Nature on the Inside

See the details our Model ReModel contractors chose to infuse nature into their ADU

nature inspired design

Research suggests that exposure to nature decreases stress levels and increases cognitive abilities, among other benefits for health and well-being. Biophilism, a design philosophy that promotes integration of nature within the built environment, is a key part of the wellness and sustainability strategy for Model ReModel 2022 contractor Symbi Homes. 

For Model ReModel 2022, Symbi Homes incorporated several biophilic elements into the design of their 850 square foot in-law suite addition. The biophilic design experts at Terrapin Bright Green, a construction consulting firm, identify 14 elements of biophilism in building homes and commercial spaces. 

Direct views of nature, an abundance of daylight, and materials that incorporate natural elements and patterns in nature are all effective strategies for connecting inhabitants to the environment.

biophilism design
Two 3-foot wide, full-glass ProVia fiberglass doors in the Hibiscus colorway provide a seamless indoor-outdoor living space. Photo: Zach Miller Photography


Large french doors in the Model ReModel in-law suite open to the garden for seamless indoor/outdoor living. The kitchen boasts an expansive casement window overlooking the trees of a nearby park. 

Design finishes also integrate textures and patterns of nature. The cathedral ceiling is finished in birch plywood, and the floors are lightly polished concrete. The kitchen backsplash consists of large (23"x59") Porcelanosa ceramic tiles with the look of a natural gray stone. 

nature inspired home design
From top to bottom, the Model ReModel 2022 in-law suite addition incorporates natural elements. Shown here: birch plywood ceiling, stone-look tile, and concrete floors. Photo: Zach Miller Photography


"The palette for our age-in-place addition is completely inspired by nature—warm gray tones, matte black, and natural unfinished birch wood. When you enter the space, you just feel a sense of calm and connectedness with the Earth," says Nicole Tysvaer, CEO of Symbi Homes. 

Symbi's design team was inspired by visits to the Glenstone Museum, a sustainable 230-acre property in nearby Potomac, Md., that showcases the beauty of native landscaping, architecture, sculpture, and other forms of visual and mixed media art works. 

"Glenstone is an immersive wellness experience," says Tysvaer. "Whether I am hiking the Woodland Trail, taking an up-close look at their awe-inspiring concrete forms and wood paneling, or meandering through the sparsely populated galleries, the museum evokes a physical and emotional response. I leave feeling uplifted and re-energized." 


glenstone museum
Glenstone Museum in winter 2019 taken by Tysvaer. The Glenstone Museum provided inspiration for many of the design elements of Symbi's Model ReModel 2022 in-law suite addition. 


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