The Evolution of Curved Design in Interior Furniture: Exploring the Benefits of Roundness
Curved design has a timeless appeal that has captivated designers throughout history, transcending mere functionality and aesthetics in interior furnishings. Incorporating curves adds captivating visual appeal, infusing spaces with intrigue and a sense of harmonious flow. Furthermore, curved furniture has the ability to transform the spatial dynamics of an environment, introducing fluidity and softness into a world often dominated by rigid, linear forms. While curves are sometimes associated with an old-fashioned look, contemporary curvilinear furniture presents a fresh and modern approach, combining elements of softness, comfort, and simplicity.
This particular type of design has been adopted by various practitioners and movements. From the organic modernism of Alvar Aalto to the iconic creations of Charles and Ray Eames and Eero Saarinen, curved furniture has left a lasting legacy in the world of design. In addition to individual designers, certain design movements have also embraced curved forms. The Art Nouveau movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, for example, celebrated organic, flowing lines in both architecture and furniture design. The works of renowned architect and designer Antoni Gaudí exemplify this style, with his use of curved lines and organic motifs in structures.
But curved designs remain in vogue. Dutch furniture brand LINTELOO has subtly integrated curves into its product line. Instead of explicitly emphasizing curves, the pieces incorporate them into corners, details, and precise elements. This design choice demonstrates an understanding of the subtle benefits of curved design: whether it’s a sofa that invites conversation, a dining table with a gentle curvature that encourages interaction, or an armchair that envelops the body, curved design elevates the interior furnishing experience. The company launched 9 designs by 5 renowned designers at this year’s Salone del Mobile Milano, with each product embodying the ideas behind the theme of ‘Embrace’, in the broadest sense of the word: whether it’s the way different shapes or materials interconnect or the interaction between these beautiful objects and the way you want to live your life.
Anthony Guerrée: Innovation and craftsmanship
Educated at the École Boulle in Paris, Guerrée developed a unique style influenced by the craftsmanship and interior designers of the 1930s. His creations blend tradition and innovation, showing his ability to juxtapose materials and shapes.
The Embrace dining chair exemplifies this ethos. The backrest and seat fit seamlessly into the voluptuous base, creating a harmonious embrace. Despite its sculptural appearance, the chair offers comfort, making it ideal for both casual family dinners and formal settings.
In the Cross table, Anthony creates a powerful design where marble is intervened by a textured oak cross. The tripod-shaped solid wood legs provide stability to the marble top, while the rounded corners soften the geometry.
The Alter table, at first glance simple, reveals subtle details that make it special: the interlacing of the oak leaves at the top, the indentation in the tapered leg, and the versatile shape. One option has playful outlines, while the other has rounded corners, allowing more people to be accommodated if needed.
Sebastian Herkner: Creativity and detail-oriented
Sebastian Herkner studied Product Design at the Offenbach Design Academy. Since 2006, he has owned his own studio and has been involved in projects for various companies and institutes, gaining international recognition. His approach combines a love of traditional art with an affinity for new technologies, resulting in refined forms and tactile surfaces.
The Gilbert bed joins the line’s homonymous sofa, which was launched by the company last year. The bed has geometric and even cubist lines, and the visible blocks and the separation between them become a strong element of its design. The individual headboards, for example, are decorative elements in themselves and the invisible legs give the feeling that the bed is floating, adding lightness to the spaces between the headboards.
The design of the Icarus chair, meanwhile, is architectural and inviting. With custom-made upholstery and wooden leg options, it offers comfort and support. The unique upholstery and curves of the design provide a comfortable embrace, while opting for wooden legs adds a light feel to the dining chair version, and its closed sides provide a grounded appearance. Sebastian adds that: “For me as a designer, function and comfort are important. I love to play with shapes like a sculptor. I think nowadays we need to act in a much more responsible way, there is no time for ego projects at all.”
Jan te Lintelo: Timelessness and resiliency
Growing up in a family of furniture retailers in Haaksbergen, the Netherlands, Lintelo founded LINTELOO after studying furniture manufacturing in Rotterdam in 1994. Besides collaborating with renowned designers, he continues to develop his own ideas, seeking the perfect combination of generous proportions, comfort, and style.
The Miami sofa is an invitation to relax, enjoy and embrace life, providing a perfect place to disconnect. Its rounded and smooth shapes make it extremely inviting, while it can function as a standout element in a space’s decor.
At last year’s Salone del Mobile, the elegant and comfortable Malibu sofa was introduced. This year, table elements were added to it with sleek lines, offering options such as an ‘arm table’, ‘trays’ for drinks and snacks within easy reach, or a luxurious marble top instead of a seat cushion. The possibilities are endless.
Yabu Pushelberg: Meticulous and collaborative
In 1980, George Yabu and Glenn Pushelberg joined forces to create Yabu Pushelberg. Today, the architecture and interior design firm is known for its high-end residential, hospitality, and retail projects, but also for designing furniture and objects that exhibit meticulous attention to detail and timeless appeal, transcending fleeting trends.
Yabu Pushelberg’s Oiseau series showcases delicate and light silhouettes. With options that include a table, chair, barstool, and countertop, this collection offers various seating heights and sizes, allowing for personalized living and dining experiences. All pieces, however, carry design features that unite them, such as lightness and soft rounded shapes.
Sjoerd Vroonland: Material and poetic fusion
Sjoerd Vroonland is an Amsterdam-based product designer who creates innovative products by combining classic designs with familiar materials and techniques. Inspired by timeless designs such as the saddle and clothespin, Vroonland highlights the beauty of structure and construction, showcasing materials and craftsmanship. His work represents a harmonious blend of craftsmanship, innovation, and contemporary living.
Sjoerd Vroonland’s Clamp series also incorporates the theme of ‘Embrace’. In the original Clamp coffee table series, two materials, such as wood and marble, are combined side by side in one top. This year, the new product features a metal frame and a marble top with a walnut wood canopy. The visible metal staple provides the name of the design and shows the connection between the materials.
The evolution of curved design in interior furnishings demonstrates its enduring appeal and relevance. From the aesthetic benefits of creating visual intrigue and harmony, to its functional advantages, curves have proven to be a powerful design element, contributing to the spatial dynamics of a room and promoting comfort and a sense of connection. LINTELOO, with its subtle integration of curves and commitment to providing comprehensive features, exemplifies the value of curved design in contemporary furniture.