Biophilic Moodboards: water

in Biophilic Moodboards

Welcome back to Biophilic Moodboards, the monthly column where we explore biophilic design...one moodboard at a time!

After having talked about greenery last month, it’s now time to get refreshed and relaxed at the same time. Let's talk about water!

Moodboard to show the power of water in a biophilic design: drops on a clear background, the texture of waves and a water fountain.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit (from top left): LUM3N (via Unsplash) (opened in a new window/tab), Spiridecor (opened in a new window/tab), Rick Vos (via Unsplash) (opened in a new window/tab) Moodboard: DforDesign

Besides being a real eye-catcher, a water feature has very positive effects on our mind. Reduced stress, better mood, improved concentration and an overall feeling of calm are just some of the proved benefits of the exposure to water. A very good reason to incorporate it more often in interiors, don't you also think?

Moving water

The key to using water in the most beneficial way is movement.
Moving water can be seen and heard at the same time. And its strong wellness effect comes exactly from engaging more of our senses at once.
What’s important though is that the movement is overall flowy and calm. If too strong or violent it would actually have the opposite effect, making us anxious and uncomfortable.

In practice, good examples of moving water design could be a fountain, a waterfall, or why not a pond at the bottom of a staircase!

Small waterfall in a patio.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Grandwood (opened in a new window/tab) (via Houzz) (opened in a new window/tab)
Outdoor waterfall feature.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Spiridecor (opened in a new window/tab)
Pond below a modern staircase.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Park+Associates (opened in a new window/tab) (via Houzz) (opened in a new window/tab)

As a note: when installing any water feature, it’s important to be mindful of water waste and incorporate a system of continuous water recirculation.

Big is not better

Naturally flowing water creates constantly-changing and compelling shapes and sounds no matter its size. So you don't need a huge waterfall to help wellbeing! A smaller fountain or water wall will work just as well, to the delight of everyone among us living in a small space (me included)!

Also, a bigger water feature makes quite a noise, so it could end up being disturbing in a smaller space. And that's the opposite of what biophilic design aims at!
 

If you’re new to this topic, take a look at my general introduction on biophilic design. And for more details, you can browse through its "tools": nature in the space, natural analogues and nature of the space.

Small water fountain, perfect addition to a small space to create a biophilic design.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Wayfair (opened in a new window/tab)

Accent lighting

If there is one thing that brings any water design to the next level is accent lighting. A light pointing at the right spot can emphasize the movements of flowing water, or give more dimension to single drops where they splash.

In short words, light makes a water design even more intriguing to watch, aka, more powerful in terms of wellbeing!

Fountain on the side of a concrete staircase.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Huettl (opened in a new window/tab) (via Houzz) (opened in a new window/tab)
Waterfall coming out of steel panels. Great example of water design feature contributing to a more biophilic design of the space.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: HGTV (opened in a new window/tab) (Photo by George Dzahristos)

Tactile access to water

As a general rule, the positive effect of nature on our wellbeing comes from the stimulation of all our senses at once. So a good idea to make a water feature even more beneficial is leaving it at hand’s reach.

Outdoor water wall, great element to a biophilic outdoor design.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: David Harber (opened in a new window/tab) (via Houzz) (opened in a new window/tab)

Water as furniture

How to use water as a furnishing element? One example above all is space separation; what about water as a room divider? I'd love it!

Indoor water wall acting as a room divider.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Water Studio (opened in a new window/tab)
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Comments

Don't be shy, let me know what you think!

On Sabu Panicker said:
Great work, great idea, Butiful to see
On Silvia - DforDesign said:
Hi Sabu, I'm so happy you found it inspiring! Thanks for letting me know, it means a lot! :)
On Noland said:
Love your articles. It would have been nice to see indoor examples of naturally fluctuating water movement vs. predictable water movement or stagnant water. Thanks again.
On Silvia - DforDesign said:
Hi Noland, thanks for stopping by!

That's an interesting point, I'll write an article on that! Can't give you a date but it will come, it's noted! :)

Thanks again for your feedback, I really appreciate it!

Silvia

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