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What is Organic Modern Style?

Updated: Aug 15, 2018

First published October 14, 2017

I describe my interiors approach as organic modern. Meaning that purely modern style can leave users feeling the spaces they are in as mechanic and cold. Most of my clients want their spaces modern and uncluttered, but comfortable and inviting. I have found the term organic modern describes what they are looking for and what I can provide, even if they can't quite explain it.

To me, organic modern design is not necessarily earthy and hippy dippy. Its not purely minimalism, its not purely midcentury, or overly bohemian. It borrows a little from all three style movements and creates a setting that feels light, bright, unencumbered, and natural. 

Here are some examples of pure and unadulterated organic modern interiors by other designers to give you a better sense of what I am talking about 1) Yoli & Otis 2) #ourtopangahome as seen in Domino  3) Design Files  4) Hotel Gatzara in Ibiza   5) Pampa  6) Villa Palmier. I think you can see that in its pure form, organic modern interiors incorporate a lot of white, creams, and beiges in a minimally dreamy way. It evokes a chic beach escape

In real life I don't know that maintaining the pure version of organic modern is attainable. I use it as the background and bring in more durable colors and materials such as brown leather, grey wool, and indigo denims to make my finished version more livable. As well as bring in a little color and contrast. There are few key ingredients that we can list that will help you create your own version at home. Key items such as natural materials like linen, wool, leather, sheepskin, woven sea grasses, and wood. The forms are clean and modern, not a trace of traditional ornamentation. Slight hints of hand crafted and global. The colors are washed out whites and beiges, warm rusty browns and tans.

The room always has white painted walls and ceilings. Decorators White is fool proof. With wood floors if possible. Put down a large jute rug as the grounding element. A low slung and deep sofa, white linen slipcovered (like the Zack sofa) is ideal. Central to the sofa is a low coffee table in wood. Next to the coffee table, a few floor cushions to pull up for informal social gatherings. Leather brings in warm brown tones and is durable.  A curvy rattan chair is critical for a beachy outdoor feel and texture. I love adding in fun accents such as baskets and a stumpy side table. Abstract/tribal/geometric black and white art (framed in wood) is a focal point in the room. Ceramic wall hanging is nice as well for its earthy handmade quality. African mudcloth pillows are perfect as accents with their minimal geometric patterns and global flavor keeping with the black, white, and tan coloring scheme. There are few lighting options you can do, whether its an oversized Japanese rice paper lantern or a woven seagrass pendant. The one I see working best is a bent bamboo and cotton cloth lantern with a European sensibility - as large as possible of course.

I'm definitely taking my current home decor in this monochromatic direction.  With more midcentury notes like the black on black Eames shell chairs and Serge Mouille light - because its a 1963 post and beam home after all.  You may have seen a few sneak peeks on Instagram (#ourbedfordhome) and the reveal is coming soon. 

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