Stylist Secrets: Soften Your Spaces With Shapely Circles

updated Jul 17, 2020
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Can a shape really impact the way your home feels? Anyone who’s ever been in a room where all the furniture is sharp with straight lines knows it feels quite different to a room where pillows and other objects have organic forms and uneven edges. This year, if you want to add more comfort and energy to your space, consider adding more objects with a circular shape to your home.

We’ve always loved the definition of what a circular shape “means” visually in the article The Meaning Of Shapes: Developing Visual Grammar (by Steven Bradley via Vanseo Design):

“…Circles are graceful and their curves are seen as feminine. They are warm, comforting and give a sense of sensuality and love. Their movement suggests energy and power. Their completeness suggests the infinite, unity, and harmony.

Circles protect, they endure, they restrict. They confine what’s within and keep things out. They offer safety and connection. Circles suggests community, integrity, and perfection…”

Though this definition is referring to circle shapes in graphic design — in logos and more — we think some of those meanings can transfer to a space when you bring a circular-shaped object into a room, too. Those who find that their homes have too much “hardness,” or too many strict straight lines and hard edges, will find that visually softening a room can come from adding a few circular shaped objects. Those who just want their rooms to embody some of the above meanings will find that adding circular shapes can strengthen their design intentions. And there are a lot of different ways you can add a circular shape to a room!
Here are eight ways to add circle shapes to your rooms this year:

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)


Lighting is a naturally attention-grabbing element for a space. Make that lighting round — whether like the fixture above or as a round pendant or shade — and you zero in the focus on curved, circular objects, magnifying the shape’s effect.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)


Because mirrors reflect light they are a powerful element to add to a space anyway; make them round, and you immediately add a lot of whatever circular meaning you are trying to imbue your space with.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Year-round wreathes

Wreathes aren’t just for the holidays; you can bring in lovely wreathes made of plants and other natural elements or get more modern with craft materials. But adding them into your home as focal points or in surprising spots, like over windows, will add a powerful punch of circle shape.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

A combination of round accessories

You don’t have to go oversized or electric to use circles to add warmth and comfort to a space; go for quantity instead. Using multiple, smaller circular accessories sprinkled around a room and in close proximity to each other. They’ll mimic each other’s shape and spread a comforting well-rounded feeling around the space.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Soft textiles, like poufs

Since textiles already bring a lot of warmth and comfort to a space, when you combine that material with a round, circular shape like a pouf, you get double the circle power.

  • 10 Tutorials for DIY Floor Poufs and Ottomans
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)


Side, dining, coffee — any type of table you bring into your space that sports a round top will have a visual impact. Use the round tabletop to soften hard-edged accessories, or leave the surface clear to stand on its on.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Framed art

Mirrors aren’t the only thing that can add interest to a space when placed in a round frame. Consider framing some of your favorite art in round rather than square or rectangular frames. Hang them alone for a powerful impact or add them to an existing wall collage to add softness.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)


Rugs underfoot are always a way to add comfort to a room and softness to a hard flooring material. Adding rugs that are also circular in shape is an even more intense visual statement.

Do you have a lot of circle shapes in your home? What kind of objects are they? How has the circle shape made your home feel?