On The Curve
10 ways to blend contemporary colour with mesmerising curves
Effortlessly easy on the eye, curves add instant visual appeal to a space. For a look that’s right here, right now, combine their organic twists and turns with the latest in earth-inspired, contemporary shades
Styling Tara Sloggett/ Bureaux
Photographs Warren Heath/ Bureaux
Words Robyn Alexander/ Bureaux
TAKE 1: POSTER CHILD
Painting not your thing, but feeling creative nonetheless? Create a tabletop still life using all your favourite curved pieces, take a (hi-resolution!) photograph of your efforts on your phone and take the pic to your local print shop. Once it’s printed, simply grab a classic gallery frame and proudly display…
Get the look with… Arched board, Obvi (obvi.co.za) and Portuguese-style crockery, Poetry (poetrystores.co.za), seen in still life print; A2 gallery frame, Country Road (countryroad.com.au); painted tray
TAKE 2: STICK ’EM UP
Transform your space using colour and curve – and without any pesky paint fumes – by choosing vinyl wall stickers. These are so easy to install, and can also be moved around should you fancy a change and want to create a different configuration.
TAKE 3: TRAY BIEN
A handmade piece doesn’t need to be perfect to be charming: leave behind (for now) all that perspective stuff you learnt at art classes, and free-flow your way through a curve-filled design until your piece brings you joy.
Get the look with… A plain plywood tray and poster paints from your local art-supply store. Choose complementary shades – here, we’ve used a cool coffee shade, a dusty pink, a deep ochre and a soft terracotta, which together evoke desert sands and sunset skies.
TAKE 4: GET MOBILE
Add movement to your space with a simple, handmade mobile in the nature-inspired shades of the moment. This is also a great project to do with kids: it’s about simply gathering some coloured card, folding it over and cutting out cute shapes. Don’t be too particular – the more organic the better. Plus, the folding method means you can hide the fixings inside 😉
Get the look with… Scissors, painted or coloured card, two dowel sticks, artist’s wire and double-sided tape – all from your local art-supply store. Use the dowel sticks (or chopsticks) to make a cross, and wrap some artist’s wire tightly around the cross-section to secure. On each of the ends, about 2cm from the end, wrap more wire tightly around, leaving a little piece to create a hook shape. This is where the strip of paper shapes will hang from. Do the same at the cross section too. On the folded edge of the coloured shapes, make a pin hole in the middle and thread through a length of wire, leaving a few centimetres at each end. We used 3-5 shapes per strip. Lay flat and space out your shapes, then when happy, stick down the wire and card, inside, using double-sided tape. Make a loop of wire at the top end of each strip, then hang each strip from the cross. Now, balance: you may need to move the strips around to get a good balance, or add/take away shapes until your mobile hangs comfortably. Trim off excess wire. To suspend the entire mobile, attach wire to the central midsection, finish with a loop at the top and hang in your favourite spot.
TAKE 5: SHOP AROUND
Seek out curvaceous shapes and spicy shades when shopping for decor accessories and crockery. A round tray, tactile vases and handle-free coffee mugs instantly add a cosy and comforting feel.
TAKE 6: ARCH WAYS
Add an avant-garde touch to your coffee table or mantelpiece with arched vessels and a curvy candleholder. And remember, small vases aren’t just for flowers – they look just as charming when used to store stationery and art materials.
Get the look with… Tall and small arched vessels, oval triple candleholder, hole vase, arched vase and wavy wooden board, all Obvi (obvi.co.za).
TAKE 7: SOFT TOUCH
No sharp edges allowed! Choose vases with tactile curves that invite a casual caress – and look just as lovely displayed on their own as they do when filled with spring blooms.
Get the look with… Off-white vase, H&M (hm.com); sand-coloured vase and dusty orange vase, both Obvi (obvi.co.za).
TAKE 8: CLASSIC MEETS COOL
Maybe it’s the swivel that makes us dizzy for the Tulip chair – or perhaps its sensuous curves? Either way, this classic design makes us fall in love over and over again. Combining the Tulip’s retro feel with contemporary colours and arched and curved shapes makes for an eye-catching, layered look. And the truly bold should add a graphic dried flower stem or (if you have the space!) entire tree branch for a look that channels the fearless style of 20th-century floristry maven, Constance Spry.
Get the look with… Vinyl arch stickers, Stickaroo (stickaroo.com); vase holding branch and hole vase, both H&M (hm.com); all other vases, Obvi (obvi.co.za); vintage Tulip swivel chairs by Eero Saarinen, all stylist’s own.
TAKE 9: NATURAL RHYTHM
Combine nature-inspired shades with touch-me textures to create up-to-the-minute appeal: here, a fibre rug hung tapestry-style, offset by a supersized dried palm leaf, makes for a contemporary take on the inspirational style of 20th-century floral designer, Constance Spry.
TAKE 10: COLOUR ME NOW
If you’re naturally restrained when it comes to colour, this is your moment. Right now, the most fashionable shades in decor and design are “off” their pure tones – slightly “dusty” or “muddy”, if you like – but you can still head for the sun, just one that’s a little more muted. Think softer shades of terracotta, taupe, turmeric, and the pinks of autumn dusk… all of which exude warmth, comfort and a grounded sense of familiarity.