How to: Biophilic Bathroom Design

21 October 2022|7 Minutes

How to bring the outdoors in!

Biophilic design is one of my favourite interior trends of all time! It has been revolutionary in our tiny sheila shed home and it is something I will also implement in the family home we are currently renovating.

In short, the biophilic design strives to connect nature within interiors aka to bring the outdoors in. It also aims to grow our connectivity with the natural environment. I like to think of it as a technique which makes you feel good and positive (which it definitely does!).

Incorporating elements from nature into the built environment can reduce stress, blood pressure levels and heart rate. It boosts your productivity, creativity and well-being too! Where better to bring this idea to life than in the bathroom?? The room where we relax, self-care and escape?? Genius.

This way you can turn your bathroom into the ultimate retreat where you can shut the door and pretend you’re on holiday or luxuriating at a spa resort.

We have been noticing the rise of bringing nature into the home over the last few years, from colours to the materials we introduce in our home decor. It can be as simple as adding more plants and natural textures and materials or if you have more room for manoeuvre you could install an outdoor bathtub!

Here are my top tips when designing or decorating your bathroom the biophilia way.


Let there be LIGHT!

Natural light is a key feature of biophilic design. Even more importantly in bathrooms in general for practical reasons. You can maximise yours with mirrors and wide doors or windows if possible. I wanted to blur the lines between my small Sheila shed outdoor bathroom area with the inside so I opted for glass doors. When opened, they let the bathroom extend to the outside which is simply magical✨

The external doors are from Colin's Sash windows.

Biophilic Materials

‘Bringing the outside in’ is a familiar interior design style. But it doesn’t just mean adding more plants in your home, though, they are a great place to start! It’s more about the overall connection with nature. You can fuse colours, natural materials, lighting and even sounds and scents. All this to create a bathroom space which enhances both your physical and psychological wellbeing.

Natural and sustainable materials are what you need here! Think, wood, cork, bamboo, terracotta and rattan. Most of these are water resistant and can survive the damp and humid conditions of the bathroom. You can easily warm up the space and bring in more depth by opting for ceramic or porcelain tiles that mimic natural materials. Try to select natural materials over synthetics ALWAYS, this is the easiest way to embrace biophilic design.

For my Sheila shed indoor-outdoor bathroom I chose the huge 2400×1200 Shade Blush porcelain slabs from Mandarin Stone. These have created an almost seamless finish across the walls and floors, with their gorgeous matt texture and softest of pink shades (which we know I absolutely loooove pink😍). The Shard Pink Terrazzo Effect porcelain has been used in feature areas and Piazza Nero Matt Marble Effect porcelain leads the way to the external pink bath.

These tiles are a game changer in the biophilic design game!

We added a wooden element with our building yard ceiling rafters. Bought for £30, fixed into place sanded and stained by my husband to achieve an authentic ceiling rafter look! The plan is to grow ivy across them adding to the jungle vibes in the bathroom 🌱

Texture & Colour

Incorporating natural materials will add texture to the bathroom automatically but you can add even more texture by choosing storage solutions or planters that are perhaps ribbed, or wall tiles that have a 3D effect. Textures create a more haptic experience and form a much more sensory space which is huuuge with biophilic design.

Colour on your walls can be a game-changer where biophilic design is involved. Earthy tones are the most obvious but I also don’t think you need to limit yourself to greens, beiges and blues. My light pink bathroom tiles evoke nature just as well and give the bathroom more personality after all it wouldn’t be much without little miss pink concrete bathtub! Opt for shades that occur in nature.

Plants are your best friends

This is an obvious one… but no bathroom can be called biophilic without these little or big green guys. They also bring texture into the bathroom which is key. Choose plants that do well in a damp environment.

If you lack surface space for plants, you can easily hang them from the ceiling in hanging planters. Your plants don’t have to be huge either, I’ve planted smaller potted plants all around the indoor bathroom to tie together the outside jungle-esque bath area with the indoor.

My incredibly talented friend Marianna Popejoy (@the_wooden_hill) a biophilic expert, her amazing green fingers have turned my bathroom design into the dreamy green jungle it is today. Her house is anything short of biophilic heaven. 

Things to remember...

  • A biophilic material is any material harvested from nature
  • Biophilic furnishings will emulate the various shapes in nature
  • Found items, reclaimed wood, and water features can be biophilic

Biophilic design done right will not only make your bathroom look great but it should make you feel calm and relaxed when you need that most.

Don’t forget the power of nature!