Biophilic Design at Blooming Hill Farm
In my ongoing chats with interior designers and architects we’ve been learning about introducing natural elements into the built environment and the positive benefits that go along with that—from increasing our potential to heal, to lowering stress, and enhancing our creativity and productivity. While Biophilic Design is an evidence-based interior design ethos capable of improving our mental health, its principles have been engrained in the human psyche for millennia.
Surely, at some point in your life, you’ve walked into an indoor space that immediately makes you feel happy and relaxed, even if you can’t explain why? Personally speaking, this happens to me all too often. I have always been very much impacted by my surroundings. When a space makes me feel good, I take note, and I visit again and again. And when it doesn’t, I don’t.
As I wandered around the market at Blooming Hill Farm, located in Blooming Grove, NY, I realized the space is a prime example of this. The market is a place I find myself returning to quite often, and not just to admire the rolling landscape it is situated on, shop for local, organic produce, or to delight my taste buds with the farm fresh fare.
I return again and again, because the space makes me feel good.
Situated in a rustic barn, the market has a familiar, calming effect, even in winter when the decor shifts to reflect the dormant season. The design of the space feels familiar and uplifting because much of it originates from the natural world, and hasn't been processed. Having admired the rustic decor for some time, I decided it was time to connect with the woman behind it, and learn more.
As it turns out, Nadine Imbriaco—the unofficial Biophilic Designer at Blooming Hill Farm—began decorating the market with natural elements found around the farm, rather unintentionally. From time to time she would encounter natural elements that piqued her interest, and she would bring them back to the barn. Little by little she started to decorate with them, and it snowballed from there.
Eventually, her walks became an integral part of her week, that brought her so much joy. Over the years she found herself particularly drawn to things that were made of other things, such as nests and beehives, as well as circular objects.
While the market has a noticeable shift throughout the seasons, Nadine pointed out that she is constantly changing things from week-to-week. In fact, while visiting with her, Nadine was working on a fabulous new piece—a large, vertical nest made of grapevines, which I’d really like to try to recreate myself.
With the market situated in an unheated barn, Nadine explained that she can’t leave a lot of potted plants over winter, otherwise they’ll perish. But that’s not a problem for Nadine, who tends to prefer the dormant stage of a plant’s life cycle as opposed to full bloom. There is something about that that really speaks to me as well.
So when things outside change, it reflects what is brought into the market. In summer there are usually a lot more cut flowers around, as opposed to more sticks, twigs, and white birch in the cooler months.
While Nadine hadn't heard of Biophilic Design when we connected, she has certainly been incorporating elements of it throughout the market for some time—through the use of natural materials, such as grapevines, branches, pine cones, and other flora found around the farm, and in the process she has created a warm and inviting space I return to over and over again.
When I asked her if she has any suggestions for anyone interested in bringing the outdoors in, she recommended going for frequent walks and see what speaks to you. Sometimes she holds onto things for quite a while before she finds the appropriate time and place for it.
If you ever plan to be in the area I highly recommend popping by the market to see Nadine's beautiful creations for yourself. The produce is all organic and grown in the Black Dirt Region in Pine Island, New York.
They are open Friday through Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and reservations are needed weekend brunch or dinners, Wednesday through Sunday.