Design Aesthetics Explained: Organic Modern


While any interior design style can be done sustainably, some styles simply lend well to sustainable design. Organic modern is one of those styles. It creates spaces that use nature in a minimalistic way. It’s warm and cozy, but simple and functional. 

When done well, this style is a seam between the great outdoors, and modern nordic styles.

Founded by Frank Lloyd Wright, organic modern interior design adds organic shapes and natural materials with modern design. It’s about creating a space that feels open and sophisticated with a touch of warmth and natural beauty. 

Here’s how to achieve an organic modern look in your home.

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Characteristics of Organic Modern Interior Design

The organic modern style emphasizes natural elements, simplicity, and functionality.

Natural Materials

Organic modern design focuses on natural elements like stone, wood, fur, and leather to create a comfortable and inviting space. Materials like jute, rattan, wool, and cotton are layered to bring in warmth and texture while keeping the overall aesthetic minimal. Brushed metals and concrete balance the softer textures and make the design more modern. 

Clean Lines and Open Space

Organic modern design favors clean lines and simple shapes to create a minimalist aesthetic. Furniture and decor with simple silhouettes keep the space airy and uncluttered so rooms never feel busy or overwhelming. 

Empty space on walls and around furniture creates a sense of calm and openness so natural materials and statement pieces stand out.

Minimalist Color Palette

A neutral color palette with a focus on shades of white, beige, and gray helps create a calming atmosphere. Rooms have a white or bright base, layered with soft whites, creamy grays, and earthy browns. Many tones in the same color pallet provide a visual flow and dark accents create interest, contrast, and depth. 

The color pallet is often understated with pops of color inspired by nature. Shades in organic greens, tranquil blues, rusty reds, or warm mustards highlight the simplicity and beauty of the space.

Functional Pieces

Furniture in organic modern design is practical and functional. You’ll see simple silhouettes with clean lines or gentle curves and ridges. Rooms may have a mid-century modern feel, but are more rustic, organic, and imperfect.  

Each piece serves a purpose and everything melts together to be useful and beautiful in the room. Often items will have more than one purpose like built-in storage or sofa bed.    

Use of Texture

Textures like woven fabrics and natural fibers add depth and interest to organic modern design. 

You can often find vintage or antique pieces with imperfections that have developed over time. This can be a great way to add character and warmth to a space, rather than everything looking brand new. 

The mix of velvet and wood or marble and wool balance the space with hard and soft or rough and smooth textures.

Warm or Natural Lighting

In organic modern design, lighting is used to create a comfortable, inviting space. 

Large windows and skylights bring in natural light to brighten up the space and create a connection to the outside world. 

Soft bulbs add warmth and coziness without feeling artificial. Light fixtures are simple and minimalistic and are made from natural materials like wood with woven shades.

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Handmade Items

Woven textiles, ceramics, and other handmade items are added to organic modern styles as a personal touch to the space. These pieces often have natural variations that add interest and character to the space, rather than everything looking perfectly uniform. 

Organic modern design often incorporates decor and art inspired by nature. Think nature prints or hand-blown glass with organic shapes that mimic the curves and lines found in the natural world.

How to Decorate in Organic Modern Style

Organic modern interior design is a simple, timeless style inspired by nature so it’s easy to add to almost any space.

Use Nature as Inspiration

When considering your design, take a walk outside and draw inspiration from the world around you. Organic modern style is based on nature so consider the wood tones, natural stones, and plants you see. Look for materials that incorporate these shapes, colors, and textures in their design.

Maximize your views to bring the outside in. Large windows are a great way to incorporate your yard or garden into your design. For rooms without a view, add potted plants or vases of flowers and feathers. 

We’re smitten with mission figs that grow figs inside, unlike the popular fiddle leaf. You can also use dried flowers or silk plants if you don’t want to worry about watering them. 

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Keep Spaces Simple

Keeping your rooms open and simple emphasizes the natural beauty of your design. Before adding furniture, focus on accenting the unique architectural features of your space. Keep colors neutral, but use them to contrast details like antique molding or original flooring so they stand out.

When adding furniture and decor, focus on quality over quantity. 

Furniture should be comfortable and practical with simple textures and patterns. Keep decorative items limited by using statement pieces that highlight the room. Remember, less is more in most designs. Keep your spaces open and uncluttered and ensure each piece has a purpose. 

Mix Textures and Finishes

Mixing textures in an organic modern style adds depth and interest to the space. Be intentional by incorporating opposites like a leather sofa with a reclaimed wood coffee table. Add a wool rug and you’ve created a beautiful mix of textures that feel connected to the natural world.

Another way to mix texture in organic modern interior design is by mixing metals and finishes. A matte black light fixture next to a brass photo frame elevates your room and gives it a modern touch. White or gold metal finishes help balance your design if you have a lot of natural, organic shapes and textures. Using opposites like a nubby throw blanket near a rough-cut crystal candle holder will provide visual interest to your room.

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Embrace Imperfections

Imperfections in organic modern design emphasize natural beauty and create interesting focal points. Over time natural materials like wood or metal may develop a patina, a natural change caused by age or use. Embrace the patina and allow the natural aging process to add character to your space.

Instead of covering up rough or unfinished materials, expose them. Use a brick accent wall or an unfinished wooden ceiling beam as a focal point. Natural finishes like wax on a wooden table let the texture and variances in the wood come through.

Add Organic Modern Design to Your Home For Your Own Unique Style

The beautiful thing about design is you can take inspiration from different styles to create a home that’s uniquely yours. While modern designs may bring to mind all-white interiors with little furniture and decor, that’s not always the case. 

Organic modern design was born out of the modern movement and borrows the best parts of different styles. It combines the function of mid-century modern with traditional colors, and layers in bohemian textures. The combination of clean lines, natural materials, and intentional lighting creates a clean and simple Scandinavian-inspired space.

If you’re ready to bring the beauty and function of organic modern design into your home, let our professional team be your guide. Contact Spark Interiors to discuss ideas about your next design!



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