Why Curvy Decor Is Having a Major Design Moment

Emerald Green Curved Sofa

Design by Emily Henderson Design / Photo by Mike Kelley

After a long stretch of minimalism, the design world is softening. Neutrals and clean lines will always be timeless, but if you’re looking to stay on-trend, designers are noting something unexpected: curvy decor is back and having a major design moment.

We turned to the experts to find out why waves are the way forward.

  • 01 of 08

    Curves Are Unexpected

    Beachy living room with curved wood coffee table.

    Tyler Karu Design

    “Curves add not only architectural interest and diversity to a room, but also something unexpected," Ginger Curtis of Urbanology Designs shares with us. "We are often used to clean lines and right angles—being thrown a curve ball is not always a bad thing.”

    We are often used to clean lines and right angles—being thrown a curve ball is not always a bad thing.

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  • 02 of 08

    Curves Add Softness and Interest

    Curved elements in a sitting room, used around a fireplace.

    Matti Greshman for Urbanology Designs

    Straight lines can be cold and clinical, but as Lina Galvao of Curated Nest tells us, curves add softness and a feeling of cozy. "Arches in architecture also add lots of visual interest,” she shares.

    Donna Gariepy of Aspen & Ivy agrees. “Curved lines add softness and comfort to a room, as they are more organic and adopt more beautiful nature-inspired shapes,” she says. “Curves can also create a focal point, bring visual impact, and give the illusion of length to a surface that may be angular.”

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  • 03 of 08

    Arches and Curves Can Be Added With Paint

    A curved design element added with paint.

    Matti Gresham for Urbanology Designs

    If the architecture of your space doesn’t currently incorporate arches or curves, the good news is that it can easily be added—yes, even without costly structural changes.

    “Believe it or not, you can use paint to bring some of those curves we are all loving into your own home,” Curtis assures us. “In a recent project, we used a mix of paint and plaster to not only create a beautiful focal point but to bring a new shape to the space.”

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  • 04 of 08

    Curvy Furniture Is All the Rage

    Curved furniture in an open plan living room

    Cate Black Photography for Etch Design Group

    “You can always add an arch—this is easy for any contractor to do out of sheetrock," Galvao explains. "But if that's not an option, you can incorporate curves through furniture or decor."

    Since curves are trending strongly now, finding curved furniture is easy. Galvao notes that a great option would be a curved chair, as it is a lower commitment than a larger piece, like a sofa.

    "Coffee tables are also a fun way to bring in curves too, and now, we're seeing tons of case pieces, like credenzas and dressers, being designed with a curved profile,” she shares.

    “Sofas, chairs, and console tables are some of my favorite pieces to add some contour to a room,” Curtis agrees. 

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  • 05 of 08

    Even Simple Curves Are Impactful

    Simple curvy accents and elements in surrounding a gallery wall

    Matti Greshman for Urbanology Designs

    Gariepy notes that even simple curves can create the desired effect. “By updating your fixtures and fittings, you can add curves in a simple way,” she says. “Floor-length arched mirrors can bring an architectural aspect to a room, and making arched valences for square windows can also bring curves to an angular space.”

    Stephanie Lindsey from Etch Design Group agrees, noting that if your architectural elements aren't curvy, then bring in soft arches and curves with accessories.

    Wall accents are an easy way to bring softness, like patterned wallpaper and round or arched mirrors," she says. "Simple touches to add to space include round side tables, sofas or chairs with rolled arms or rounded edges, and plants in round pots.”

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  • 06 of 08

    Remember Not to Overdo It

    Chic modern living room with curved purple couch.

    Tyler Karu Design

    As with any design trend, there is definitely the possibility of going overboard. “If you overdo it and every piece of furniture has a curve, it no longer feels special,” Curtis says. Design is always in need of balance, so if you begin to incorporate arches, be sure to also add linear elements to balance them out.

    “Adding soft curves to a room is wonderful when the elements are complementary and cohesive with the overall design, but adding too many curves will be overwhelming,” Lindsey adds.

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  • 07 of 08

    Play With Your Existing Arches

    The curved archway of a front door.

    Nat Kay Photography for Aspen & Ivy

    It's important to understand the style of the arch, according to Galvao. She suggests paying attention to the style of architecture in your space and remaining thoughtful about how your furniture will complement it.

    “When styling around an existing arch, keep it simple,” Gariepy agrees. “You don’t want to overpower the archway—just add some color and a couple of art pieces.”

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  • 08 of 08

    If You Love the Trend, Go for It

    Two curved armchairs in sitting room.

    Tyler Karu Design

    Curtis reminds us of the most important design rule of all: only add curves and archways in because you love them, not because they’re currently trending.

    “If you are wanting to incorporate curves and arches into a space, don’t do it because it's on trend—do it because it fits your space and it's something you love,” she says.