Nature Inspired Spiral Staircase

Best practices to Incorporate Biophilic Design in Your Home on a Small Budget

As I write this instrumental music is playing softly in the background, Leaves rustle casting shadows on the wall, and birds sing louder than cars.  I am grateful for these moments, but having spent most of my life living in major city centers I know it is not always possible to spend the day with one foot physically in nature. 

Last week's post defined biophilia and the importance of connecting with nature for our well being. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates the average person spends approximately 90% of their time indoors, both at home and work. So let's discover ways to create the essence of nature in our built environment without breaking the bank.

Live plants on ladder

 Plants are a great way to bring nature into any space. Live plants provide added benefits by nurturing them as they filter your air. If that sounds like too much work, high quality artificial options will bring a smile to your face. Wishing you could have a living wall in your home, but don't have the space? Layer plants with a floor pot, table top or shelf and hanging baskets.

Wood slates filtering sunlight

Natural sunlight feels great on your skin. Protect yourself from glare with UV window shades or sheers for soft filtered light that won't hurt your eyes. No windows in sight, add a desk lamp to mimic the warm glow of natural day light. Light therapy lamps are especially useful as the days get shorter.      

birds and boats at sunset
Sounds of nature reduce stress. Tired of listening to your co-workers weekend escapades? Find your favorite playlist or white noise device for calming sounds of surf, birds or other nature sounds.
stack of pillows




Think tactile. Touch is important so look for natural fibers for area rugs, throw pillows, drapery, placemats and napkins to add texture to your home. 

blue bedroom



Water is an essential natural element. Can't afford to renovate for a spa like bathroom? Use soothing blues on walls and fabrics. Still feeling blue? Fish tanks or aquarium screen savers work too.

red chairs blue wall



Nature is full of color, neutrals found in sand dunes and stones, reds and oranges of your favorite sunset or fall foliage, blues reminding you of a weekend at the lake and greens of your favorite hiking trail. Color your home to recreate your favorite warm or cool palette. 

aged door and key hole


Nature evolves. Choose finishes that age with beauty such as a coppers patina, aged brick, worn leather or wood banisters darkened by years human hands sliding down it.

candles on table


We don't all have fireplaces in our homes, but an arrangement of candles can be the next best thing.  Worried about open flames? Battery operated candles come in all shapes and sizes. 

mismatched chairs




 Nature isn't perfect and you don't need to be either.  Mis-match furniture, pick a common element and have fun.

cozy cabin with organic shapes and materials

Look for organic shapes, patterns and details found throughout nature and introduce some in your home.  Don't like too much pattern? Keep colors neutral to offset.

repurposed canoes as garden wall

Repurpose a material or item. Tables made of reclaimed wood or hang grandma's old rolling pin on the wall to warm up your kitchen. 

Think about your favorite childhood memory, trip or someplace still on your bucket list and add elements to your home to transport you. Stuck for ideas, leave a comment below or email us and we can help you create a corner of nature in your home.


We may receive a small commission from links in this post, but we think these companies are worth sharing.

Inspiring Reads -

Fund literacy and protect the planet when you buy books from Certified B Corporation, Better World Books. We hope the books mentioned below inspire your journey.

 Nature by Design: The Practice of Biophilic Design

Nature by Design: The Practice of Biophilic Design
by Stephen R. Kellert

Biophilia is the theory that people possess an inherent affinity for nature, which developed during the long course of human evolution. In recent years, studies have revealed that this inclination continues to be a vital component to human health and wellbeing...  

Designology: How to Find Your PlaceType and Align Your Life With Design

Designology: How to Find Your PlaceType and Align Your Life With Design
by Sally Augustin

#1 New Release. Create spaces at home and work that align with your personality type and support your goals with this comprehensive science-based guide. Discover a new paradigm: Are you an... 

Nature and Wellbeing in the Digital Age: How to feel better without logging off

Nature and Wellbeing in the Digital Age: How to feel better without logging off
by Sue Thomas

Are you always staring at your phone and never at the sky? Many people today feel divorced from the natural world and blame it on their digital lives. But what we need is more nature, not less technology. Find out how our smartphones, tablets and computers connect us to the natural world and learn 50 ways to bring your own digital life closer to nature. 

Buy Books, Spread Literacy

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East Fork Pottery takes a stand for social equality.  Partnering with community outreach organizations to stretch outside their comfort zone; paying employees a living wage, they are now working towards increasing wages to a family living wage.  Receiving Carbon Neutral Certification and B Corporation Certification has inspired them to make even greater changes. East Fork's About Page was part of our inspiration for starting The Savvy Elephant. AND we haven't even touched on how stunning and beautiful their pottery is!  See for yourself by clicking through to the East Fork Website.  

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