Robert Downey Jr. uses this geometric decorating technique to improve his 'room's traffic flow' – it's also powerful in small homes

The actor's architecture and furniture choices use soothing shapes for a powerful result – and his technique is replicable on a smaller scale

(Image credit: Michael Blackshire / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

It’s not uncommon for celebrity homes to be among the most unique structures in the industry – but arguably, nothing grabs our attention quite like Robert Downey Jr.’s Malibu home.

Known as the Binishell, the actor’s bubble-shaped eco home resembles a three-headed turtle shell that’s been bleached in the Californian sun. There is no straight line in sight – including in his dining room – where curved furniture reigns supreme.

Curved furniture – whether it's a statement boucle sofa or a spacious dining table (the latter in the case of Downey Jr.) has sat at the forefront of design trends for years. However, when we consider their benefits, it's easy to understand why they're a cult celebrity favorite. And nowhere showcases their qualities quite like a dining area, as designers explain.

'In dining rooms, in particular, having a curved dining table with appropriate chairs can promote social interaction, as guests will be able to interact more easily. It also encourages interaction with people who aren’t just in front of you,' comments Bree Steele, an interior design manager at RJ Living. 'This will make the dining room more communal and intimate, which is perfect for gatherings with both family and friends.'

However, as Steele explains, this layout has particular benefits for small dining rooms where accentuating space is key. And while size is not a concern in Downey Jr.'s space – we can still learn a lot from how he utilizes circles in this room.

'Curved furniture can help make the most of the space in a dining room. A curved or round table can fit more chairs than a normal table of the same size,' Steele explains. 'This makes it a great choice for both small and large dining areas, as it makes the most of the space without making it feel cramped.'

art deco inspired kitchen dining area with blue and wood striped floor and curved furniture, the ceiling has bold molding for an art deco feel

(Image credit: Fabrice Juan)

Plus, whether we introduce curved furniture to our dining room or kitchen, Steele says these cornerless pieces have the power to 'improve the room's traffic flow' – something that is welcome in homes of every size.

'This is because the lack of corners naturally guides movement through the room, which is great for functionality and aesthetics. An added bonus is that if you have children, the lack of corners will be a big change for the accessibility and child-proofing of your home.'


Shop the curved furniture edit

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.