Soft shaping

Curved flower bed

From the street, everything about our landscape was blocky. When we moved in, the front of our house was all straight lines and rectangles: driveway perpendicular to the street, stairs perpendicular to the driveway, flower beds parallel to the house. Right angles, hard lines.

When we lived in Maryland, we rented a small house that felt welcoming to every person who visited. A picket fence curved around the corner of the lot instead of meeting at right angles, and the path from the gate to the front door formed a graceful, elongated S. Nestled against the fence were the mounds of rounded flower beds.

On the inside, large floor-to-ceiling windows looked out on the gentle curves of the garden.  A raised brick hearth filled one corner of the living room: a foundation for the wood-burning stove. The pot-bellied stove and its hearthstone softened what would have otherwise been a sharp corner in the room.

All those curves made a difference. I am convinced they are what made the house feel so welcoming. They directed the eye, and the feet, to move along a pleasing path, without hard stops or starts. In our home now, I keep looking to see where we can add soft edges, where we can add graceful curves.

Out front, we can’t build an S walk to the front door since the door is on the second level, but we can add rounded flower beds. Already, with the first bed laid, the house feels more organic. The curved lines relax it.

In our living room, though, we have work to do. Rectangular windows, fireplace, bookshelves, rug; blocky, square furniture; hard slats of wooden blinds. We need some softeners in here. Circles, ovals, or something organic.

Looks like I have a new weekend project.

For the month of April, I will publish a 10-minute free write each day. Minimal editing. No story. Just thoughts spilling onto the page. This one is from the Daily Post one-word prompt, Curve

6 thoughts on “Soft shaping

  1. This reminds me of Gaudí’s approach to architecture: “There are no straight lines or sharp corners in nature. Therefore, buildings must have no straight lines or sharp corners.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I heartily agree. My family room had too many rectangles: windows, TV, area rugs. I bought a round coffee table and a few other round pieces. My walkway is curved and I strive for soft lines (and colors) all around my house, inside and out. Makes a positive, soothing difference.


  3. I look for curves everywhere. It is true that straight lines can co-exist with them. I too have one of those ridgely constructed houses with little room for curves. I have taken to finding new ways to make the roundness, like plants with less stalk full of rounding blossoms. Maybe this will help you find some colour and warmth to your home.


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