“The home is more than ever a protective refuge, a haven of tranquility and security,” observes François Delclaux at Maison & Objet’s talk series. Elizabeth Leriche, another trend forecaster at the same forum, sees “a need for well-being at the heart of our concerns in today’s society and this is reflected in our interiors.”
Both have arrived at the conclusion that we need a relaxing home with soothing colors and organic, soft and rounded shapes inspired by nature, bringing lots of comfort and warmth. Delclaux calls it “Organic-Cocoon Style” while Leriche identifies it as “Organic Luxury.”
The Organic style had its beginnings in vernacular architecture based on natural forms and structures and simple, local materials. It was part of a spiritual continuum of survival and fertility, life and death that linked the earthly realm with the spiritual one.
Ancient Egyptian and Greek civilizations studied natural forms and the human body and abstracted them as geometry. They used circles, triangles, rectangles and ellipses to derive harmonious proportions in constructing their shrines and temples, promoting harmony with their elemental gods and spirits.
In the Byzantine Empire, Christian spirituality, divine proportion and the mystique of numbers inspired architecture. Divine geometry was also predominant in the Islamic world. Early Celtic Art preferred the organic forms of the tree, plants, water and earth expressed in a mystical and ambiguous world of highly stylized abstract forms. Taking elements from Greek geometry and pagan Celtic expression, Gothic architecture put a new spin on the sacred purpose of proportion and utilized plant forms for ornamentation.
In more modern times, i.e. the early 20th century, Frank Lloyd Wright introduced the concept of organic building, a harmony between human habitation and the natural world. This involved design solutions that are sympathetic and well integrated with a site so that the building, furnishings and surroundings work together harmoniously as a unified, interrelated composition.
Aside from the building’s literal relationship to the natural surroundings, the structure’s design is carefully conceived as if it were a unified organism. Every element, from floors to windows and furniture, relate to one another, mirroring the symbiotic ordering systems of nature.
Translating the aesthetics of nature and combining it with the latest in wellness design strategies, the organic style fits right in with the current need to find solace by mimicking living forms. The new objects are soft, comfortable and warm, with a lot of natural materials but also durable pieces with a commitment to environmental responsibility.
Cebu Home Craft has a chair of upcycled denim with an inviting shape that makes you want to curl up in it. Raw, rustic-inspired textiles in wools and linens from brands like Bed and Philosophy also have this cocooning effect.
In a meeting of both the artisanal and the artistic, organic-cocoon home décor have flexible, floating forms with unique pieces like Vanska’s installations in circles, mixing wooden slats and wool with a charming, “homemade” aspect. The Filipino brand collab of Zacarias 1925 and Weavemanila came up with intricately woven abaca rugs that are virtual wall art, in line with this theme.
“Craft is honored here, with small-series, unique objects in warm neutral earth tones that are accented with light terracotta, in organic, enveloping and round shapes,” says Delclaux. He cites Studio Sabatier, which uses original pelts and fuzzy wool for furniture pieces: “You have a deep feeling of comfort, warmth and well-being with these soft, silky, materials.”
For Leriche, organic luxury invites us to a “sensuality of shapes and the softness of materials with a suppleness and elegance in the curves.” You can relax with undulating, sculptural forms using beautiful materials like marble, travertine, carved wood, all in a neutral range of ecru, beige, taupe and taupe-tinged gray. “It evokes discreet and soft luxury, not ostentatious but featuring beautiful, artisanal skill,” she says.
Sofas from Plumbum and Café Latte with freeform contours inspired by nature are “an invitation to idleness.” Carpets at Cinna also echo these organic lines. The warmth of wood, carved with rounded silhouettes like rocks or pebbles, combined with mineral stones, exude a certain sensuality, as seen in the furniture at Duistt and Essential Home, where sculptural forms are done in masterful finishes.
Brabbu Design Forces have a very raw, totemic vibe that’s all about the essence of the material. It’s like, “we’re being invited to travel inside these materials, like landscapes.”
Pieces like these “add a bit of poetry and lightness to interiors with very grounded shapes,” says Leriche, qualities that are certainly most welcome in our homes and our lives today.