Conversations in Design - Curves

Conversations in Design - Curves


By Giles Slater Creative Director of Figura

Conversations in Design is our regular snapshot on a specific design topic. If it strikes a chord and you feel inspired, I would love you to get in touch so we can discuss the project you have in mind.

“Giles, why do you include curves in your designs?”

Today’s contemporary designs are no longer confined to restrictions by straight lines, sharp angles and boxy shapes.  I’m proud to bring my experience to each project and really work with each of our clients to create expressive and individual living spaces.

Figura: Subtle curved chopping board surface on kitchen island.

Function over frivolity:

I often introduce curves  to achieve a comfortable flow round a kitchen’s different zones. This can be done by introducing curves to larger items of furniture and in the floor design to gently guide family and friends to  relax and be away from the central cooking zone.  Smaller curves can be employed to soften sharp  corners and make the kitchen safer, especially for  smaller members of the family. As with all my  work I start with the functionality of the kitchen  first and look to add features such as curves where  they are needed or wanted.  

Figura: Curved display cabinet in oak with corresponding curved work surface beneath.

Subtlety and fusion:

Curves can create a dramatic focus by fusing both architectural and design elements or subtly by appearing in the detail of the furniture and surfaces.  Curves should be considered as part of an overall concept and do not necessarily have to be too bold or noticeable.  

Figura: Bespoke Bedroom Design.  Curved shelf and shoe carousel unit. The island bed also has curved bedside shelves to remove sharp edges from this calm and serene design.

Contrast and complement:

In terms of the kitchen furniture, the detail of the door, cornice, pilaster legs, surfaces and shelves should be styled together, with consideration given to their surroundings, so that the overall style of the room harmonises with that of the house. The curves will either compliment shapes already in the room or provide a contrast to a more regular, square space.  Our goal is to make the overall design relevant and therefore timeless. 

Figura: Curved flooring threshold to demarcate kitchen area

Harmonious and inviting:

Curves help to counterbalance the serious, functional element of a kitchen whilst at the same time ensuring that the rest of the room feels inviting, relaxed and warm. The kitchen is now very much a living room, the centre of so many different activities. Curves can help each activity find its place, its zone, so that it can be all things to all people, often at the same

Figura: Curved Banquette seating to maximise space in this small country kitchen