This Is the New “It” Shape for Home Decor, According to Designers

published Dec 8, 2023
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Side view of a pink velvet bed frame with white scalloped duvet. The room has pink walls, a black armoire and side table, and a gold framed standing mirror.
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Prop Stylist: Sophie Strangio

If there’s one standout pattern or decorative motif of the past two-plus years, it’s probably the checkerboard print. The typically two-tone, grid-style design has dominated home projects, shopping trends, and even celebrity homes, leaving its mark on everything from bath towels to flooring. It’s clear the checkerboard frenzy isn’t dying out any time soon, but there’s also another emerging pattern-meets-silhouette that’s now taking center stage: wavy scallops.

Fluid, organic shapes have defined recent interior design trends, first gaining traction at the tail end of 2020. That’s since paved the way for more whimsical scalloped furniture and decor, categorized by arc- or wave-shaped edging and borders. This motif allows you to lean in to curvy pieces on a smaller, more low-stakes scale, considering the undulated silhouette is usually confined to just a decorative trim along rugs, mirrors, shelving, tables, and more. That said, a scallop motif still lends visual interest and a sophisticated-looking touch to otherwise simple, straight-lined home staples.

This trend has also earned a designer stamp of approval, as seen in Apartment Therapy’s Small/Cool pop-up back in October of this year. During the New York-based event, 18 industry experts riffed on some of today’s top interior trends in shoppable IRL spaces, and four incorporated scallops or waves in some capacity. 

Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Prop Stylist: Sophie Strangio

Designer Dala Al-Fuwaires of House of Form, for one, completed her music-inspired “Soulful Space” room with both a scalloped-edge sofa from Urban Outfitters and an asymmetrical, fluid frameless mirror (not pictured). On the couch specifically (seen above), wavy trimming on the wooden frame sets this unique-looking style apart from the rest; yet the placement feels subtle enough as to not overpower the compact two-seat silhouette either. A piece like this is also easy to style with complementary shapes, like the round pillow Al-Fuwaires chose here or a bold patterned throw (might I suggest checkerboard?).

Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Prop Stylist: Sophie Strangio

If you’re on the fence about scallops, take a cue from designer Kevin Francis O’Gara of Kevin Francis Design, who styled out a Serta bed with Serena & Lily’s luxe-looking Baywood Quilt for his soothing “Restful Retreat” space. This bedding comes in both solid white and white-and-blue colors, and drapes over your bed with a gentle wave-inspired trim. Either hue helps brighten any bedroom, no matter how you accessorize with pillows or bedding, and it’s less of an investment or commitment than a new scalloped bed, headboard, or bench — arguably with just as much of a visual impact! 

Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Prop Stylist: Sophie Strangio

Scalloped rugs have also become all the rage, which two Small/Cool designers — Danielle Blundell, AT’s excutive home director, and Natalie Wong — proved within their respective rooms. Wong set the foundation for her “Suite Dreams” design in partnership with Beautyrest with a classic jute rug from Amazon, punctuated by dramatic, green-trimmed arches. Blundell’s maximalist haven, on the other hand, also featured a large-scale jute carpet, but with a smaller scalloped, tufted plaid accent from Anthropologie layered on top. This styling tip works well if you don’t want to splurge on an entirely new scallop-infused area rug.

In Apartment Therapy’s annual State of Home Design survey, just launched this week, design professionals are also forecasting scallops as a major 2024 trend. The silhouette appeals to both comfort and elegance — especially as more people fully embrace post-Covid hosting and crave design-forward homes. Plus, the four Small/Cool spaces above speak volumes to this pattern’s versatile decorating potential, from big-ticket furniture pieces to smaller textiles.