick to earthy tones and natural colours to create a seamless blend of elements.
  • Balance: Balance different materials to avoid overwhelming the space. Use wood, cork, metal, marble, and stone in complementary proportions.
  • Texture: Combine different textures to add depth and interest to the interior.
Calcot Manor Website Gallery 15
Fabric Selection at Calcot Manor with Natural Pattern

Bringing nature indoors through the use of natural materials like wood, cork, metal, marble, and stone can significantly enhance the ambience of your hospitality spaces. By thoughtfully integrating these elements, you can create an authentic, warm, and inviting environment that resonates with guests. For high-quality, sustainable furniture options, explore the full range of products, where style meets sustainability.

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