Inspiration and DIY The Organic Modern Living Room: How Tile Fits into the Design

Photo feature Selene mosaic tile on the wall and Season Wood Snow Pine wood look tile on the floor.

Photo feature Selene mosaic tile on the wall and Season Wood Snow Pine wood look tile on the floor.

 
 

The Organic Modern Living Room: How Tile Fits into the Design

The modern living room takes on an organic edge when you fill it with the right mix of furnishings, fixtures, and surfaces. A mix of stone and wood-effect tile can set the tone for this chic, yet natural design, which combines artisan elegance with modern, streamlined influence.

This trendy layout is about grouping an array of visually comfortable furnishings and handcrafted elements against a soul-soothing, easy-on-the-eyes backdrop—from modern yet relaxed floor tile to a warm living room fireplace surround. The aim is to create a serene, neutral setting, but also one that speaks to your style.

So channel your inner artist and get inspired by the following ideas on how to create the ideal backdrop, from the floor to the focal wall and beyond.

Ease Off Color

In organic modern design, you won't find visually loud or bright colors, such as those found in tie-dye fabrics. Instead, this style features quiet, muted hues—think "golden sunset" not "mandarin peel."

Photo feature Selene mosaic tile on the wall and Season Wood Snow Pine on the floor.

The backdrop, such as mosaic tile walls, stone or porcelain flooring, or a wood ceiling, might consist only of whites, browns, and mossy greens—and that's fine because the idea is to keep the surroundings simple and neutral. This way, artsy accessories take the lead. Suitable tile elements with which to anchor the room include a matte or mixed neutral-toned mosaic pattern around the fireplace, naturally inspired wood underfoot, or concrete tile elements.

If you want to add bold color, consider putting it in an unexpected place, such as on the ceiling. A ceiling color that picks up on the floor's copper, mahogany, or coal tones will appear to sandwich the contents, creating almost cocoon-like comfort, which is ideal for the organic scene. On the other hand, a contrasting aqua, yellow, or fuchsia ceiling brings a modern floral twist into the natural aesthetic.

Amp Up Textures

With muted colors and mostly matte finishes throughout, you risk a boring design, but not when you know how to use texture. A mosaic fireplace surround of raised and recessed stone, for example, plays up soft suede chairs and smoothly sanded sculptures in front of it on the floor, mantel, or hearth. Or, frame a fireplace with concrete-gray tiles, boasting understated, rugged texture.

These options constitute just two tile types that meld well with natural stone or wood-inspired flooring, and highlight handcrafted artwork. Take every opportunity to work the look of wood, glass, metal, stone, and leather into the space to create a soul-satisfying atmosphere and organic flow.

Photo features Hearthland in Ashland 12 x 12 field tile on the floor.

Keep Form in Mind

As with texture, form works an organic design into shape. Pair curvy outlines with clean lines to amplify the room's eclectic, free-spirited style. Streamlined midcentury modern, Scandinavian-, or Danish-inspired furniture takes care of the clean lines factor. To achieve fitting curves, consider organic form or shapes; it might be whittled woodwork, intricately detailed into an abstract piece by your favorite carver, or driftwood branches, sanded smooth over time by Mother Nature.

Include curvy patterns in a variety of ways, from a rock collection on a shelf to drapery with a wave print in order to create visual movement. For example, the Season Wood collection features the look of naturally weathered wood.

Dim the Shimmer

The organic modern living room isn't the place for glamorous shine. So rather than an all-glass mosaic feature wall, for instance, go with a mixed design that's inspired by nature, such as something from the Coastal Keystones or Serenade collections. A mixed mosaic in rich, earthy colors and varied materials reduces shimmer while making sure the feature doesn't get lost in the setting—a feature wall has to draw at least some attention to stand up to its name, after all.

Other fitting materials include wood-look, concrete-look, or metallic tile. If you plan to use metallic tile, opt for a design with a vintage vibe, including features that have a muted oil-rubbed finish, a wrought iron look, or aged, hammered copper appeal.

Carefully Choose Furniture

The furniture you choose should focus on comfort rather than overstimulating the senses. Opt for modern living room furniture with seats and arms that seem to hug you. The pieces should appear as if they grow from the floor, such as shapely ergonomic chairs—the Eames lounge chair and ottoman in padded leather, for example. Seating that seems to bloom from a pale natural stone or wood-like base is even more believable when surrounded by wood- or stone-effect tile on the wall.

Choose natural-looking finishes or a whitewashed color to enhance dark accents, or keep everything light for an airy atmosphere. A pale setting makes a small space seem more spacious, which is appreciated in many designs, but with an organic modern living room, you may prefer to keep the setting cozy; in this case, opt for a palette of warm, rich hues from top to bottom.

Go with Natural Accessories

Forget about reviving accessories like lava lamps for this design. Instead, the right accent pieces are handcrafted or made by artisans, bringing visual caffeine to this somewhat sleepy design. These types of accessories don't necessarily pop from the stone and wood surroundings, but they are mildly accentuated by them.

Art is personal, so it's hard to go wrong. As long as you're drawn to a piece, it relates to nature in terms of its material or style, and it's safe to use indoors, then it's right for this design.

Create Flow from the Inside Out

By now you probably realize that to successfully pull this design together, you should stage handcrafted decor amid natural, relaxed surroundings. So why not continue the theme right out the door? Incorporate an adjoining patio or porch into the setting with flooring that goes from the indoors and then to the outdoors. For example, slate, limestone, or large-format white field tiles make pleasing, agreeable options.

Photo features Haut Monde Empire Black 24 x 48 field tile on the floor.

Include wall-to-wall glass sliding doors that stack back for maximum openness. And outdoor rattan or handcrafted willow furniture make for ideal seating, whether you're relaxing alfresco or enjoying the view from the other side of the glass. Flooring that travels from indoors to outdoors creates the idea of more space, allowing distant mountains, trees, or even hand-sculpted greenery to become the wall.