Robert Downey Jr.'s futurist living room furniture looks straight out of a classic sci-fi movie – reimagined for 2024

A new wave of interiors is welcoming curved lines and gentle cylindrical forms that smooth over the rigid formality of straight-edged, angular design

Robert Downey Jr.
(Image credit: Getty Images / JC Olivera / Stringer)

Forget sharp angles, straight corners, and rigid lines. The latest furniture designs take inspiration from classical architecture to riff on the circle. From dynamic arches to softly sculpted furniture, homeowners and designers are decorating with curves to bring movement to their interiors. 

The best modern living room designs combine charm and practicality, especially when choosing living room seating and living room furniture with curvaceous shapes and styling. It was a challenge that interior designer Tom Fox of Fox-Nahem Design undertook – and mastered – in Oscar winner Robert Downey Jr.'s home.

Indoor spaces tend to be orthogonal by design – homes are often boxes with harsh lines. But in the world of interior architecture, curves are making moves, softening right angles, and introducing sculptural lines to straightforward layouts. 

Curves are not new – they were made popular in Ancient Greece with the use of columns and arches and were a popular living room furniture trend in recent times. But a certain fluidity, especially when it comes to decor and furnishings, is increasingly drawn to contemporary design, countering standard blueprints dominated by straight lines (which are often easier and cheaper to construct) with rounder, cozier forms.

With today's emphasis on the home as an inviting family space – used for relaxation, and entertaining – regimented rows, straight lines, and clinical design can look a little stark. Therefore, using curved lines within a home offers a wealth of benefits, including the potential to add flow and dynamism. 

Full-on voluptuous or gently rounded, curves will lift a living room layout and soften the overall look of your room, adding a bold design focus or a subtle touch of shaping to your décor. A design trick that Downey Jr has mastered in his family living room.

So why are curves such big news for 2024? The answer lies in their organic shaping. Curvaceous styles reemerged in the world of interior design a few years ago, and they are coming to a climax this year; from sectional sofas to armchairs and coffee table decor ideas.

Biophilic design is the theory that humans have an innate connection to nature, and creating built environments that connect to the natural world measurably improves health and well-being. It has a set of clear principles, one of which is to use natural materials, shapes and colors to curate a space. 

'Moldings and curves that soften straight lines represent the best of contemporary biophilic and biomorphic design, creating embracing spaces where purity and softness coexist in harmony,' says Sarah Ramundo, product design manager, at Devon & Devon.

So while straight lines aren’t disappearing anytime soon – they are certainly still in demand – a curve or two can round them out beautifully. Updating your furniture and accessories is the simplest way to replicate the aesthetic.

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Jennifer Ebert
Deputy Editor (Digital)

Jennifer is the Digital Editor at Homes & Gardens. Having worked in the interiors industry for a number of years, spanning many publications, she now hones her digital prowess on the 'best interiors website' in the world. Multi-skilled, Jennifer has worked in PR and marketing, and the occasional dabble in the social media, commercial and e-commerce space. Over the years, she has written about every area of the home, from compiling design houses from some of the best interior designers in the world to sourcing celebrity homes, reviewing appliances and even the odd news story or two.