Biophilic Moodboards: water

in biophilic moodboards

Welcome back to Biophilic Moodboards, the monthly column where we explore biophilic 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 dive into this month's Biophilic Moodboard and let's talk about water!

Biophilic design moodboard showing the power of water in a biophilic design: drops falling from a leaf, a table with a water-like texture and a water fountain.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credits (from top left): Frame Harirak (via Unsplash) (opened in a new window/tab), Mathieu Lehanneur (via Instagram) (opened in a new window/tab), Ginggaanbai (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!

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 effect on wellbeing comes exactly from engaging more of our senses at once.

But not all movements are the same! A calming effect comes from overall flowy and calm movements. If the water movement is too strong or violent, this would actually have the opposite effect, making people anxious and uncomfortable.

In practice, good examples of moving water designs could be a fountain, a waterfall, or even a pond at the bottom of a staircase!

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

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
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)

Big is not better

Naturally flowing water always creates compelling and constantly-changing shapes & sounds. The size of the water feature does not matter as much!
A smaller fountain or water wall works perfectly well, to the delight of every one among us living in a small space (me included)!

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

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, that is accent lighting.
A light pointing at the right spot can emphasize the flowing movements of water, or give more dimension to single drops when they splash.

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

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.
This is the reason why leaving a water feature at hand’s reach would make it even more beneficial!

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. Using a water wall as a room divider is a useful application of a water feature. Plus, it adds an incredible focal point to the space!

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)

Water is a great addition to interiors. But in fact, all the 4 elements – air, water, earth and fire – can be used in interior design to create compelling spaces that reconnect us to the natural world!

* Sources

Share this post


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

On Elaine Alice Nishime said:
I am in love!
On Silvia - DforDesign said:
Thanks so much Elaine! :)
On Anthony Reynolds said:
Hi, love your post, I am in the process of planning application to remodel my home I just purchased and I have taken inspiration from your work and perhaps we could chat further at some point to see what you would recommend for my project
On Silvia - DforDesign said:
Hi Anthony! So glad you're finding my work inspiring, thank you! Water is in fact one of the least applied biophilic features, but it makes a big difference. So I'm particularly happy to find your comment under this article!

Best of luck with the application. And absolutely, do feel free to reach out via email at any time!
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!



Join 100+ biophilic and sustainable design enthusiasts on the monthly newsletter.
I'll never share your email with third parties and you can unsubscribe at any time.