Monday, October 6, 2014

How to Get Curves in All the Right Spaces

Curves can soften a living zone, draw the eye to a certain feature or focal point, and visually lengthen an area. When used well, they can enhance the flow of a room and be used to define different spaces. They can also be useful for awkward or tricky spaces and be a practical replacement for sharp corners if you have little ones running around the home.

Curved shapes can make for an inviting and comforting aesthetic that is both cozy and powerful. Their bends and twists make them versatile inside and outside the house.

“Curves create a sense of softness as well as strength,” says landscape designer Steve Warner of Outhouse Design. “A strong garden edge or wall line that has a strong curve can open up a garden with great effect, drawing you into the space. The correct radius or curve can create impact, connect spaces and allow for deeper layered garden beds, especially in tight courtyard areas. Gardens, in my opinion, should be tactile, engaging and fun — that’s why curves work so well.”

But you do need to know how to use them. “If used inappropriately, curves can take up a lot of wasteful space. However, when used well, curves actually conserve room,” says interior designer Bronwyn Poole of Touch Interiors. “The key is to know when to use a curve to maximum benefit.”

Poole often introduces curves in a subtle way by adding round occasional tables, lamps or an area rug with an organic shape. “I believe curves soften a space and inspire effortless flow in a room that may otherwise feel constricted,” she says.

The blue curved bathroom tiles pictured here break up the strong lines and wooden tones of the cabinetry. Small and subtle curve shapes can work just as well as something bold and beautiful in the right setting.

A long, sweeping curve can draw the eye into a garden area — particularly when paired with a splash of bright color, as pictured here.

Expert tip: “A curved line traversing a small space is naturally longer than a straight line, and it can give the impression of a much larger garden. Curved geometry also allows for multilayered planting rather than lineal single rows of planting,” says landscape designer Janine Mendel of CultivArt Landscape Design.

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How to Get Curves in All the Right Spaces

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