Circles, triangles and squares. One of the first things we learn as children are basic geometric shapes. And they stay with us throughout our lives.
Maybe it’s that sense of familiarity that makes geometrics such a popular pattern in home décor.
Recent introductions, especially those showcased at the summer event at World Market Center Las Vegas and the International Casual Furniture Association show in Chicago, played up geometrical shapes, displaying them prominently and offering various interpretations.
“Geometrics are at the heart of good design, whether incorporated with the main décor furnishings or as a contrasting design motif to highlight traditional pieces,” said Steve Lowsky, president of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Pride Family Brands, which specializes in casual outdoor furnishings.
“Although there is beauty in intricate nongeometric design elements, there is simplicity in the use of geometrics that is currently providing a calming motif in challenging times. The simplicity of geometrics in home and outdoor products has multiuse applications,” he added.
Put simply, basic geometric shapes add interest to a room’s look.
“Finding unique ways to incorporate geometric shapes into interior design enables one to create a space with depth and visual interest,” said William Silvera, vice president of merchandising for Z Gallerie. “Some patterns have cultural references, such as an exotic or historical element, which add further layers of interest to the design of a room. Understanding composition, history of shapes and their visual impact helps to create decorative distinction and impact.”
Repetitive patterns also can provide a unifying look for a room, especially when using shapes such as a diamond, Silvera said.
“The scale of patterns used in the design of a room plays into the intended outcome for the space. When choosing pattern it is always important to consider the desired look of the space, and the intended focal points. Mixing larger- and smaller-scaled patterns together, such as large-scaled wallpaper and smaller-scaled patterns on throw pillows, offer the space balance and harmony.”
In all cases, he said “geometric shapes and patterns provide a stunning backdrop for a variety of décor settings.”
Lowsky said repetitive patterns have been especially successful when used on tabletops, such as the company’s Rosetta design that incorporates intersecting circular elements.
Circular designs also are showcased in the company’s new Enzo collection, which features floating orb outlines on the chair backs.
In addition to adding a familiar element, geometric patterns have the ability to help modernize a home’s appearance.
Aimee Beatty, in-house stylist with Pier 1 Imports, said the “repetitive nature of geometric designs can make a dinnerware collection, accent chairs or a collection of pillows seem modern — and it doesn’t take much to make this transformation.”
And the shapes themselves have taken on a modern look.
“From the repetition of hexagons to color blocks and zigzags, geometric patterns have been modernized for today’s lifestyle,” said Manja Swanson, chief creative officer for Lamps Plus. “To modernize these shapes, designers are using computer programs to manipulate and exaggerate the shapes.”
Swanson said she believes geometric shapes remain popular because they mimic items found in nature.
“For example, take the hexagon. Doesn’t it remind you of a honeycomb structure? I think that nature is a constant inspiration in all design. Whenever I am feeling a bit of a creative block, I go out into my garden and it never fails to inspire me,” she said.
Although repetitive patterns add a sense of order, using geometrics to create a successful and harmonious look doesn’t have to be restricted to repeating shapes.
“A uniquely shaped mirror or lamp can really add a lot of dimension and interest to something that might otherwise be expected or overlooked,” Beatty said.
The choice about what way to use a shape depends on your vision for the room, along with your space and preferences, Swanson said.
“If you prefer a more traditional style, a smaller, repetitive pattern on a pillow or throw might work best. If your taste is more contemporary, a larger sculptural vase or table will make a strong design statement,” she said.
“Incorporating geometric patterns into your home is easy. Simply introduce a faceted angled vase, honeycomb lamp shade design or chevron-patterned accent pillows,” Swanson said. “These are minimal investments that will allow you to enjoy the geometric movement, and you can easily replace them when the next design trend emerges.”
“Depending on level of desired visual impact, decorative boxes, throw blankets, pillows or even an accent chair are effective ways to add geometric interest and a pop of color. For a stronger statement consider layering your walls in graphic wallpaper and juxtaposing hues taken from the wallpaper into the surrounding space.”