Home & Garden

Here are 6 ways curves can create balance and intrigue in your home decor

In this somewhat formal living room, there are many curving elements that keep the eye moving.
In this somewhat formal living room, there are many curving elements that keep the eye moving. DBZ IMAGES

Humans are naturally drawn to curves. They represent our own bodies and give us a sense of comfort and security. But people don’t generally think about curves when it comes to pulling a room together.

At the heart of all design are the concepts of space, line, form (derived from line), light, color, texture and pattern. A comfortable and balanced space has a sense of harmony, contrast and unity.

And what form is often lacking? The curve.

If you’re ready to take the plunge or at least think about your spaces in a curvy new way, here are a few ideas to reflect on.

They can be welcoming

Even in a commercial space, curves can make a small office lobby more interesting and friendly. A curved sofa, round chandelier and curved desk soften the hard and grid-like patterned tiled floor and serve as a counterpoint to the drama of the dark walls washed by recessed lights.

JUMP-1 Welcoming photo by Kevin Seifert Photography
When welcoming visitors, whether into a reception area in an office or in our home, people should be able to sit down and feel at ease. Kevin Seifert Photography

The curving arms of a side chair play off of stripes, and relaxed, slightly metallic window drapes break up a longer wall.

They soothe the senses

Think about using textures and of course, curves, in ways that don’t ordinarily leap into the forefront of your mind.

The long, straight lines of the sofa and the wood and stone unit built onto the wall are contrasted with the curves of the sconces and the camcha-wood base of the “dance console” table (from the Phillips Collection).

Soft and hard finishes, grass wallpaper, natural materials and the fun of the striped fabric on two of the round ottomans give the room a “comfy” feel.

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Straight lines are softened with curvilinear and other “organic” shapes in this living room. Kevin Seifert Photography

Harmonious placement

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Light and shadow add to the texture and movement of this three-dimensional décor. Kevin Seifert Photography

Use round objects with linear ones. The strong horizontal lines of the unit built onto the wall are balanced by the curves in the shapes of the sculptures and plant.

The swirly plates from Doug Frates Glass and the organic form of the amber glass vase both contrast and blend with the hardness of the wood and stone. The faux orchid in a slate container bridges both shape and texture.

Striking a balance

If you’re planning any construction, consider ways to add some really spectacular curve into your space.

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Even wood can be turned from straight to curved as shown in this double helix stair. DBZ IMAGES

A double helix staircase connecting to an office above provides a welcome counterpoint to the strong, sharp lines in this library. The incorporation of arches into the tops of the bookcases also brings in another softening line.

Surprise the eye

Kitchens are another place where curves can be incorporated but are often overlooked. These are rooms filled with those strong horizontal lines which here are reinforced by a long run of tall, rectangular windows.

The pleasant surprises are the arched niches made to house the refrigerator and some cabinets, with the center arch leading to the formal dining room. The round and oval plates add more curves, and the track lighting is bent into what is known as a French Curve. Even the chairs at the counter have rounded backs and seats.

5 Surprise the Eye photo credit DBZ IMAGES
The cabinet knobs in this kitchen were chosen specifically because they are simply round. DBZ IMAGES

Move the eye

If you’ve been lucky enough to inherit some furniture that you actually like and it’s curvy, that can be the springboard for curves in a room. Curves pull the eye around this living room.

The two leopard-print chairs from the 1940s inspired the purchase of curvy, white love seats, the oval coffee table and the antique chair. While the chair is upright, there are curves. This all plays nicely against the herringbone floor, which is left uncovered for this juxtaposition and to show off the pattern of the floor.

Unless you live in a yurt, dome or igloo, we all live in square or rectangular boxes. Take form into consideration. Whatever your personal style, instead of sticking with straight line, straight line, straight line, take a look around. Embrace those curves.

The designers who participate in the N&O design series are members of the Alliance of Interior Designers at allianceofinteriordesigners.org.

About the designer

Linda Zoffer is the owner and lead designer at del ZIO Designs Interiors LLC. She can be reached at info@delziodesigns.com, 919-949-5611, delziodesigns.com or at facebook.com/delziodesignsinteriors/.