What was straight now curves. What was hard is now soft. There is a big shift happening in residential interiors right now — to a look that is comfortable, livable and most important, accessible. Are we seeing the death of modern design, something many regarded as cold and suitable only for kid-free minimalists? Probably not, but this trend is one that warms up the modern look.
You’ll see it in friendly curves on side-table edges, headboards, mirrors, chairs and especially lighting. “People want almost a sanctuary space where they can decompress or chill out, and that goes to more pieces that have more rounded edges,” says Lisa Puchalla of LilyMae Design in the District. She notes that this is also a nod to classic design: “I think it’s coming back around to having a space that’s still sleek but also a little bit of that round feel, and maybe even more of a traditional feel.” However you spin it, this trend is good news for everyone — giving us all permission to mix a little bit of this and a little bit of that, put our feet up, and feel right at home.
Justina Blakeney, blogger and author of “The New Bohemians: Cool and Collected Homes,” designed a boho-friendly line carried by High Fashion Home, including the curvaceous Uttan Folding Chair, a far cry from any straight-backed metal version ($259, highfashionhome.com). Leave it in the corner and pull it up to the dining table when you have extra guests.
While scouting for upcoming trends, John Amell, the trend and design manager for Sauder — a furniture company that sells to Target, among other retailers — first noticed the rounder forms coming out of Nordic and Scandinavian firms. One Danish designer, Thomas Bentzen, created a set of coffee tables consisting of circles that can be layered on top of each other in groups of two or more. The Around Side Table comes in subtle and not-so-subtle colors and finishes, in case you want to add a punch of color to your home ($422, themodernshop.com).
Social media is opening up a new way for homeowners to learn about design. “We live in a Pinterest and Instagram world,” Amell says, and homeowners are starting with little vignette spaces that they can snap photos of for friends, instead of, say, furniture sets. The laid-back rubber-wood Ivette Rounded Mirror Shelf is perfect for this, welcoming to any plants, knickknacks, beauty products or jewelry ($139, urbanoutfitters.com).
Hem’s Punched Metal Candle Holder consists of two enclosed circles picture-ready for an Instagram square ($29, us.hem.com). The steel accessory can hold a tea light or a taper candle and comes in beige, gray, pastel green, yellow, aubergine and black.
The Knit Cozy Urban Harvest Brown and Oasis White All-Weather Patio Conversation Set is round and approachable, looking as if it’s made of knitted yarn, and can soften any outdoor space ($129, homedepot.com). It has a storage ottoman and two poufs.
If you have a room with a lot of squares and edges, add a round mirror. “Interest on the wall is important,” says Puchalla, who likes Wisteria’s Nouveau Sunburst Mirror, hand-carved out of mango wood ($399, wisteria.com).
A removable tray makes the metal-finish Kapona Tray Table great for entertaining ($128, anthropologie.com). The bottom even folds up. “Incorporating different textures into spaces is softening us, which I think is great, because it makes rooms feel more comfortable,” Puchalla says.
The trend toward rounder forms in furniture and accessories started in lighting, Amell says. You can see it in the turns of the Double Table Lamp, designed by Cedar & Moss in Portland, Ore., and available in brass or bronze ($379, rejuvenation.com). If you have a lot of chrome in your house, don’t worry — mixing metals is cutting-edge.
There’s no need to do a full-on redecoration every few years — and who can afford that anyway? Just add and take away a bit at a time until your interiors feel refreshed. If you’re in need of a bookcase for a formal living room, for example, try the Arch Etagere, whose shape will add a comfortable curve ($405, luluandgeorgia.com). “You can still buy a piece and accessorize around it with things you have already . . . you don’t have to redo the whole house,” Amell says.
“People want a more cultivated place where you can relax,” Amell says. Pick and choose between inherited pieces and yard-sale finds until you have a home that is uniquely “you.” And know that there is a place for investing in furniture that can withstand changing styles. The handcrafted Elke Glass Console Table is something beautiful that could be found in a mid-century home of yesterday and a minimalist home of today ($799, crateandbarrel.com).
“Spaces such as dining rooms and living rooms are usually square or rectangular and they have sharp corners,” Puchalla says. “Incorporating round items in that space lends to making that room feel less like a box.” The Boot Leg Dining Table has leather-wrapped, bent tube legs, ready for mixing and matching chairs of your choice ($750, sauderboutique.com).
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