Biophilic Design and Wooden Windows

making timber windows
This month in the Joinery – July 2019 – making timber windows
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Irish Made Awards

Biophilic Design and Wooden Windows

biophilic design

Biophilia is the latest buzzword regarding interior design. It reflects living harmoniously with natural products as much as possible in your home. These natural products are in the form of furnishings, natural light, plants, views of nature and colour.

“Over 50 studies worldwide, including our Human Spaces Report with psychologist Professor Sir Cary Cooper, have proven the positive effects nature or environments that mimic nature have on overall health and well-being”

Where did the word biophilia come from?

The term ‘biophilia’ was first used by social psychologist Erich Fromm (The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness) and later made popular by biologist Edward Wilson (Biophilia, 1984). Edward Wilson explains how our natural affinity for life―biophilia―is the very essence of our humanity and binds us to all other living species.

How can you introduce biophilia in your home?

Basically you can introduce biophilia in your home by using as many natural fibres as possible. These natural products are: vegetation such as plants and garden views, natural products such as wood and stone, colours in the green, blue and yellow spectrums and finally natural textures such as sheepskin and linen.

Why is biophilia important?

Studies argue that biophilia has a genetic importance to humans, whether or not it has always been coined by this terminology. Moreover, we know that our well being is improved by contact with natural surroundings rather than artificial. Thus your home and work environments will allow you to feel happier and healthier.

Biophilia and your windows

The windows in your home work threefold in terms of biophilia. Firstly, they embrace the view. Secondly, the material which makes up the window and surrounds has an effect on your home. Thirdly, they bring natural light into the building.

First to the view: Not all of us are lucky enough to have a garden to look out on, or even a green view. Yet all is not lost. It is enough to add plants on the window surrounds to bring nature inside.

As for the material that makes the windows – natural is a better choice than artificial every time. uPVC windows are not only detrimental in their production, but also in their eventual disposal. It is not possible to repair these mass produced windows, so once there is some damage you must replace them. This leaves the consequence of more plastic that we cannot recycle or re-use. On the other hand, timber is a sustainable resource. At Timeless Sash Windows we only use timber that is FSC certified from regulated forests. We can repair old timber windows at our joinery and on site, as well as making new timber windows that have all the timeless elegance of traditional designs.

Read more uPVC versus Timber windows

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Love this cosy corner of my home. I got asked yesterday about my log pile (@debsbutland), so there are some BEFORE & DURING pics included. Log piles aren’t as easy as they look. This one was particularly tricky as our wood was quite gnarled and crooked, as was the rough stonework behind! It’s like a giant jigsaw and takes a lot of hard labour and patience……. The house naturally divides in 2, the more ornate side where the original family would have lived & entertained, and the humbler side which would have been the working end of the house. This allowed me to adopt 2 styles within our home. This cosy corner is in the working side of the house where I’ve gone for a more modern Scandi feel.

A post shared by "if these walls could talk…" (@ormistonhousedesign) on

Listed building windows and biophilia

In protected structures and conservation areas in Ireland, our work is all carried out to best conservation principles. This means that our joiners keep as much of the original timber as possible and repair where necessary. Thus we can protect the original windows. Firstly many of these are inherently biophilic in their design. Certainly the proportions of the larger Victorian and Georgian windows that were all made from timber – the large size of these windows allow plenty of natural light to enter, stemming from an era pre-electric. Secondly, we and you play a role in conserving historical values.

Read more about Conservation Sash Windows
biophilic design

Timber sash windows and shutters by Timeless Sash Windows with a garden view.

Published 25th July 2019: Jennie Ritchie, Timeless Sash Windows.



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