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  • Writer's pictureWelborn Woodworks

The role of wood in biophilic design

Biophilic design is an approach to interior design that seeks to incorporate elements of nature into indoor spaces. One key component of biophilic design is the use of natural materials, and wood is a material that is frequently used in this context. Wood can add warmth, texture, and visual interest to interior spaces, and it is a popular choice for creating a connection between indoor and outdoor environments.

In biophilic design, wood is often used in a way that highlights its natural texture and grain. The use of raw or minimally finished wood allows the natural beauty of the material to shine through, creating a sense of warmth and comfort in the space. Wood can be used for flooring, cabinetry, furniture, wall paneling, and other interior elements, and it can be combined with other natural materials such as stone, metal, or plants to create a cohesive biophilic design.

One of the benefits of using wood in biophilic design is its versatility. There are many different types of wood to choose from, each with its own unique texture, grain, and color. For example, oak is a popular choice for flooring and cabinetry due to its durability and warm color, while birch is often used for furniture due to its light color and fine grain. Other popular woods for biophilic design include teak, maple, and cherry.

Another benefit of using wood in biophilic design is its sustainability. Wood is a renewable resource, and if harvested responsibly, it can be a highly sustainable material. Many biophilic designers opt for sustainably sourced wood, such as FSC-certified lumber, which is harvested in a way that minimizes its impact on the environment.

In addition to its aesthetic and sustainable benefits, wood has a number of functional benefits as well. Wood is a durable material that can withstand wear and tear, making it a popular choice for high-traffic areas such as flooring and cabinetry. Wood can also help to regulate indoor humidity and temperature, making it a natural choice for creating a comfortable and healthy indoor environment.

When choosing woods for biophilic design, it's important to consider not only the aesthetic qualities of the wood, but also its sustainability and durability. Here are some woods that are popular for biophilic design, along with their unique characteristics:


Oak is a durable, strong, and stable hardwood that is a popular choice for flooring, cabinetry, and furniture. It has a distinctive grain pattern and ranges in color from light tan to medium brown.


Teak is a dense hardwood that is highly resistant to rot, making it an ideal choice for outdoor furniture and decking. It has a beautiful golden-brown color and a straight grain pattern.


Maple is a light-colored hardwood that has a fine, uniform grain pattern. It is often used for furniture and cabinetry, and it is a popular choice for contemporary and minimalist designs.


Walnut is a darker hardwood with a rich, warm tone and a distinctive grain pattern. It is often used for flooring, furniture, and cabinetry, and it can add a touch of luxury to any interior space.


Cedar is a softwood that has a beautiful reddish-brown color and a distinctive aroma. It is often used for siding, decking, and outdoor furniture, and it is highly resistant to decay and insect damage.


Bamboo is a fast-growing grass that is an excellent choice for sustainable biophilic design. It has a light, natural color and a distinctive grain pattern, and it can be used for flooring, furniture, and wall paneling.

Overall, the use of wood in biophilic design is a way to create a natural and harmonious interior environment that supports health, well-being, and sustainability. By incorporating the warmth, texture, and beauty of natural wood into indoor spaces, biophilic designers can create a connection between the indoors and outdoors that promotes relaxation, creativity, and a sense of calm.


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