03 Jul Making the Most of a Round Room
Each week Mansion Global tackles a topic with an elite group of designers from around the world who work on luxury properties. This week we look at how to decorate a round room.
The gentle curvature of a room in the round has a kind of freedom that feels limitless. When the beginning and end of the walls around you blur, it creates an easy flow.
“A round room envelopes you, and you feel as if you are being hugged,” said Carleton Varney, president of Dorothy Draper & Co. in Palm Beach, Florida. “It is much softer on your eyes visually, and so it gives a calming, relaxed overall feeling to the space.”
Not to mention, depending on where it is located, it can function as a main living space and showcase spectacular wraparound views, says Erica Bryen, owner and head designer of Erica Bryen Design in Newport Beach, California
While there is a sense of effortlessness about it, a round room can sometimes be a challenge to decorate thanks to its unique lines. To design a well-rounded space with distinction, follow these tips from the design pros.
Follow the Flow
Finding the right pieces and getting the overall furniture configuration correct is certainly a challenge. The furniture should flow with it, instead of being orthogonal pieces not responding to the space. Arrange it so it also feels welcoming and huggable.
Continue the curve of your space into your furniture pieces by finding unique rounded sofas, tub chairs and cocktail tables—and whatever else your room calls for. If you can use pieces with curves to them, it will relate to the overall feel. Straight-lined furniture will feel out of place if there aren’t details to connect it. I always recommend putting comfortable chairs on swivel bases, and especially in curved rooms, so you can better enjoy the space.
You can maximize the shape by adding mirrors to increase the space visually and help spread the light around. If the curved space offers a view, by way of a bay window, for example, allow the view to dictate how you style the space.
When choosing fabrics and other textiles, remember the curved nature of the space and perhaps use a textile with a flowing design. Think of waves on the water and how they also curve over and envelope you.
— Carleton Varney, president of Dorothy Draper & Co. in Palm Beach, Florida
Maximize the Shape
Planning the space accordingly is important when designing a round room, since trying to find furniture that works with the shape can often be tricky. Furniture that has square edges or lines will cut the room, which can make the room seem smaller. Instead, choose rounded-edge pieces, such as curved-lined sofas, chairs and round tables, to follow the lines of the room, which will flow with and maximize the space instead of cutting it off. Also consider the area around the furniture and make sure that it’s spaced purposely and not losing square footage.
To keep the room a little bit lighter and softer, I would consider doing lighter colors such as whites, beiges, light blues and sea foams to create an airy and larger feel to the space. Running long-paneled treatments vertically along the windows can also make the room seem larger.
— Erica Bryen, owner and head designer of Erica Bryen Design in Newport Beach, California
Consider Furniture Placement Carefully
A round room offers soft symmetry and a calming mood. However, most furniture is rectangular shaped, so in a curved room, its placement is only possible in the center of the room or at some distance from the curved walls. Be sure to leave some distance around each furniture piece as well as the room itself to create a comfortable setting.
Maximizing the shape of a round room can be achieved by reinforcing the gentle curve of the wall through the production of bespoke furniture, which follows the curve. For a recent project at the Corniche in London, where all the entertaining rooms of the unit have a glazed curved wall displaying panoramic views, I maximized the shape of the room and the views by standing all furniture away from the curved glass wall so that the view could be approached from all angles.
In the cinema room, I designed a bespoke sofa, which follows the exact curve of the room. As the sofa is not against the edge of the room, it ensures that when a resident enters, they can enjoy the view in a way that is enhanced and not obstructed by the furniture. The study displays a freely placed desk, seating area and sideboard, which can have different uses within the room and create more space.
— Thomas Griem, director of TG Studio architectural and interior design studio in London