Curved Lines create a more relaxed (and welcoming) aesthetic!
Friday Dec 09th, 2022
Imagine walking into a room that contains a rectangular couch, rectangular end tables, rectangular artwork, and square-backed chairs. Now, imagine a different room that includes a curved couch, a round coffee table, and a wavy, pendant light fixture. You likely feel more comfortable in the second space, and science would back up that perception.
Researchers have found there is higher activity in the brain when people are in a room containing curvy items versus a room with sharp-edged or pointy objects (Inverse 2017). A separate 2013 study, published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that participants were more likely to judge rooms as more beautiful if they contained some curves (PNAS 2022).
There is also an undeniable association between curves and luxury. It requires skill and artistry to design and build curves as opposed to simple, straight lines and 90-degree angles in everything from walls and flooring to furniture. For example, three hundred years ago, French artisans developed new techniques to produce curvy, opulent furniture for Louis XV; their work continues to influence modern design.
Are you ready to add beauty and style to your space using curves? There is no need to redecorate your entire home; you can start by making one or two changes to a room.
Soften your bedroom interior with a few relaxed curves:
- A rounded or a faux fur rug to replace an angular rug
- An arched floor lamp, a chandelier, or a table lamp with a vase-style base
- Round night tables
- Square-topped night tables with concave sides
- A wide, sweeping curve on a bed’s headboard
- A curvy chaise lounge or accent chair
Living rooms are where we entertain guests and spend time with our families, so this is one space where you may want to invest most of your budget and creativity. These ideas range from structural upgrades to simple accents:
- A rounded wall that draws the gaze around a corner (e.g., from a hallway into a living room)
- A curved bar/countertop
- A curved transition between two types of flooring
- Plush sofa with a rounded back or comfortable, concave seat
- An oversized, round nest chair
- Three dimensional, soft-edged art to replace some rectangular wall art
- Round or curved coffee tables
- Mirrors or artwork in oval or round frames
- Floor lamps, light fixtures, or table lamps with attractive curves
- A circle painted on a wall to highlight decorative shelves
- A curved transition between two wall colours or paint finishes
- A rectangular or square rug that delivers curves and swirls in a decorative pattern
- A circular rug (which works well below a round coffee table)
Consider the typical shape of kitchen cabinets, the stove, refrigerator, microwave, and dishwasher. Kitchens may be the most angular room of an entire home, but there are ways to soften the edges:
- Luxurious, high-end, curved island and countertop
- Round or oval light fixtures
- Backsplash tile in an arabesque shape
- Standard backsplash tile featuring a rounded, decorative pattern
- Artwork and accessories
In the relatively small and secluded space of a bathroom, homeowners are more likely to take design risks and choose luxury finishes as they explore creative options:
- Spa-style, curved shower wall
- Rounded rather than sharp edges on a traditional bathtub surround
- Freestanding tub (modern or clawfoot)
- A mirror cut into a relaxed curve or round shape
- Light fixtures containing curves
- A copper penny floor sealed with clear resin or epoxy
- Standard floor or wall tile that delivers interest with a decorative pattern
- A bathroom vanity built into a French-style antique dresser
- Curved handles on a vanity
If you wish to try this design trend, you can get creative without spending a fortune. Shop for unique items at garage sales and charitable resellers such as ReStore Habitat for Humanity. For custom-designed, one-of-a-kind artwork, furniture, flooring installations and more, consider employing local artists, woodworkers, and other tradespeople.
Inverse. “Circle Expert Explains Why Your Eyes Are Attracted to Curves.” May 2017. www.inverse.com/article/31207-circles-curves-attraction-neuroscience-manuel-lima.
PNAS.org. “Impact of contour on aesthetic judgments and approach-avoidance decisions in architecture.” Accessed September 2022. www.pnas.org/doi/abs/10.1073/pnas.1301227110