Power of the Curve


Horizontal, vertical or diagonal lines are most commonly used in construction and interior design. Interestingly, by default, we tend to gravitate towards straight lines and shy away from more curvy elements.

The reason for this is because of a few factors:

History of the line: Throughout history, the basic vocabulary for architecture and interiors has always been square or rectangular, apart from the imaginative one-off skyscrapers in London or the Far East. So we could ask, why not more curves? The reason - most of all is the cost, in any aspect of production and of planning. Curves do not conform to a grid so they take up more space.

We need lines to define an area, to give height, width, depth, and a visual ending. Straight lines and angles delineate, expand and state boundaries; they tell us that this is the default expectation. Horizontal lines evoke stability, grounding and direction. Vertical lines are associated with strength, balance and elevation.

Curves more interestingly are humanising, organic, playful, suggest movement, are easy on the eyes, thought-provoking and soothing. When a space feels heavy, curved lines can soften. Imagine a room that contains more roundness than line, and its presence takes on a different demeanour. The introduction of the odd curve expands thought, instils adventure, brings about movement, balance and calm.

A room isn't a room unless it's square or rectangular.

It's a misconception to think that all rooms should have straight edges, angles and strongly defined within a grid, and it's wrong to believe that round or curved rooms and their expected furnishings should be awkward to furnish.

Decoratively, curves and lines make perfect partners. Let's be clear that there are no rules that you have to team lines with lines and curves with curves. When confronting interior design dilemmas, it is most likely that the structural canvas of a room will be linear, so by introducing curvacious elements in furniture or accessories we are suggesting interest and movement.

Here's how to apply it.

The starting point for inspiration would begin with architecture and our surroundings. An arched window or waved wall, an undulating landscape outside. Interiorly, it's more difficult to introduce some curves, if not already present, for example, introducing some roundness found in furniture or accessories is the way to go. A turned leg, vase, scrolled lamp, patterned fabrics and mixed with elements of the room structure are the perfect way to combine. The trick is to bounce the curves back and forth to achieve good proportion and space. In dining rooms: oval tables are great 'balancers' for a room when space is premium and look far more interesting. Plants and other natural materials are excellent starting points of inspiration and any evidence of curve – use it!

Are we heading for a curve design trend in 2022?

Curves have been very present throughout the last few years, but for me curves are always safely packed in my interior designer's toolbox. Trends will come and go. There is a revival in kitchens with round islands and fluted countertops, which is lovely to see and a lot more evidence of c and kidney shaped sofas with that curvy appeal. The downside - when the trend has to end and the desire to de-curve becomes apparent, we may tire and need to default to the linear state once more.

Does that mean dominant line element then wins?

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