Well, it was quite a week! I really wanted to post the last two days and life just got away from me. But rest assured, things are moving along with the house and I’m excited to share and keep you in the loop as best I can!
So, all that to say, I missed you. ACTUALLY, now that I’m here I’m wondering IS THIS THING EVEN ON? I know it is Saturday so, you know, if no one is online, I understand and I guess I’m just talking to myself. No biggie. I do that anyway. But if you are here, I hope you’ll comment so I’ll know.
As I’ve been puttering around trying to pull my living room and dining room together it occurred to me that one of the things I notice in a room is the SHAPES I see. Whether you actually notice the shapes like I do, or just feel more comfortable in a room because of them, the shapes in a room matter in so many ways.
Because shapes matter so much to how you actually feel in a room, you should be thinking about them as you design a room, too. And I don’t mean the shape of your furniture as in the condition of it, but rather the literal SHAPE.
One of the ways the right shapes affect the room is that a curved or round shape can soften sharp lines. If your architecture or furniture is more angular, you can balance the feel of the room if you want to by adding curved or rounded shapes.
My fireplace was intentionally designed to be asymmetrical and angular. Without remodeling it, I think I can give it the perception of a new or different shape by essentially tricking the eye. To give it a try, I decided to order a round mirror to hang in the center over the fireplace box to create the illusion of a more of a centered and balanced focal point.
Round will bring a circular pattern to balance some of the angles and add softness to that side of the room, too. Can you picture it? I’ll show it as soon as it’s hung, but you can see the round mirror we chose, below! Oh, also, we painted the fireplace (sorry to those of you who liked it as is) to appear to be a different color of stone (not white) and we like it so much better! Stay tuned for the update.
Montara Mirror from Serena and Lily
I have been thinking about shapes a lot as I make decisions for the dining room, too. Some people might see the light fixture I chose and like it, while others might be unsure about it without seeing it hanging in the space. I like it already because I know it will add something significant that was missing in the room.
Besides just the color or style, the light fixture will add a shape the room needed! In this case, a round table and a round light add circular shapes. Again in this room, we have the asymmetrical window in the dining room AND we are creating an asymmetrical flow to the layout. Furniture and accessories will create the balance, hopefully making it feel both pleasing to be in the room and more interesting than if we just centered everything.
Tricky or crazy? Maybe both.
If you look at the cabinet in our dining room, it has a lot of angular lines (window panes and a rectangular shape). The rattan shelving unit has a lot of angular lines with the Chippendale pattern on the sides and the lines of the rattan. So again, the round table and round light fixture make the right contrasting statement (for my taste and preferences). The curvy shapes of the lamps currently on the cabinet add more softness.
Lastly, our dining room has a lot of hard surfaces (as many dining rooms do), so to add softness and make the room extra inviting (because we want to use it all day long) we chose the Parsons chairs because they are fully upholstered and have the slipcovers nearly to the floor. The shape and fabric of the chairs softens the other lines and hardness in the room to give it a calming feeling. Had we chose something like Chinese Chippendale chairs, the space as a whole would have felt busier than I intended it to feel.
Any room can benefit from considering shapes! Look at the lines, shapes and curves all over your room to decide if they complement the space. Do you feel comfortable in your room? If something feels off, perhaps it’s too much of the same shape, or just the wrong balance!
A coffee table can feel best square, rectangular or round, depending on your furniture arrangement. Some shapes of light fixtures can complement the height or shape of your room, and some can crowd it. If you have lower ceilings or a small room you don’t necessarily have to get a small fixture, but you should consider the shape you choose, so it doesn’t feel awkward or too long, which would lower the impact of the ceilings even further. The shape of the arms on your sofa can crowd the rest of the furniture, or make it feel more streamlined.
Even something like tile adds lines and shapes to a room. In our old kitchen, we used a slightly darker grout. The darker grout added more lines, so we had to make sure the tile was installed correctly or it would be a glaring mistake. The room would have felt too chaotic. Our floors also had a lot of movement in the wood grain with shapes and lines, too. We chose to simplify the other design elements like the countertops and painted cabinetry to balance the room and added round shapes with some of our light fixtures and hardware to soften the look.
It’s fun to think about the shapes in a room and how you can transform your space with those details! Look around your house today and see what shapes you have. Are you balancing the shapes so that your room feels pleasing and restful as a whole?
Sounds like a fun weekend project to me :)