Organic Home Style Guide

Tara Dickinson
6 minute read

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Organic definition: adjective, “Relating to or derived from living matter.”


And that’s precisely what this guide is looking into. How to simply, beautifully, and sustainably decorate your home with materials, tools, and techniques related to or derived from living matter. When utilizing the term ‘organic’ in reference to home design and decor, there are two ways it’s used.

  1. One refers to the use of products that are geared towards being more organic, non-toxic, better for human health as well as the environment, and as close to natural as possible. Such as low VOC paint, carpeting, and furniture. VOC means volatile organic compound and is a substance commonly found in building materials such as paints and coatings. Decorating a home with products that don’t off-gas and are made without chemical components would be considered an organic style of home adorning.
  2. The second use of the term ‘organic home style’ is more about natural materials, shapes, and forms from nature, as well as neutral natural shades. This is the term being explored here today.

OrganicOrganic & Sustainable Remodeling

Sustainability is a societal goal that strives for humans and mother nature to safely exist together for generations to come. Thus you can see how employing the use of organic materials is part of an eco-conscious choice working towards sustainability. If you are renovating or remodeling your home to become more organic, managing the process by making choices that reflect sustainable goals goes hand in hand with an organic mindset.

  • Work to protect nature while remodeling.
  • For example, make sure building waste is separated and recycled accordingly; recycle plastic, metals, and carpeting.
  • Reuse wood.
  • Sell or donate usable fixtures, cabinets, windows, and doors.
  • Use reclaimed or salvaged wood for new decor installments.
  • Look for upcycled materials to use as well, such as countertops made of recycled paper.

Organic Materials

This is where the heart of the organic home comes to life: natural materials. An organic home is basically a home furnished in elements and materials that come straight from nature.

  • Think rustic-cut limestone.
  • Natural textiles.
  • Furniture accessories made from giant rocks, bi-sections of tree trunks, stone, and sustainably harvested woods.
  • Water-based stains.
  • Handcrafted pieces inspired by nature.
  • The idea is to bring nature indoors.

Organic Shapes

An organically styled home also means the use of ‘organic’ shapes. Versus the more modern, contemporary, or futuristic style homes that use angles, straight lines, and geometric forms, organic shapes have much less structure by definition.

  • Artistic pieces from collected natural materials (rocks, shells, driftwood).
  • A gnarled tree trunk table base.
  • Purposefully imperfectly round shapes of furniture pieces.

The concept is to bring in natural shapes found in the wild. When designing an organic home, this is especially useful if you don’t have as extensive access to natural materials. You can still create an organic feeling by shape and texture alone.

Natural Inspiration

One of the simplest ways to begin your organic home style is by simply observing your natural surroundings. Take in the colors, textures, and materials right into your home furnishings and accessories.

  • Have a coastal home? What colors compose the local water body? Do you have multicolored river rocks or more grey tones and sandy pebbles near a beach?
  • Live in a more tropical and jungle climate? Let the hues of the flora and fauna inspire your organic selections for home decorating. Wicker, bamboo, rattan…
  • Homes in the forest regions have their own splendid palette to choose from too. Take advantage of salvaged regional wood, and rich textiles made from local materials.
  • Mountain retreats also have an additional set of natural elements to get inspired by.

Organic Modern Home

Organic modern: this home style term refers to the mix of a clean-lined modern home foundation, with elegantly simple lines and crisp white surfaces, that is then balanced with furnishings made of natural materials, organic textures, and rustic elements.

  • If you have a home with a modern frame and structure, you can still make it feel organic in style by infusing it with organic forms and materials.
  • The modern organic home combines sleek surfaces with softer welcoming aesthetics from the world of nature.
  • Let the modernness of clean white backdrops frame your selected natural jewels (art, furniture, or accessory pieces).
  • Flooring is a wonderful place to bring a large level of organic ambiance into a modern home. Knotty wooden floors, unpolished wood, raw stone, and tile for example.
  • Light fixtures and accents can be inspired by organic forms and can easily incorporate natural materials.
  • The goal is to combine iconic modern pieces with elements from the earth. For example, a living room with a rustic farm table, a woven rug, and pendant lights made from rattan or rice paper merged with iconic mid-century modern sofas and chairs hits the mark perfectly.

Much More Than Modern

While the organic modern home style is one of the most popular, this fashion works well with many other decor style themes. Blending rugged natural elements that are organic in nature fit well into several other decorating home compositions, such as:

Organic Outdoor Decor

Although it might seem obvious that your outdoor dining or entertaining area is organic by the simple fact that it’s outside, that is of course not always correct. Just like a home’s interior, exterior home areas can be designed in modern, contemporary, Shabby Chic, or any other style including organic.

  • The rules used in interior organic decor pretty much apply to the same elements in outdoor design.
  • Incorporate furnishings that are made from natural materials.
  • If that is not as readily available, a neutral color palette and organic shapes can impart the same feelings of free-flowing, creative, and inviting elements.

Secondhand Furniture: A Non-Toxic Option

Secondhand shopping is a great route for finding sustainable furniture affordably and eco-consciously.

  • When looking for pre-loved furnishings, sometimes the older the better. This gives the material plenty of time to off-gas and release any toxic elements that might have been part of the creation.
  • It may not necessarily be 100% non-toxic (unless you find used furniture from a brand using natural and organic materials) but you will definitely be exposed to fewer toxic chemicals than if buying that same piece of furniture new.
  • When hunting second-hand certified non-toxic furniture, see if you can locate any of these brands which have some of the highest safety ratings:


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