& Company Said
INSPIRATION | February 9, 2022 | By Saxon Henry
Biophilic Design Defined
Among our new introductions that our Vice President/Creative Director Cecil Adams included in the Botanical or Biophilic Design style story are leafy wonders, shell-shaped sophisticates, crystal-studded floral fantasies, and faux-bois refinement. Before we get to these, we’ll share a bit of history of this unusual sounding biophilic design trend and give a shout-out to the Antiques & Garden Show of Nashville during which one of our most popular designers, Bunny Williams, will speak.
Origins of Biophilic Design
The term biophilic design was coined when the building industry identified the need to increase the connectivity between the natural environment and human occupants in dwellings. They specified the feat could be achieved through the use of direct nature, indirect nature, and space and place conditions on both the building level and the city-scale. This means bringing living natural features inside; referencing elements of nature in visual displays; and, if possible, connecting indoor spaces to the outdoors. The proponents of this movement have proven its principles have health, environmental, and economic benefits for building occupants and urban environments. Though the name of this movement was coined in recent history, biophilic design has been seen in architecture from as far back as the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
The Antiques & Garden Show of Nashville
Intrepid garden and interior designer Bunny Williams. Photo credit: Sari Goodfriend.
During the Gardens & Landscape Design Lecture on Friday, February 11, at 2 p.m. at the Antiques & Garden Show of Nashville, which takes place between February 11 and 13, Bunny Williams will introduce attendees to the various gardens she has developed that surround her house in Falls Village, Connecticut, over the course of more than 30 years. The photo that leads this post is an illustration of her long-standing efforts: an undulating clipped yew hedge inspired by her visit to the Wirtz Family gardens in Belgium. It took years to grow in fully, the patience that requires this type of result signaling what an intrepid gardener she is. There are other events during the show, which you can find on the event’s website. To buy general admission and lecture tickets, click through to that particular page.
A lovely conservatory surrounded by lush greenery photographed at a previous Antiques & Garden Show of Nashville. Image credit: Peyton Hoge.
Botanical-Inspired Winter Introductions
And now for a look at a few of our botanical-inspired products new this winter. To shop all winter introductions, visit that section of our website.
The Irvin Pendant is made of wrought iron in a golden vintage finish for a seriously luxurious glow. The gold pendant was inspired by oversized monstera leaves, a plant in the philodendron family. The leaves are made of laser-cut metal that was wrapped over a wooden mold to form them. The artful pendant is as much a sculpture as it is a light fixture. We also offer this design as a table lamp and a floor lamp.
Our Apollo Leaf Chandelier is shaped like a sheaf of laurel leaves folding in on themselves. The design is brilliant in a mix of contemporary gold leaf and painted gold finishes. Because the leaves are hand-applied, slight variations in shape may exist on this gold chandelier. Its designer Ian Thornton notes, “I am very excited about this design because the Apollo is a fixture I have always wanted to create. The light from the bulbs reflects beautifully off the contemporary gold leaf finish.” We offer the Apollo in a number of designs, each brilliant in gold.
The Neptune Chandelier is a seamless composition made of wrought iron and wood beads in a gesso white finish. Designer Ian Thornton says, “The arrangement of the white wood beads were inspired by a nautilus sea shell but I wanted to make it rectangular because I conceived the design as an oblong shape for rectangular tables. This white chandelier spirals nicely to smaller beads at the bottom.”
With leaves shaped like a butterfly bush but in the palest pink, the Gloriana Chandelier inspires thoughts of fairy wings applauding their queen. These pointed adornments are made of frosted opaque pressed glass. The Silver Granello finish on the wrought iron frame adds to the gleaming profile that these opalescent floral motifs bring to the pink chandelier.
With its Italianate influences, the Taormina Chandelier is a handmade wonder. The metal wire from which it is made is hand-formed. Creating delicate leaf shapes from wire made of wrought iron is no small feat. The new brass finish on the gold chandelier brings it a warmth though the composition remains light and airy.
Made of wrought iron in a mix of contemporary gold leaf and contemporary silver leaf finishes, the Elder Wall Sconce was inspired by oversized monstera leaves, a plant in the philodendron family. Made of laser-cut metal that was wrapped over a wooden mold to form the leaves, the artful gold and silver sconce is as much a wall sculpture as it is a light fixture. We also offer this design as an orb chandelier.
Made of concrete in the great faux bois tradition, the Cotswold Table Lamp is a soulful way to bring the beauty of nature indoors. Shaped like a Bonsai, the gray lamp has an elongated natural linen shade that is in perfect scale to the artful element to which it is affixed. A design detail of note is how the artisan who created it truly captured the essence of the plant’s fluidity.
The playful insect on the Grasshopper Table Lamp plays hide and seek. View the lamp from the front and you see its pert profile; view it from the side and it goes incognito. The body of the lamp and the twig finial are made of cast aluminum to look like the trunk of a sapling. The bronze gold finish reads as convincingly close to a tree’s true color.
Biophilic Design Is Our Early Spring!
A hand-painted wallpaper or mural by Gracie Studios is the perfect way to bring a biophilic design element into an interior.
With Punxsutawney Phil’s unfortunate spotting of his shadow last week, we’re slated for six more weeks of winter. The Nashville show always lifts the spirits given the wonderful garden settings its organizers create and the intelligent speakers they draw to Tennessee. Enjoy the beautiful hand-painted wallpaper by Gracie Studio that they tapped for their branding this year as you dream of spring that is not too far away! It’s a beautiful way to bring the biophilic design trend into interiors.