This Trend Is the Sweet Spot Between Sofas and Sectionals

Updated 09/29/17

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 thanks to 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 percent 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 six ways to style sofas for a living room that’s ahead of the curve.

curved sofas
Sasha Bikoff

Round the Corner

Styling a curved sofa in a corner is a great hack for smaller spaces, maximizing seating without requiring additional length. Don’t bother with right angles: The lounge experience is much more relaxing without them. Curved sofas fit the bill whether you’re seeking vintage parlor vibes or perhaps just something simple and sophisticated.

Try giving the smooth curves of a curved sofa a soothing touch by picking soft shades of color for the upholstery.

Galerie Glustin Brass and Fabric Curved Sofa $19197
Alex Profit for Marie Claire Maison

If it’s more of a Parisian-chic look you’re after, a curved sofa can create the perfect Arc de Triomphe in a minimal living room. Eclectic pillows make the perfect accessories in a mix of colors and shapes.

Chairish White Upholstered Chaise $1799 $1450
D2 Interieurs

Build a Social 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.

Divani Casa White Leather Sofa $2420 $2123
William Waldron for Elle Décor

Forget about TV; a round sofa makes the statement that the room is focused on conversations and catching up. This room embraces shape-shifting, from abstract geometric tabletop décor to circular artwork on the walls to linear ceiling beams.

Robin Bruce Curved Sectional $4519
Amy Lau Design

The midcentury flair of this lounge adorned in creams and warm earth tones turns back time, making it the perfect place to play a vintage board game or sip vintage spirits with friends.

Galerie Sommerlath Mid-century Floating Walnut Sofa $8400
Amy Lau Design

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. In this magnificent space, two curved sofas anchor the room by tying together the different textures used throughout. Their curvature creates vignettes for socializing, playing off the open layout and the variety of shapes within the space.

Morentz Organic Shaped Leather Sofa

Morentz Organic Shaped Leather Sofa (price upon request)

Jean-François Jaussaud for Elle Décor ; DESIGN: Pierre Yovanovitch

Building on an earthy palette and nature-inspired décor, the combination of wood with upholstery on a curved sofa creates a natural, organic appeal for this living room. Wooden elements provide additional common ground in the space to connect floors, seating, and other furniture.

R. Huber Teak Sofa $4200
Mai-Linh ; DESIGN: Dimore Studio

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.

Garouste & Bonetti Velvet Loveseat $17500
Mike Kelley ; DESIGN: Emily Henderson

We’re gaga for the green velvet in this fun and fluid space already filled with color. The curved shape makes this sofa the social center of the room, instantly setting it apart from the other shades and seats.

Anthropologie Velvet Sofa $2998
Didier Delmas ; DESIGN: Daskal-Laperre

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.

Domenico Parisi 1950s Serpentine Sofa $15900
Persona Production ; DESIGN: Azzedine Alaïa

Channel tufting on this sofa builds linear texture to contrast against its curvature, creating the perfect balance of straight and rounded lines. The end result is a space that feels both angular and approachable.

De Sede Non-Stop Sofa $24000
Jean-François Jaussaud ; DESIGN: Pierre Yovanovitch

Curl Up

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.

ISA 1950s Italian Sofa $8685
Stephen Kent Johnson for Lonny ; DESIGN: Jen Going

Should you decide to sit up for a fireside chat about #sofagoals, save us a seat.

Galerie Pierre Italian Curved Sofa $22870

What’s your angle on curved sofas? Tell us below!

Related Stories