Anything made from natural materials can be considered organic, but an emerging design trend called "organic interiors" goes beyond simply using natural elements. Organic design makes green living a lifestyle and style choice.
Furniture, fabric and flooring more than look natural; they also are made with fewer chemicals. Where and how bamboo was harvested is as important as how it looks in the living room.
Truly organic interiors meet the needs of the style-savvy eco-conscious.
"Organic is such a loosely defined topic, and when discussing organic interiors, to some the image is living on wood planks inside a yurt," said Shazalynn Cavin-Winfrey, of SCW Interiors. "To others the term might be the inclusion of living, breathing plants and trees incorporated into their interiors."
Cavin-Winfrey said integrating organic materials into spaces is easy.
"Some of my favorite organic materials are natural wall coverings, hemp and recycled glass-bead chandeliers; any type of reclaimed wood, sisal and sea grass floor coverings. ... When possible, I use natural stone selections from slate, marble, and even recycled glass tile for bath and kitchen installations," she said.
But there is no need to sacrifice personal style to include organic materials in a room. Beautiful materials such as reclaimed wood and recycled stone are organic.
Most major paint, fabric and wall covering manufacturers offer products made from renewable, low-volatile organic compounds and low-toxicity materials.
"There are also so many amazing hand-blocked fabrics and wall coverings using low VOC paints with amazing colors and textures," Cavin-Winfrey said. "The fact that these are made by hand -- most in the U.S. -- makes their impact on the environment less than anything manufactured otherwise."
The Savvy Rest, a bedding company in Charlottesville, Va., with a location in Vienna, makes organic mattresses, pillows and linens.
"Half of our customers don't want to be exposed to pesticides and other dangers found in synthetic foams and memory foam products," said Vice President of Marketing Laura Wallace. "Their primary concern is avoiding chemicals. The other half want pain relief -- a comfortable mattress."
Wallace said more people are discovering they can get both, and she expects the number of consumers who are environmentally conscious to grow.
"Going green has gone much, much more mainstream," she said.
The Savvy Rest products are GreenGuard certified and made with 3-inch layers of natural latex. Their sateen sheets are made from organic cotton.
GreenGuard's certification is designed to inform consumers about products with low chemical and particle emissions for use indoor. The company tests and certifies everything from blinds and roller shades to counter tops and bathtubs.
When dressed, an organic bed looks no less comfortable or elegant than any other bed. Dinner parties held in organic dining rooms look pretty much like any other dinner parties.
"The composition of materials you use in an organic interior is only a small part of what makes a space organic," Cavin-Winfrey said. "A space that is easy to live in with materials and textures and colors that inspire healthy living are really the true attributes of an organic interior."