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biophilic moodboards: natural textures

in biophilic moodboards

Textures add dimension and depth. Nature-inspired textures – those preferred in biophilic design – make the space feel warmer, more welcoming and stimulating, recalling the experience of being outdoors.

In this episode of Biophilic Moodboards, we’re taking a closer look at natural textures…

Biophilic design moodboard depicting natural textures in interiors: 1. A wood coffee table with textured accessories. 2. Wood flooring close-up. 3. A textured wall.
Credit (from top left): Colin King, Marazzi, Wonderwall Studios. Moodboard: anooi studio

natural textures and wellbeing

Even if the reason is yet to be fully explained, people have a general preference for shapes, patterns and textures that recall natural ones. Studies* have also observed positive effects on wellbeing, from stress reduction to increased concentration.

Additionally, textures stimulate the most ancestral of our senses and the first one we develop: touch. Tactile stimulations cause a very strong emotional response that, together with other sensory elements, makes the space compelling and interesting. Rich natural textures also create more light-shadows effects. This makes them particularly interesting to watch, stimulating another one of our senses.


Walls, floors and ceilings are the biggest surfaces in a home, and enriching them with a textured finish makes a huge difference.

The options are endless, from wood floors and walls to natural stone cladding.

A wooden ceiling made with overlapped planks of wood.
Credit: BIG – Ph: Rasmus Hjortshoj


Accessories give identity to a space; they can be used to incorporate personality, colour, and texture.

Vases, baskets, textiles…all of these items are occasions to bring natural textures in. They also can help to enhance the connection of the space with the changing seasons and build a stronger local identity.

A textured rug made of tiny petals.
Credit: Nanimarquina

natural elements

Real natural elements also bring their textures with them. Think about a plant in front of a plain wall to add interest and dimension, a vertical garden to literally rewild a wall, a water feature and more…

Plain walls enriched with plants.
Credit: Labotory

imitating nature

Whenever using a real natural material is not possible, natural textures can be reproduced; what biophilic design calls natural analogues.

Close-up of textured wall tiles recalling the wavy shape of sand moved by the wind.
Credits: Marazzi

interactive natural textures

Writing on the sand, caressing the grass… Taking inspiration from how we interact with nature, bringing interactive textures indoors will make a space richer and more soothing.

The term interactive natural textures refers to how engaging textures are to the 5 senses and how actively one can interact with them.

Zen gardens are a good example, as they’re a way to bring the activity of playing with sand indoors.

Zen garden close-up.
Credit: Dirk Ercken

Textures engage deeply with our senses, bringing the mind back to the present moment. Incorporating them in designed spaces makes for more interesting and grounding spaces, while restoring a stronger connection with the natural world.

* Sources

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