We all crave comfort, especially in our homes. Nowadays, it seems to be all that homeowners are focused on, alongside updates to make their houses safer and healthier for them and their loved ones. But while the latter certainly provides one level of comfort, there’s a lot design can do to wrap homeowners in aesthetics that radiate warmth and belonging from dawn to dawn, like bringing in what the experts at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery describe as an ‘Organic Modern’ look.
As the name implies, ‘Organic Modern’ combines modern aesthetics with plenty of natural designs through texture and material to create authentic, earthy environments for homeowners. It’s one part minimalism, one-part biophilia and all things relaxing and rejuvenating. And the experts at Ferguson are here to help guide you on how to bring out this style on your next design project.
Combine Natural Materials with Neutral Colors
While it might be tempting to go all out with the organic textures in a space, it can actually become visually overwhelming after a certain point. Our eyes are trained to scan through details in the natural environment, and so, too many details can put undue mental and visual strain on occupants. Mixing natural materials like wood and stone with warm, neutral colors, like a soft white, helps remedy this by providing a flat, empty plane that still hearkens back to natural origins. Complement it with a splash of mixed-metal lighting and plumbing fixtures to evoke a sense of nature for that organic look.
“We’ve found that the Quintana Collection by Kara Cox offers a perfect blend of organic materials and shapes using a metallic finish,” notes Ferguson. “Inspired by a vacation home in Quintana Roo that lacked any hard edges, each piece is hand-made and adds a natural softness with an organic, refined touch to any kitchen or bath.”
Break Up Straight Lines with Flowing Curves
Straight lines are far more common in manmade environments than they are in nature. Even natural fixtures like trees, which seem to grow straight up, have subtle imperfections like bends and offshoots that break up their visuals. These curvatures, whether minimal or striking, are the cues that help us distinguish natural structures from artificial.
Interiors themselves are a series of straight lines that come together to form an enclosed space—most of the time—but selecting furniture, light fixtures and other elements (like throw rugs or wall hangings) that incorporate curves into their design add this organic language to a space.
Be Intentional with Lighting
Place lighting based on needs and routines. The way we use lighting around the house is impactful and can deeply affect our everyday routines, moods and behaviors. Creating a more organic space means creating a more natural flow of lighting throughout the day, blending natural and ambient lighting. This includes layering lighting with different color temperatures, light sources, shades and coverings to help achieve that warm or inviting space.
“Using a rattan or woven shade on your pendant light can cast beautiful and relaxing shadows on walls and ceilings, further enhancing the natural feel of a space,” say the experts at Ferguson. “Intentional, small moments in the design, such as these, can ultimately make a big impact in the finished product.”
Don’t Be Afraid to Play with Raw Aesthetics
Whether it’s the gnarled wood of a live edge table, or the porous stone of pre-existing brickwork, there’s a special quality to unrefined material in the home. Each imperfection seems to evoke a greater understanding of the product’s origins, bringing homeowners that much closer to nature in the process. It’s a lot easier to picture a table as a tree when you’re still able to see the bark running along its sides.
More polished materials tend to lose these qualities, with some even going so far as to eliminate textures like wood grains through paint or stains (a travesty). They also start to introduce chemicals and finishes into the process that could potentially off-gas throughout the material’s lifecycle, exposing homeowners to harmful VOCs while also potentially ruining the product’s ability to be re-used at the end of its lifecycle.