Kitchen Design - How To Bring The Outside In

Kitchen Design - How To Bring The Outside In

Mar 23, 2023

One of the biggest interior trends in recent years is for bringing the outside in. As more of us began to spend a lot of time at home, it emerged as a great way of connecting with nature, even in the wettest or coldest months. Being at one with the great outdoors has so many benefits. It helps to reduce stress and anxiety, enhances creativity and productivity and can boost our mood.


Being at one with the great outdoors has so many benefits. It helps to reduce stress and anxiety, enhances creativity and productivity and can boost our mood.  This style is simple to achieve by decorating our homes with biophilic design, blurring the boundaries between inside and out and introducing plants and greenery into our kitchens and other rooms. Adding plants has the added bonus of improving the air quality inside, too. This is because photosynthesis converts the carbon dioxide we exhale into fresh oxygen while also removing toxins from the air we breathe.

The kitchen below, designed by Sustainable Kitchens, is a great example. Its glass doors create an almost seamless transition between interior and exterior while the abundance of plants complements the dark grey cabinetry, a Shaws of Darwen Belfast sink and our aged brass Ionian mixer and rinse.

Photo Credit - Charlie O'Beirne – Lukonic

Biophilic design, or biophilia as it’s more commonly known, is the concept of bringing nature into our home through architecture, design, products, and paint palettes.  Larger projects might include installing glass doors leading onto the garden or opting for skylights in a kitchen extension.  You could also look to paint your kitchen in natural green tones and earthy shades or simply add natural textures into the space along with plenty of plants, greenery and foliage.

Our aged brass Ionian mixer and rinse looks stunning set within a solid wooden worksurface and surrounded by plants and foliage from the garden in Rachel of @warehouse_townhouse’s kitchen.

Kitchens are the perfect space for bringing biophilic design into your home.  A simple update for an existing scheme is to introduce plenty of natural materials and textures such as adding:

  • Wooden worksurfaces
  • Unlacquered brassware that will take on a unique patina
  • Jute, coir, or sisal kitchen rug
  • Cork or terracotta flooring
  • Stone tiles
  • Recycled glass mosaic splashback
  • Accessories such as a wooden chopping board, bamboo salad bowls and servers

This chic country laundry room belongs to interior consultant and antique lover Claire of @claireordersinteriors and features natural materials and plants along with  timeless Neptune cabinetry, which offers plenty of storage. A butler sink combined with our Phoenician chrome mixer is ideal for cleaning muddy boots, pre soaking items before washing and arranging flowers.

Green kitchens not only embrace the biophilic trend, but they are also one of the most popular colours for cabinetry right now.  Think deep, moss green painted Shaker styles teamed with aged brass taps and hardware for a modern twist on a traditional look.  This style of kitchen is all about creating a rustic feel rather than anything sleek and glossy.  This makes the kitchen more tactile and perfect for bringing a sense of the outside in.  These deVOL aged brass Mayan taps are made by us and look stunning with an aged copper worksurface.

Photo Credit - Pernille Lind Studio and Wichmann+Bendtsen Photography

There are plenty of other ways to give your kitchen the biophilic look without spending on new cabinetry.  One simple update is to swap the door handles for knurled ones or think about tiling a splashback in textured or 3D wall tiles.  You could also cover one wall with botanical printed wallpaper or bring in plants for an instant and affordable update.  

Some of the most popular plants for kitchens include peace lily, aloe vera, spider plants, chilli plant, lavender and snake plants.  Dot them around the worksurfaces, on shelving and windowsills or hang from the ceiling in a hanging basket or three.  You can also wall mount them to create an on-trend living wall with trailing plants that cascade across and down the wall.  If you are able to renovate the furniture, fluted or reeded glass looks particularly striking.

Photo Credit – Laura Butler-Madden and Patrick Butler-Madden

In this pantry, statement wallpaper makes an instant impact.  Shown with our aged brass Athenian mixerand Shaws of Darwen Bowland fireclay sink.

Kitchens are the perfect room for bringing the outside in, connecting this space with elements, colours and textures from the natural world outside.  It’s also easy to open up and blur the boundaries with a few tricks as well as larger projects if you have the time and budget. Start by making the most of a garden view by positioning dining and seating so that you look out onto the patio, terrace, courtyard or lawn.  Whether it’s by moving the dining table to the window or glass doors or having bar stools facing the outside where possible, it could simply be a case of moving furniture around.   

Most of us have the kitchen sink below the window and this is a really easy way to enjoy nature, simply by flinging the window open on a warm day as seen in Katie of @simplyscandikatie ‘s home which  boasts a Shaws of Darwen double bowl fireclay sink and our chrome Ionian mixer and rinse.