Tips for Design Inspired by Nature from Winston-Salem Designer

Today we are featuring a beautiful guest post from designer Mona King, founder of Mona King + Associates. This Winston-Salem, NC based designer loves all things design and nature. She is here to give youA�Tips for Design Inspired by NatureA�


As a designer I am constantly being inspired, learning, admiring and creating ideas that are a result of the world around me, specifically nature.

It is human nature to seek comfort, safety, beauty and function in our environment. Throughout time from paleontology to the foreseeable future we desire, plan and require a living or work environment that protects and reflects our most primitive needs.

Nature has an important role, inspiring design and environmental choices since cave dwelling and before. Natural habitats that reflect and combine a mixture of flora, light and places of function, gathering and sustenance are essential to living a sustainable life. Early civilizations learned this and it still applies today.


The sense of human preservation, safety and comfort is know today as Interior architecture which provides the process to create design inspired by nature. Environments that fulfill our holistic needs to feel secure, function to meet specific goals and provide comfort with furnishings, tactical materials, colors, textures and lighting that reflect the occupants and their fundamental requirements.


Through research and study we have great resources for imagery and data of our ancestors and comforts that remain intrinsic to existence. This primitive home provides the same qualities we seek today in our homes and work environments.

Nature and experience inspires us to design furniture, environments and comforts that serve as reminders of our intrinsic needs for these core necessities in our lives. We use wood to connect to our forestry. The warmth and rusticity of wood tones brings nature inside. Plants transport us to the lush greenery of forest and beauty of flowers. Windows and openings in walls, ceilings and building surfaces bring natural light that we require for health, visibility and a sense of well-being and safety. Daylighting achieved by large windows, strategically placed to allow natural light into the space. Natural light has been proven to make occupants happier and more productive.



3 Season Sunroom design, Mona King.

Early woven basket, African influence.

Concept design. Copyright Mona King.

Textures in fabric, wall coverings, upholstering and other finishes provide the tactile sensation we need to connect with our environment; smooth, soft, wavy, plush, hard or cool to the touch give us an instantaneous connection to the environment.

Colors connect us to environments that may have special meanings in our lives. The cool blue tones of the ocean represent water and sky. Pastels may symbolize tropical or abundant floral environments. Neutrals provide a calming sense and reduce sensory overload. Combinations in an environment allow occupants to experience a variety of feelings, calm through sensual reflected by our life experience.

The role of the interior architect or designer is to assist the client in identifying their ideal sanctuary, sensory triggers, comfort zones, and to create an environment most conducive to comfort, function, safety and aesthetically appealing to maximum productivity in the space. Working collaboratively, listening and advising are tools that should be included in the process. Design is a multi discipline profession requiring use of all the senses, problem solving, analytical abilities and empathy for the client and users of the space. These strategies should be used if it is one small personal space or a large corporate environment. The goal is to enhance the user’s experience while maintaining all the key elements required in great interior design. Make sure your clients have the most primitive feelings of pleasure, comfort and well-being every time they enter their space. Your job has then been successfully completed.


Early design influence was always present in my childhood home being of child of Southern born parents; natural flowers from the garden, baskets holding fruit or floral arrangements, bright colors and textures abound as well as fresh air and daylight through multiple windows open for cross circulation. Handcrafted items ranged from delicate embroidery, to hand made clothing and southern cooking at ita��s best. I am proud to be a daughter of a Southern Belle. I now recognize the imprint of these on my life and the influence they played on my life.


My passion for design, nature and earth friendly products is known as biophillic design. Product design inspired by nature is Biomimicry. The mixture of design, technology and biology are fascinating and the potential is endless. More about these in the future. This is only the beginning of my path to the future.

Know. Chose. Promise. Visit my web site for additional information.



Michiel Perry

Michiel is a Black Southern Belle living a lowcountry life. I love all things fashion, home decor and southern! When I am not running around doing fun stuff for Black Southern Belle, I live in antique stores and have a minor obsession with historic homes 🙂

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