The Power of the curve.

Horizontal, vertical or diagonal lines are more commonly used in construction and interior design. Interestingly, by default, we tend to gravitate towards straight lines over curves and shy away from more curvy elements. The reason, let’s explore.

the history of 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 - we could ask, why not more curves? The reason - most of all is the cost, application and ease of planning. It’s more expensive in the production whatever the application and use, and curves do not conform to a grid and take up more space.

The London Skyline: Image attribution: Shutterstock.

Lines versus curves - The psychology

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.

Image attribute: Roberto Nickson

Curves 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 dimension. The introduction of the odd curve expands thought, instils adventure, brings about movement, balance and calm.

a room is not a room unless it’s square

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.

Image attribution. Tracey Andrews Interiors


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, but introducing curvacious elements in furniture or accessories can suggest interest and movement.

Here’s how to apply it

The starting point for inspiration would begin with architecture and our surroundings. Interiorly, it’s more difficult to introduce some curves, if not already present, for example, an arched window or curvacious wall, an undulating landscape outside. But, offering some roundness otherwise in furniture or accessories within the interior 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 evidence of curves back and forth to achieve balance. In dining rooms: oval tables are not only great ‘balancers’ for a room when space is premium, but they are also brilliant space savers and look far more interesting. Plants and other natural materials are excellent starting points of inspiration in a scheme if struggling to introduce.


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are we heading for a curve design trend in 2022?

For me, curves are always 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 shaped sofas with the curvy appeal. The downside - when the trend has to end and the desire to de-curve becomes apparent, we usually revert to - THE LINE!

Image attribution. Kitchen Design Trends


Fun question

If you were a room, what would you rather be linear, straight-laced or curvacious and fancy-free? I know what I would, be can you guess?

If you would like some interior design advice, please call or contact Tracey Andrews.

07951 203525 or on the contact form here


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