Outdoor design is now a trend and biophilia explains why

in Design Trends

Outdoor design is definitely a trend on the rise.
Since it’s summer, one may argue it’s normal that everyone is talking about outdoor design. But there’s more to it.

It’s a fact that nature acts positively on our brain, bringing a soothing and regenerating effect. Which is what inspires the biophilic design approach.

But back to outdoor design...
Let’s explore how biophilia connects to the rise of outdoor design as a design trend.

Outdoor design becomes a trend

Looking at the latest interior design developments, it is clear that the industry is turning to nature as a source of inspiration, and not only to mimic natural shapes.

The healing effects of nature on our minds are being mentioned more and more often. And spending more time outdoors is an obvious strategy to benefit from them. Time spent outdoors gives our mind a break from the restless society we live in, helping us to preserve and improve our wellbeing on a daily basis.

This being the background, it comes without saying that the bland foldable tables & chairs that used to be called outdoor furniture are no longer enough!

So here comes the need for better outdoor designs.
Now more than ever, companies are focusing on outdoor furniture, expanding their existing catalogues or even creating dedicated outdoor collections when they didn’t have one. The objective is making outdoor spaces as well-designed as interiors, both in terms of beauty and functionality. This translates into high-performance fabrics that don’t fear the elements, modular furniture to shape and adapt the space as needed and a gorgeous aesthetics that has nothing to envy to indoor furniture.

Outdoor design on a deck overlooking the sea.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Outdoor furniture by Varaschin (opened in a new window/tab)

Embracing nature in outdoor design

Greenery is obviously one of the first ingredients of outdoor spaces, but not everyone has access to a big garden.

Good news: the outdoor design trend is also thinking of the ones among us that only have a small space outdoors. For instance, it's becoming more common to see planters integrated into furniture, making space for more greenery without taking up any extra space.

Outdoor round table with integrated planter in the center.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Outdoot table with integrated planter. Credit: Ataman Mesh by Garda (opened in a new window/tab)
Outdoor planters that double as ambient light.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Outdoor planters with integrated light. Credit: Marquis by Vondom (opened in a new window/tab)
Wooden bench with two integrated planters.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Outdoor bench with integrated planters. Credit: Romeo & Juliet Mesh by Extremis (opened in a new window/tab)

Outdoor design calls for natural materials

If spending time outdoors is a way to connect with nature, it makes total sense for outdoor furniture to embrace natural materials.
Wood, rattan and wicker are the first that come to mind, but they’re not alone. Clay and terracotta are also used often and their colour brings in a beautiful earthy vibe.

Outdoor sofa and matching coffee table in teak wood.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Teak outdoor furniture. Credit: Vis-à-vis by Tribù (opened in a new window/tab)
Terracotta lantern in several earthy colours.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Terracotta lantern. Credit: Step by Ethimo (opened in a new window/tab)

Another interesting outdoor-friendly material is cork. Despite not being used so often, it is a great option for the outdoor as it’s naturally waterproof! Cork comes in a variety of different colours and its soft touch adds a soothing natural texture.

Explore sustainable interior design products made of cork on SforSustainable (opened in a new window/tab)

Dark cork ottoman, perfect for a biophilic outdoor.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Cork ottoman. Credit: Cork44 by Gervasoni (opened in a new window/tab)

Cuddling furniture

Going outdoors to unwind calls for a relaxing space. And looking at the newest outdoor furniture collections, comfort is indeed a clear priority.

These days, outdoor furniture incorporates more organic shapes – that are naturally soothing to the human brain. On top of that, a mix of soft finishes and fluffy upholsteries are a clear invite to sit back and relax.

Upholstered outdoor chairs with a soft look.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Soft upholstered outdoor chairs. Credit: Senja by Tribù (opened in a new window/tab)
Outdoor sofa and chair with a curved profile.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Outdoor seating with curved profile. Credit: Twins by Expormim (opened in a new window/tab)
Fluffy outdoor chairs.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Soft upholstered outdoor chairs. Credit: Brioni by Kristalia (opened in a new window/tab)

Many sofas and chairs also come with a higher back that is clearly inspired by sound-proof chairs.
They create a sort of alcove, inviting to escape from the surroundings and dive into a moment of full relaxation. Which is exactly what biophilic design would call a refuge corner!
This also ties in with another rising trend in current society: silence.

High back white outdoor sofa with a woven back.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
High-back outdoor sofa. Credit: Esedra by Ethimo (opened in a new window/tab)

As a bottom line, outdoor furniture is now so beautiful that one could totally use it indoors too!

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