Round Pegs into Square Holes: Playing with Shapes in Decor

For me, playing with color in a space is one of the most delightful experiences in home décor. Color is obvious and eye-catching and immediately sets the tone. Often overlooked, however, yet also very important, is the use of shape in creating an atmosphere and overall vibe. Sometimes shapes are used subtly, sometimes they’re used blatantly and with gusto. Regardless, here are some looks at different shapes that play a critical role in defining their space:

Circle. Combining color and shape, these oversized aqua circles are the immediate draw to this sitting area. (Would you believe the homeowner used a gigantic pizza box as the pattern for those statement circles? Incredible!) Because everything else in the space is kept relatively neutral and simple, these circles really pop, but they’re kept as outlines so as to not overpower the room. I appreciate how the bright floral pillows give a nod to the circles’ enthusiasm. This room incorporates a lovely mix of eclectic items to create one charming whole.

Rectangle. Nearly every piece in this space is rectangular, from the contemporary linear sofa to the angled lumbar pillows to the coffee table to the artwork and rug. A very few exceptions (e.g., the lamps, pedestal table, and statue) merely emphasize the rectangular shapes everywhere else. The overall color palette is kept tightly neutral, with visual interest coming through via texture and shine. The room is comfortable and warm – an unexpectedly pleasant feel amidst such harsh angles.

Triangle. What a vibrant shape a triangle is…and what a perfectly fitting room to highlight it here. This colorful wall mural of equilateral triangles adds life and movement to an already bright, bold space. The shape is loosely carried through in the diamond-pattern bedding, as well as the throws pillows. I especially like how the shape isn’t carried through too literally here – this eclectic space, with its unique shapes, patterns, and color choices, perfectly exemplifies individuality and character.

Hexagon. An uncommon shape…used uncommonly in this statement toilet. Hexagons abound in this small, narrow space in the busy geometric wallpaper and continuing into the floor tiles. The bold and dramatic use of the shape makes this space feel whimsically grand. And, it’s rather hard to see, but did you notice the hexagon-shaped beach umbrellas in the Christian Chaize artwork? I love that kind of subtlety in such a delightfully in-your-face space.

Square. It would be easy to take squarishness to a tacky thematic extreme, but this space pulls off the shape with dignity and finesse. The mid century style table and those fantastic pale avocado chairs work together shapewise and easily serve as the room’s focal point (along with that fantastically colored photograph, of course). Other squares are used in the background as well, on the door and windows, but enough variety and curve is incorporated in the space overall so as to create the well-balanced whole that is this dining room. Just stunning.

Picture sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

Published by in How To, Tips, and Advice, on December 19th, 2012


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