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Biophilic Moodboards: Water

Topic: Biophilic Moodboards
Biophilic Moodboards: water

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.
Credit (from top left): LUM3N (via Unsplash), Spiridecor, Rick Vos (via Unsplash) 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.
Credit: Grandwood (via Houzz)
Outdoor waterfall feature.
Credit: Spiridecor
Pond below a modern staircase.
Credit: Park+Associates (via Houzz)

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.
Credit: Wayfair

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.
Credit: Huettl (via Houzz)
Waterfall coming out of steel panels. Great example of water design feature contributing to a more biophilic design of the space.
Credit: HGTV (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.
Credit: David Harber (via Houzz)

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.
Credit: Water Studio

 
 
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