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What is Organic Modern Design?

If you're following me over on Instagram, you know I mention Organic Modern design often. This style is what Greyhouse Design Co specializes in and tries to weave in to all of our projects. We all know the major design styles... modern, traditional, coastal, rustic, minimalist, etc... but what is Organic Modern design? This style term is becoming more common in today's interior design lexicon and while I won't attempt to define it broadly (there are several interpretations!), I can tell you how we think of Organic Modern design here at Greyhouse.


Overall Vibe

When I think of the Organic Modern vibe, three words come to mind: calm, inviting and sophisticated. We aim to make spaces welcoming with comfortable seating and lush textures, while balancing that with elegant decor to make the room feel intentional. Too much softness causes the space feel messy or homely, and too much grandeur makes the space feel uptight. It's a balancing act of bringing in sophistication that's approachable and creating a space that feels comfortable and effortless.







Elements

The primary elements of Organic Modern design for us are earthy tones, varied textures, clean lines and a mix of modern and vintage pieces.


Earthy tones: think greens, blues, yellows, browns and oranges but all in a soft, chalky tone. We pull inspiration from colors we find in nature and shy away from harsh, synthetic tones.


Varied textures: mixing in multiple textures, particularly natural textures, is quite possibly the hallmark of Organic Modern design. If there isn't enough texture or variations of a texture in a space, it begins to feel flat. Textures bring the room to life and create the inviting vibe we're looking for. Some of our favorite textures include wood (especially vintage/weathered), woven jute or seagrass, linen, sherling/sheepskin, velvet, matte paint and stone.


Clean lines: the clean lines element of Organic Modern design keeps this design style from leaning too boho. I have a deep distaste for the idea of boho... I'm not sure where this came from but when I hear boho I just think cheap. Anyone else? Not what we're going for! Clean lines and bright white walls support sophistication in a space. We aim to not overcrowd a space but rather leave room for each piece or aspect to shine. Mixing rounded and straight lines also helps provide balance in an Organic Modern space.


Mix of modern and vintage: a home is not a home without 'found' or vintage pieces! Even if your design style is very Modern, trust me when I say your house will feel much more custom if you bring in a few vintage pieces. Some of the easiest ways to bring in found pieces to your space is through vessels: vintage bowls, vases, plates etc. Artwork is another area where we love to incorporate vintage.






Execution

When putting together an Organic Modern space we typically start with 1-3 items as 'anchors' (ie the pieces that drive inspiration for the rest of the room). In living spaces this is often a rug, but truly it can be anything from a light fixture to a piece of art to a book. From there we select a color palette, then layer in texture and finally balance out shapes. Since Organic Modern design is such a mixture of styles (minimalist, modern, mid century, rustic, scandinavian, and yes, the dreaded boho) we look to a variety of companies to source our materials. We love Lulu and Georgia, H&M Home, Perigold, AllModern, Crate & Barrel, and Etsy (can you tell we're big fans of the high/low mix?). We also source materials locally from thrift stores, antique stores, and you better believe I am a Facebook Marketplace shark.





I hope this sheds some light on the feeling we try to create in the spaces we design. If you have any questions about Organic Modern design I would love to chat - leave a comment or shoot me a DM on Instagram. Happy designing my friends.

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