Cosy CurvesPosted 23rd January 2023
As we welcome in yet another new year, we pack away our decorations and recently made memories from the festive period. The first months of the year can often feel longer than the others, dragging on with bleak weather and the continuation of short days without the relief of festive cheer; it can feel an age until we notice the lighter evenings, first buds of spring, lambs in the field and the temperatures beginning to rise towards summertime again.
The almost primordial temptation to hunker down and hibernate through these months can be overwhelming, juxtaposed with the desire to see this new year as a boundless opportunity for change, growth and reinvention, of ourselves as well as our surroundings.
Just as the curves of our bodies after an indulgent festive period should be celebrated, so should curves within the home! No longer should our interiors feel austere, straight and sparse, reinforcing the feeling of chill in the air, and the bleak feeling of the dark winter.
The emergence of curves and comfort trends within the home has been happening slowly over the past couple of years, with some even suggesting it is a natural reaction to our enforced time at home during the various lockdowns in the earliest years of our decade. Having to spend so much time in our own homes didn’t just mean that some of us saw the existing flaws to redesign, but also that our theoretical checklist of “must haves” at home changed too. People now want to differentiate home office spaces from comfortable evening places.
We want to be able to move through our whole house with ease and autonomy and for it to be able to perform as both office and home – on the one hand looking chic and sophisticated, but on the other – cosy, welcoming and relaxing, somewhere where we are comfortable spending a lot of time. The latest trend of curves taps into all these desires.
Product designers have a helping hand in this, bringing us pieces of furniture and accents for the home with more curved silhouettes and increasingly fluid and natural looking lines. Think round or free form coffee tables, naturally shaped and raw edges to dining tables, hallway consoles with semi-circular ends, demi-lune tables and cabinetry, sofas and chairs with rounded backs or arms and deep, well-filled, squishy cushions.
Of course, we’re not suggesting you need to rush out and replace every item in your home with a curved equivalent solely to be able to achieve a cosy winter equilibrium! But updating a worn-out piece of furniture to one with a softer outline, or adding a circular shaped accent here and there, can be all you need to achieve the desired effect. Try a round or wavy mirror in place of one that is rectangular, introduce curvaceous lamps and planters, or even change something as simple as your square edged table lamp shade to a version that is drum shaped.
To take things a step further, you can add curves as a structural or architectural element, creating archways instead of door openings or building an arched or organic shaped bookcase into a fireplace recess. If such drastic and permanent changes aren’t possible, then why not try experimenting with paint.
Paint blocking using curves can be a great way to direct flow through a space, or to delineate between one area and another. We are not all blessed with endless rooms in a large house – for some, one room might have to double as a sitting room, office, dining room and kitchen. Using paint blocking techniques, well placed curvaceous furniture and clever pools of light that can be changed for any given use, can create a fluid space, that tricks the mind into feeling like there are many different rooms and areas within one.
Something that one can’t help but be mindful of at the moment is the increasing cost of living. Homes should be our sanctuary, our safe space; warm and inviting. Whilst interior design may not be high on your priority list currently, when it comes to spending, keeping warm surely will be. Luckily, designers have got our backs here too. As with curves, soft and tactile textures are being seen as a big trend that’s here to stay.
Think knitted blankets, upholstered footstools and furry cushions – items that can look great in the home and also help to keep you warm during these last couple of months of winter. Muted tones ensure the mind stays calm and comforted too, use palettes of soft terracottas and pinks, or combine sage greens with greige and off-whites.
These colours are relaxing for our senses and work well with natural textures such as pale wood, stone, jute and cork (currently in vogue), all of which help to create a cosy space. Lift the muted natural colours with accents of black, a darker jewel tone, or pops of gold accessories, any of which will help to prevent a space feeling washed out.
However you choose to step into this new year, you can rest assured that in 2023 style does not have to forgo comfort, and comfort can be an important component of style!