Top 12 Organic Modern Style Design Rules (2024)

Love it? Share it!

Do you love organic modern style? Perhaps you weren’t even sure what to call your design style, but you know that you love modern spaces that feel natural and laid back. That most likely means you’ll love to create an organic modern home. Implement these simple top 12 design rules to style organic modern decor in your home today!

Velvet sofa in an organic modern style home.

Organic Modern Style Defined

Organic modern style is an emerging design trend that finally gives a name to laid back modern spaces. It has guided my design choices for over a year now.

I’m going to break down this style for you so you can see practical ways to add it to your home as well!

What is organic modern design?

Organic modern design is a beautiful combination of two opposing design styles.

On the one hand, we have modern design. This is typically classified by clean lines, smooth textures, and a neutral and bright color palette.

On the other hand, we have organic design. Organic elements are classified by materials that originate in nature. Natural stone, wood materials, leather, and natural fabrics like linen and cotton, can all be included as organic materials.

Stone fireplace in a great room.

The beauty of organic modern interior design is that it combines these two opposing styles to create a modern home that is unpretentious, laid back and cozy.

Top 12 Organic Modern Style Design Rules

Now that we’ve defined organic modern design, let’s dive in to the design rules that will help you implement this style in your own home.

The top 12 design rules to create an organic modern home are:

1. Choose a dominating style to anchor your overall home design

Generally, organic modern styles lean more heavily one way or the other. It is best to choose a dominating style that will anchor your overall home design.

You will typically find that most designers lean more heavily on modern styles. Then, they incorporate organic elements through smaller pieces.

Organic modern style living room.

However, you don’t have to fit into a designer mold! If you love natural elements, anchor your home with that more inviting and cozy style. Add in modern elements in smaller doses to freshen up and make the space more contemporary.

2. Keep your overall color palette more neutral and calming

Oh, and neutral doesn’t mean white. Greens, blues and taupes are also neutrals.

The general idea is that modern organic design thrives on a wall color palette that creates space for other elements to shine.

If you go too bold on the walls, it will overshadow the other design elements in the room.

Open concept living space

In my home, I do love a crisp white wall to give breathing room for the rest of my decor and furnishings. It also allows me to play with color more freely in blankets and pillows.

However, in my bedroom I still have an organic modern style with green walls used as a neutral. This simply means that I need to tone down my bedding and other accents.

3. Anchor rooms with more modern large scale furnishings

Traditionally, the large scale furnishings in a room define the overarching style.

For organic modern style homes, I like to recommend modern style sofas, beds, and dining tables.

Using large scale furnishings that have clean lines and sleeker finishes makes the room feel fresh and current.

Organic modern style furnishings.

Incorporating the largest pieces in a modern style allows you to add in vintage finds like side tables, coffee tables, credenzas, stools and chairs to ensure you don’t lose that organic charm.

Shop My Living Room

Landscape artwork above the console table can be purchased using my 15% discount code GRACEINMYSPACE.

4. Add in handmade and/or organic decor and accents

Once you’ve anchored your home style with a neutral color palette and large scale modern furnishings, it’s time to add in the smaller organic decor elements.

Focus on two categories for the organic side of this style:

  1. Handmade
  2. Natural materials

Handmade decor is so charming and lends so much character to a room. The imperfections are what make these pieces special and unique. Etsy is a great resource for handmade items.

Stone fireplace with coffee table.

Also, include natural materials like wood bowls, cotton or linen fabrics, and pottery.

5. Make a Focal Point from Organic Materials

Part of creating a home that conveys both modern and organic styles is having a balance between the two styles.

The easiest way to create that balance is to add in a focal point using organic materials.

Beam header in a living room

This allows you to design an overall modern space (i.e. wall color and larger furnishings) without losing the organic elements to only smaller pieces.

Some ways to add in organic design focal points are:

  1. Reclaimed wood ceiling beams (or get the look with DIY ceiling beams)
  2. Wood beam headers (you can see how I made a faux header in this tutorial)
  3. Stone fireplace (We built ours from scratch, see it here.)
  4. Visually textured walls (Roman Clay is a great option)
  5. Limestone Fireplace Surround
  6. Reclaimed wood wall or ceiling treatments

6. Play with Soft Curves for Organic Movement

The next design rule for modern organic style is to play with curves.

Look at nature. Nothing natural is perfectly straight before man made it that way.

Trees have bends, flowers are whimsical, water has continual movement, and land can go from rolling hills to mountainous.

Organic modern fireplace

So, when incorporating organic style into your home, you need to add movement.

Look for pieces that bend, twist, have soft curves or aren’t sleek. Even something as simple as a pitted coffee table with rounded edges can soften a room immediately.

7. Texture, Texture, Texture

A huge part of modern organic design is texture.

Console table with textured blankets

A lot of people are confused by what it means to add texture to a home. I like to keep it simple: if it isn’t smooth, then it is a texture.

