Let’s face it (and each other): We are entering the era of the new social living room. Yesterday’s living rooms may have used the TV as a focal point, but with cable subscriptions on decline and widely available on-demand and streaming services, today’s living rooms are truly becoming places of person-to-person interactions. According to Joe Nocera of The New York Times, “More than a quarter of millennials (70% of whom use streaming services) report having never subscribed to cable in their lives.”
The curved sofa is a perfectly chic solution to this cultural shift, a vintage-inspired way to open up a room with more seating and soften the angles of spaces designed for socializing. A design element loved by designers from Pierre Yovanovitch to Azzedine Alaïa to Kelly Wearstler to Emily Henderson, a curved sofa can maximize lounge potential in small spaces by providing the perfect corner seat. Fashionable feng shui, anyone?
Scroll for 12 ways to style sofas for a living room that’s ahead of the curve.
Come Full Circle
A curved sofa sets up streamlined seating for a small crowd. It’s the ultimate party trick: using spatial relations to keep everyone gathered together in a comfortable, circular format. In a round room, the choice is yours between vintage, modern, or eclectic. No matter what you select, you’ll be creating your very own living room social circle.
Embrace Organic Elements
Curved sofas add an architectural edge to a room, creating new shapes that lead the eye throughout the space in a smooth, sometimes serpentine way. Try mixing raw materials for a more organic appeal, combining woods with upholstered fabrics to add texture and tension.
Color Outside the Lines
There’s no need to feel boxed in by straight lines or neutral palettes: You can also get your swerve on with color. From flirty and feminine to bold and beautiful, color in a curved sofa communicates that your living room is anything but straight-laced. When in doubt, go vibrant to punch up the impact of a colorful curve.
Stage a Breakup
Throw your living room a curveball by breaking it up with a little bit of contour. After all, when it comes to a large rectangular living room, why not divide and conquer? Curved shapes can add a subtle wave to a long wall, creating inviting moments with ample opportunity to incorporate round shapes in coffee tables, ottomans, poufs, or pillows.
When it’s time to cozy up to a fire with a book, don’t be afraid to let your sofa spoon you. There’s just something about curling up on a curved sofa that feels ergonomically chic, and we’re on board.
If you really need one more reason to lounge around on the couch for longer, just add the soft, inviting texture of a velvet sofa to the mix and you'll never want to get up. Not only does velvet make the space feel cozier, the texture adds some nice dimension to the room.
Round It Out
For a balanced and harmonious look, accent the sofa with at least a few other curved or round elements. The second most important aspect of a living room is the coffee table so it's important to be thoughtful in selecting one. So long as the table has soft edges, it should pair nicely. Glass tables are another option to make a room feel more spacious.
Additionally, consider accents such as light fixtures, wall decor, mirrors, pillows, or other accessories. This stunning room mixes round elements beautifully, from the lampshade to the curved armchairs.
Take It Outside
Backyards and patios were made for sunsets and entertaining. Why not add a curved couch to the deck to facilitate more comfortable socializing? Throw a cozy fire pit in the middle and you'll have a space that your guests will never want to leave.
If you happen to have a curved wall, window, or even an archway in your space, one of the easiest ways to incorporate a curved sofa is to align them. For a perfect fit, you can line it up with the curve of the wall or place it front and center in front of an arched window. As a heads up, you may need custom furniture to pair your sofa perfectly with a curved wall. To avoid making the space feel crammed, be sure to leave breathing room in between so the furniture isn't flush against the wall.