It’s no secret that minimalism has taken the interior landscape by storm. When Kimye debuted their ultra-minimalistic home in 2019, the industry traded shiplap for clean lines as Kim traded her wedding band for a law degree (RIP). However, the former couple’s home, dubbed the “Minimal Monastery,” isn’t exactly what we’d call a warm and inviting space. We guess it can be challenging to make your house a home when you, um, have no furniture? That said, there is a way to do minimalism without creating a cold and austere space. If you’re looking to infuse some warmth and comfort into those stark white walls, Pinterest’s emerging home trend is exactly what you’ve been looking for: Organic Modern Décor.
“If Frank Lloyd Wright and Janis Joplin had a baby, it would have been the Organic Modern style,” explains Stephanie Thornton Plymale, CEO of Heritage School of Interior Design. “Organic Modern [décor] is a nod to Scandinavian design and minimalism. It also borrows from mid-century modern and bohemian styles to create inviting spaces that are warm, natural and effortlessly sophisticated. While still incorporating minimalism and functionality, the Organic Modern aesthetic ultimately seeks to harmonize elements of nature into a modern lifestyle.”
Still not sure if this blended, breezy trend is for you? We’ve rounded up the core principles of organic modernism, and some Pinterest visuals change your mind.
If you’ve never heard of Frank Lloyd Wright, you may have seen his work featured in iconic movies, including Blade Runner, The Aviator, and Manhattan. The foundation of Organic Modernism is rooted in Frank Lloyd Wright’s concept of continuity and sustainability. “World War II interrupted the availability of materials and caused a near complete collapse of the style,” Plymale explains. “Wright felt that great design should feel like part of the landscape, stressing livability, natural materials and craftsmanship.”
“One of the key hallmarks is a subdued color palette, which is typically shades of white, gray or beige with very few vibrant colors,” explains Karen Gray-Plaisted of Design Solutions KGP. The trick to making this look work is by juxtaposing a clean, neutral color palette against lots of texture—from smooth stone pieces to crisp fabrics and natural woods. Think of neutrals as your space’s foundation. Use it as your base to let the natural, organic elements in each room draw visual interest.
The keystone of organic modern style is its fluctuation between minimalist and mid-century modern styles. “Just remember: No sharp angles in furniture. Keep to curved, asymmetrical and rounded forms inspired by shapes found in the natural world,” explains Maddy Warner, the blogger behind Modsy, who specializes in design movements, styles, and trends past and present.
As the name suggests, Organic Modern décor is centered around the idea of creating a balance between man and nature. Like the trending Japandi style, sustainability and the use of raw materials is an essential component of achieving the organic modern look. “Utilize natural, sustainably produced fibers such as linen, cotton, bamboo, seagrass and jute,” says Plymale. “Couple these soft selections with hard surface materials, such as reclaimed wood and recycled glass, stone and metal to complete an Organic Modern space.”
“[This style] combines all the best elements of the mid-century modern look that has been so popular for the past decade (aka Mad Men-inspired) with organic and earthy elements,” explains Warner. “In the workspace, organic modernism equates to furnishings that have super sleek surfaces and accents that have very little frill…. Keeping to big pieces in beautiful materials is the way to mastering this look in the home.”
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