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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A long standing member of the American Society of Interior Designers, Lois Macaulay holds a 1st place award for residential design 2018, 2nd place for 2017 and 2 presidential citations for contributions to the profession from ASID. “I love creating beautiful settings for extraordinary women--and men,” she says. The strong fashion/design connection in these posts owes its source to her first career as a fashion designer, coordinator and national fashion magazine editor.