With its emphasis on sleek forms and minimal decoration, modern style can sometimes be perceived as cold and uninviting. The aesthetic is clean and highly sophisticated, but it often lacks the warmth that makes interiors feel cozy and welcoming. The solution to this dilemma is organic modernism, a new twist on the style that combines natural materials and colors with modern elements for a warm, elegant look.
The term "organic modern" has recently seen a huge uptick in searches on Pinterest, and as we head into fall, the cozy aesthetic is poised to become even more popular. It hinges on the juxtaposition between rustic elements and contemporary touches, which creates a refined blend of textures and a layered, unfussy look. Organic modernism works well in communal living spaces as well as private areas like bedrooms and bathrooms, and it's perfect for anyone who loves both the clean look of midcentury modern or contemporary designs and the warmth of farmhouse-style interiors.
Organic modern designs often start with a foundation of clean lines, rounded shapes, and smooth surfaces. These modern elements are then accentuated with natural materials including reclaimed wood, stone, leather, linen, burnished metal, and concrete to introduce texture and an organic feel. For example, a curved, contemporary sofa might coexist with a raw-edge wood coffee table and a jute area rug. Clutter is generally kept to a minimum, and the palettes are grounded in warm, earthy colors. The resulting atmosphere is airy, comfortable, and effortlessly sophisticated.
Organic modern color schemes typically revolve around neutrals, including creamy white, warm gray, soft taupe, and subtle touches of black. Wood tones ranging from light oak to rich walnut add depth to these palettes. If you decide to bring in more color, opt for earthy hues like olive green or ruddy terra-cotta to continue the nature-inspired look. Look for shades with a warm tint and gray or brown undertones, which help tone down the brightness and offer a more refined effect.
Because simple forms and pared-down furnishings provide the groundwork for organic modern designs, accessories are key to achieving a cozy, curated look. Incorporate natural materials through easy-to-swap-in accessories like throw blankets, baskets, and small decorative objects. However, it's important not to overcrowd the room with decor. To maintain an uncluttered aesthetic, choose a handful of decorative accents to display and give each piece plenty of breathing room. In general, large-scale accessories will offer a bigger impact without cluttering up the space. For example, fill a blank wall with one substantial piece of abstract art rather than an entire gallery of frames.
Plants and greenery are another fundamental element of organic modernism. Set houseplants in woven baskets or display them in shapely planters to introduce color and personality. For a maintenance-free alternative, fill an oversized vase with branches or faux greenery. Large, leafy stems and feathery plumes of dried grasses are a simple way to add a sculptural element to the room.
Related: 6 Expert Tips for Decorating With Houseplants So Every Room Feels Like an Oasis
By contrasting modern minimalism with organic warmth, this style strikes the perfect balance between clean and cozy. Adopt a few aspects of organic modernism to infuse your home with comfortable elegance.
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