Pulling inspiration from mid-century modern, minimalism and bohemian design styles, modern organic design takes a raw or refined space and layering organic elements, shapes, and colours against a background of contemporary simplicity. With a clean and sophisticated aesthetic, sometimes modern organic can be misconstrued for cold or uninviting. The trick combines natural materials, nature-inspired pieces, and architectural elements (like clean lines) with modern features to achieve that warm, elegant vibe. It’s about the balance between earthy elements and an unadorned modern space: Simple silhouettes, natural textures, and materials and colours all lend themselves to achieving this look.
Organic modern has risen as one of the more prominent interior design search trends online, and it hinges on that interplay between rustic elements and contemporary touches. So, how do you do it? Relatively simply, actually. Here are some suggestions on incorporating this interior design trend into your own space.
Focus on a minimalist approach.
Organic modern style banks itself on the less is more philosophy: Keep your design simple by being intentional with how you decorate and adorn your space. Avoid building clutter in your rooms, and don’t over-accessorize with furnishings or knick-knacks. The whole point of a minimalist approach is to be hyper-selective on the pieces you use, so choose a handful of decorative accents to display to give each piece its spot to breathe.
Opt for a natural colour palette.
You will see that many organic modern-inspired designs start with a neutral colour palette, so when you begin to build your organic elements into your space, they aren’t competing with loud colours. Creamy white, warm gray, soft taupe, and even subtle touches of black all work well. Lean into using natural materials (wood, limestone, jute, rattan, bamboo, clay, etc.) and build around that colour palette by reserving bolder colour choices (whether you move into golds, or burgundies, or orange) in your soft furnishings or accessories. Better yet, if you desire to add more “personality” to your space (and feel confined to a neutral palette), introduce some handcrafted pieces from your favourite artists and artisans to add that “pop.” Antiques and family heirlooms can be scattered throughout your space, so you feel like it represents you.
Look for organic silhouettes.
I love mid-century modern, but modern organic focuses on even softer silhouettes with rustic materials, textiles, and colours. Curves and clean lines are big for furniture, which are pieces that mimic natural forms and feel organic.
Bring in plenty of green.
Any organic-inspired design starts with building greenery into your interior design. From giant palms to monsteras, succulents to bamboo, there are many indoor-friendly plants you can bring into your space to give that sense of the outdoors. Spider plants, aloe vera, and English ivy are a few of the many houseplant species that are well-suited for indoor climates. Add outdoor-inspired beauty to your dining table or countertop with a vase of fresh flowers or plumes of dried grasses. They add a sculptural element to the room quickly and affordably.
Use natural lighting (if you can).
Some of us are blessed with an abundance of natural light in our homes; others not. Understandably, the more natural light you have, the more organic your space will feel. But, if you lack that source of light, your next best bet is to invest in lighting fixtures with organic forms made from natural materials. Exchange window coverings with organic replacements like bamboo blinds, linen shades, cotton curtains, or silk drapes. They all have an airier texture that allows privacy but doesn’t feel heavy. If you’re feeling particularly ambitious, install a skylight in a ceiling to invite the sun inside, or go even further and build a sunroom addition with oversized windows to extend your sight-line to the outdoors.
Layer, layer, layer with natural textures.
The best place to play with textures is in your soft furnishings, so look out for rugs, vases, planters, lamps, pillows, and throws made from natural materials that you can layer to add depth and interest. You want the eye to move through your space efficiently, so layering textures is all about remaining subtle in your approach to how you bring together tones. The look can be compelling but stay effortless. I love woven rattan cabinets, jute rugs, wood coffee tables, or marble stone counters. Give ordinary walls a warm texture by covering them with grasscloth wallpaper. Lay an area rug woven with sisal, seagrass, or jute over hard-surface flooring to boost the earthy mood. Rattan furniture pieces, leather sofas and chairs, wool furniture throws, and cowhide area rugs bring organic materials inside.