In Praise of Curves

Roundness seems to be a universal human pleasure.”

–Eric Jaffe, for

Marilyn Monroe, Corvettes, the Guggenheim—gentle curves have serious appeal, but so often homeowners don’t think to feature them in the permanent structures in their homes. Think about the woodwork in most homes. From mantels to crown molding and from cabinetry to closet designs, there tends to be a glut of corners and hard angles, more miter-saw work than jigsaw-work.

Paradoxically, research shows that people generally prefer curved visual objects. The idea is that jagged edges trigger a negative response somewhere deep in our primal brains. That’s right: our love of curves is animal instinct. Curves soothe. Curves are sensual. Curves relax.

Not surprisingly then, one of the things we encourage our clients to consider when we’re doing custom jobs for them is incorporating curves into their woodwork. We’re not talking about curves in the wood-grain (those are great, too) but rather in the structure of furniture pieces and architectural elements. And though most clients are familiar with classic bentwood chairs, many are still surprised by just how much wood can be literally bent to other purposes. Just look at some of our own curvaceous custom woodwork designs:

Curvy Custom Woodwork

In the hands of a skilled woodworker, wood is like putty. Its bends can get downright Marilyn-Corvette-Guggenheimy. If you’re building or remodeling your interior, consider adding a little roundness to your rooms!