  • Reclaimed wood
  • Plaster or roman clay walls
  • Nubby pillows
  • Luxurious linen
  • Woven baskets
  • Oil paintings
  • Textured ceramics
  • Cotton blankets
  • Handmade pottery
  • Plush area rugs
  • Handblown glass

Adding texture creates a cozy environment that softens the modern elements you have at the same time.

8. Incorporate Vintage or Antique Items

One of the easiest ways to add organic elements to your home is with vintage or antique pieces.

Antique pieces, especially, have that handmade craftsmanship that you rarely find in modern furnishings.

YouTube video

Vintage items offer a character and charm that tell a story and create conversation in your space.

9. Include Live Plants

I would be remiss if I neglected to talk about plants.

I love adding plants to my home. And what better way to add organic style than with actual living nature!

Plant on a coffee table with sofa.

I love larger plants like fiddle leaf figs, monstera, kangaroo ferns, rubber trees, and taller varieties of trees that can be grown indoors. These larger scale plants act as anchors in a room and serve as decor at the same time.

Of course, smaller plants popped around a home help tell this story of nature in your home. You can learn more about indoor plant care in the posts below.

10. Use Unexpected Combinations to Highlight Your Organic Modern Style

Lastly, use unexpected combinations in your styling.

The foundation of organic modern style is combining two opposing styles.

  • Modern v. Organic
  • Sleek v. Soft
  • Smooth v. Textured
  • New v. Old
  • Straight v. Curved

So, when you are styling, use those differences to your advantage to create something interesting.

Mixing organic and modern furnishings

Combine a rustic coffee table with a clean lined sofa. Use handmade, imperfect pieces on top of a sleek credenza or console table. Mix in natural stone textures with glass shelving.

Think outside the box to create a look that is unique to your eye and your personality. Don’t be afraid to step outside the “design rules” and do something unkempt or unexpected.

11. Hunt for One-of-a-Kind Pieces

One of the most important elements of organic modern style is incorporating unique pieces. Often, that requires a hunt!

Finding one-of-a-kind treasures does more to create a unique home than any other design tip. There is something so satisfying in the victory at the end of a hunt to find something unique and uniquely you.

One of a kind stool

This is often where I incorporate antique or vintage finds. However, it can be done with new pieces as well. Think outside the box of traditional department stores to find those unique pieces.

Most of the time, my favorite finds are discovered at antique fairs or flea markets. Additionally, here are some places I like to look online for these treasures:

12. Bonus: Create a Laid Back Atmosphere

While this isn’t necessarily a design rule, creating a laid back atmosphere in your home lends itself to the modern organic design style.

The contrast between the two stand-alone styles helps your home feel more relaxed while being polished at the same time.

When you invite guests into your home, create an atmosphere that matches that relaxed feeling by focusing on the relationship rather than the physical location. This can just be simple things like offering a drink or snack, having a chat in the great room with a cup of coffee, playing board games at the dining table, or cooking together at the kitchen island.

When you invite a person to live in your space, you are welcoming them in a way that they will remember and cherish.

Modern Organic Living Room

As you can see through the photography in this post, I’ve showcased an organic living room design as most of my examples.

My organic style living room was recently elevated immensely by the completion of our stone fireplace. You can learn all about the fireplace project in this post.

I’ve loved designing an organic modern living room because it is the central point of our common areas. You can see it from the open concept kitchen, as well as the entryway and dining room.

Open concept organic modern style home

It anchors our home as one room flows into the next.

Our new flooring also helped complete the look I was going for as we switched from a red toned laminate to these beautiful softer red oak hardwoods.

It has been a four year process to transform this living space into the home you see now!

You Might Also Be Interested In…

I hope that you’ve enjoyed this post and learned some helpful tips on how to create an organic modern style home.

I’ve written more on this topic in the posts below that you might enjoy as well.

Make sure to subscribe to my weekly newsletter to get all my insider perks and to continue following along on our home updates! You can also follow me daily on Instagram and weekly on YouTube.


Top 12 Organic Modern Style Design Rules


  1. Organic modern style is a design aesthetic that effortlessly combines the beauty of nature with contemporary elements, creating a harmonious and inviting atmosphere. I’m delighted to come across the Top 12 Organic Modern Style Design Rules, as it offers valuable insights and guidelines for incorporating this captivating style into our living spaces.

  2. Hi,

    Love this… I think this defines the look and feel I want. Question though…where is your ambient lighting (lamps, candles, etc)?
    Will definitely follow you. Keep up the good work. Iris

  3. Thank you for sharing this data. I really enjoy what you’ve written on your blog. You’ve shared a very useful and entertaining blog post with the public.

    1. Yet, there is also organic design. Materials found in nature are used to categorize organic components. Organic materials may encompass everything from natural stone to leather to cotton and linen textiles.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.