Is “Organic Modern” the New Warm Minimalism? Our Designers Say Yes

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WORDS BY Kelsey Clark

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Published on July 27, 2022

There’s a new design trend on the block, and it’s basically a delicious mix of warm minimalism and modern-traditional design all rolled into one. Meet organic modern style: the considered, cozy, and slightly edgy look that’s trendy across Havenly design projects and Instagram alike.

Ahead, Havenly designer Melissa Wagner shares everything you need to know about the trending and timeless look, plus an accessible seven-part room recipe to bring organic modern style to life.

What Is Organic Modern Style?

Modern traditional interior design

This look balances minimalism with modern silhouettes and organic (read: natural) textures and materials. Clean lines rub shoulders with shapely silhouettes, visceral textures, and heirloom accents. Overall, the look leans modern, but with supremely cozy, almost cottage-esque touch. 

Room Recipe: Organic Modern Style

Part 1: A Minimalist Base

Wood headboard ideas

A blank slate is essential for organic modern style to shine. Walls are relatively bare (and likely painted white), artwork is meaningful and understated, decor is thoughtfully selected, and patterns are kept to a minimum. Having less means you can scale up on what does make the cut — invest in quality pieces featuring luxe materials like linen, leather, jute, mohair, boucle, and cashmere. 

Part 2: A Neutral Palette

White sectional sofa

Understated, natural hues like white, black, gray, ivory, tan, sage, and beige take center-stage here, from the textiles and artwork to the sofa, rugs, and tables. To add a touch of drama, reach for contrast. Think: black metals and raw wood set against a bleached sisal rug and ivory couch, or hints of muted earth tones like rusts, olives, and navies.

Part 3: Natural Materials

Modern classic dining room

In an organic modern space, natural textures and materials steal the show in lieu of bold pattern and color. You won’t see a lot of synthetic textiles or treated finishes here — it’s all about juxtaposing luxe and organic (but all natural) materials to create visual interest. The following are on the “approved” list: 

  • For a more luxe twist: Marble, metal, travertine, glass, silk, cashmere
  • For an effortless approach: Raw wood, stone, clay, linen, cotton, jute, wicker

Part 4: Layered Textures

California cool bedroom design

Because both the base and color palette are more limited, organic modern style embraces a myriad of textures. Jute, linen, mohair, cashmere, wool, boucle, leather, and beyond are all fair game (even in a single room!). This layered mix is what creates the warmth and coziness often associated with organic modern spaces.

Part 5: Understated Silhouettes

Orange velvet accent chair

Organic modern style will incorporate an architectural light fixture or statement chair, but otherwise favors clean, simple, and low-profile furniture. When done well, an organic modern home will house a selection of eclectic yet understated silhouettes. Picture a traditional oak dining table paired with low-back boucle chairs. 

Part 6: Modern Finishes

All-white living room design

While natural materials take up primary real estate in an organic modern home, we’d argue that the luxe finishes are the most important design element. The iron chair, marble coffee table, and matte black window moldings are what add contrast and, quite frankly, make the look interesting. A home packed to the brim with raw wood and linen will quickly feel boring, but add a wall-to-wall marble kitchen, and you’re in business.

Part 7: Touches of Greenery

Bohemian living room decor

In keeping with the “natural” theme, houseplants and fresh blooms look right at home with organic modern style. We recommend a few oversized touches as opposed to clustered plants, like a stone vase with an (obnoxiously) oversized branch, or a seven-foot tall olive tree in the corner. These touches of life are the cherry on top of a beautiful and balanced organic modern home. 

Want expert advice on your actual space, straight from an interior designer? Start with our style quiz to work with a design pro one-on-one.

Words by Kelsey Clark