The Blob and Flow of New Design

Seed Vessel

When predicting things to come for furniture, cars and personal products, a design futurist emphasized two shapes: the ‘box’ and the ‘blob’. That lecture was around 15 years ago and I’ve forgotten his name, but never his message. While straight corners have ruled the interior design world since, we have now arrived at the ‘blob’. The supreme takeover by organic rounded contours is upon us.

Dania Relyakova, Claude Cartier
Dania Relyakova courtesy Yatzer.com, Claude Cartier courtesy Pierre Frey

No need to panic and throw out your square pieces yet. Balanced design incorporates both straight lines and curves. However, if you are contemplating new purchases, I recommend schooling your eyes on these images because things are changing fast.

Essex Armchair, Claude Cartier
(Essex Armchair courtesy Brabbu Design Force, Claude Cartier courtesy Pierre Frey)

Swivel lounge chairs on cylindrical brass bases are already very popular. I particularly like this rounded shell with deep padding inside from Brabbu. The line between chairs and sofas has blurred into big soft amorphous shapes somewhere in between. The latest additions to the trend are upholstered in looped pile fabric that was called ‘poodle cloth’ in the late 60’s. This fabric takes to the blob shape like Cocoa Puffs to milk.

Louison bouclette fabric, Helix Floor Lamp
Louison bouclette fabric from Pierre Frey, Helix Floor Lamp courtesy Lumifer

There’s penthouse glamour in the sculpted and smoothed ice-white sofas. The flowing forms of Odette from Boca do Lobo make heady decorating material for Divas creating suitable dwellings.

See Also
Hermes_Bloor

Odette courtesy Boca Do Lobo
Odette courtesy Boca Do Lobo
Karl Springer at Todd Merrill Studio, Hemisphere Table through Lois Macaulay Design
Karl Springer at Todd Merrill Studio, Hemisphere Table through Lois Macaulay Design

The coffee table has undergone a change in shape and a reduction in size. I’m seeing pod tops and straight sides like Karl Springer’s free form low table, customizable under Todd Merrill’s exclusive representation. The half hemisphere is another iconic shape to watch.

Nelson Chow courtesy Yatzer.com, drinks tables through Lois Macaulay Design
Nelson Chow courtesy Yatzer.com, drinks tables through Lois Macaulay Design
Small drinks tables with irregular forms are favoured alternatives to one large coffee table. These moderately priced metal and stone tables pair with rounded seating very nicely.
Curved back customizable sofa from Todd Merrill
Curved back customizable sofa from Todd Merrill
Another important trend is ‘clustering’. Lavish velvet sofas with compounded cushioning restrained by a toe-kick base are the very height of allure. Part of Todd Merrill Custom Originals is his curved back sectional in a variety of sizes. Watch for tables with molecular forms and accumulated irregular panels.
Goroka Table from Brabbu, Eden Tables courtesy Boca do Lobo, Float Pendant courtesy SkLO)
Goroka Table from Brabbu, Eden Tables courtesy Boca do Lobo, Float Pendant courtesy SkLO)
To demonstrate the shapes dominating the interior accessories marketplace, I chose SkLO. Beautiful transparent glass brings an enlivening burst of colour into a room. Available through your designer at Primavera Interior Furnishings.
bowls
bowls
Have you noticed the round pillows? Design houses that supply furnishings to the trade are showing flat-edged disks, full orbs and round rolls in their campaigns. Christian Liaigre restrained this design to one round floor cushion that carries the new message.
Nelson Chow on Yatzer, Holly Hunt, Christian Liaigre
clockwise from left Nelson Chow on Yatzer, Holly Hunt, Christian Liaigre
These rounded shapes bring gentle lines and soft bumpability into personal spaces. Divas understand the advantages of round contours, particularly in immediate proximity, like the soft furnishings we engage with all the time.

View Comment (1)
  • I love the sexy curves and lush velvet fabric on the Tod Merrill sofa! The Pierre Frey fabric and shape of this piece of furniture, make me want to curl up with a good book and snuggle into that plushness! These rounder, softer shapes and cozy fabrics are just what we need to nurture us during these changing, ‘stay at home’s times! Thank you, Lois, for this beautiful inspiration!

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