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Lauren Li on Contemporary Curves

Design Eye

For our latest instalment of Design Eye, we’re talking ‘Contemporary Curves’ with our very own interiors columnist, Lauren Li of Sisalla Interior Design!

For Lauren, a well designed space is about much more than aesthetics – her number one focus is the way a space makes you feel. She leans towards European design for her inspiration, with a classic yet relaxed design approach. Above all, all Lauren’s project feel real and totally live-able, and we love that!

Here, Lauren shares her thoughts on a trend we’ve been seeing a lot of lately – curved furniture! We also take a look at Lauren’s latest residential project in Camberwell, showcasing key pieces from HC28/ HC28 Cosmo, available exclusively at DOMO.

25th November, 2020

The BOL sofa by HC28 Cosmo, with Oasis coffee tables, Toy’ Vase in Matt Black, and BOLD Console in gloss black, all from HC28, available exclusively at DOMO brings a soft curve to this formal sitting room. Interior by Sisalla Interior Design, Photo – Eve Wilson.

Oasis coffee tables and ‘Toy’ Vase in Matt Black, both by HC28, available exclusively at DOMO. Interior by Sisalla Interior Design, Photo – Eve Wilson.

The BOL sofa by HC28 Cosmo with Oasis coffee tables by HC28, available exclusively at DOMO. Interior by Sisalla Interior Design, Photo – Eve Wilson.

Lauren Li of Sisalla Interior Design in her Camberwell project, with BOL sofa by HC28 Cosmo,  Oasis coffee tables, and BOLD Console from HC28, available exclusively at DOMO. Photo – Eve Wilson.

The sitting room looks through to formal dining room, in a complementary palette of teal and deep blue. Foreground left – the BOL sofa by HC28 Cosmo, with Oasis coffee table, and BOLD Console in gloss black by HC28, on the right – Bear Armchairs, also by HC28, all available exclusively at DOMO. Interior by Sisalla Interior Design, Photo – Eve Wilson.

Bear Armchairs by HC28, from DOMO. Interior by Sisalla Interior Design, Photo – Eve Wilson.

Curved forms in the dining room. Paper lamp by Ligne Roset from DOMO on sideboard. Interior by Sisalla Interior Design, Photo – Eve Wilson.

Dining room. Paper lamp by Ligne Roset from DOMO on sideboard. Interior by Sisalla Interior Design, Photo – Eve Wilson.

Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 25th November 2020

‘Yes, you’d be living under a rock if you didn’t know that curved lines are having a moment right now! We are looking for furniture that looks inviting and comfortable, and curved shapes do that so well.’ – Lauren Li

Have you noticed CURVES everywhere in interiors lately? From couches to armchairs, and even rounded edges on cabinetry and tables – sensual, organic silhouettes are in the spotlight, and we’re here for it!

For interior designer Lauren Li, this trend is all about breaking up symmetry, and softening hard architectural lines. ‘More than ever, we are looking for comfort’ she says. And if you want a sofa that ‘gives you a hug’, look no further than a piece with an inviting, curved form!

Lauren’s latest project in Camberwell saw the studio inject rich colour and contemporary yet classic design pieces into a formal sitting room and dining room in a large family home. Using deep blue and teal as a base palette, Lauren selected furniture in a neutral palette of cream, gloss black and tan upholstery – and seating with soft, inviting curves, to balance the formality and symmetry of the rooms.

‘Using the BOL sofa with its curved backrest creates a soft form that is really lovely, it breaks up the formality of the room’ says Lauren. ‘It’s also great because it doesn’t have loose cushions that need adjusting, so it always looks neat and inviting.’

We recently spoke to Lauren about this stunning project, and her take on the curves we’re seeing everywhere in contemporary interiors right now.

Hey Lauren! You’ve designed some beautiful homes and interiors – how would you describe your design aesthetic?

Thanks for the kind words! I’m drawn to spaces that are filled with a warm atmosphere – how the space feels is the most important thing. I love to combine gorgeous colour and texture to give a space personality, with an element of the unexpected. I lean towards European designs as a key influence; French, Italian and Scandinavian design always inspires me.

Your Camberwell project brings together stunning bold colour on the walls, and contemporary furniture in a minimal palette of cream, tan and black.  Can you tell us a little about this project, what was the brief, and tell us about the finishes and furniture you’ve selected?

We are so lucky to work with the BEST clients. The brief began with selecting the main furniture pieces; the sofa, armchairs and dining chairs. The wall colour wasn’t something that the clients asked for, however the rooms come off a main hallway, and painting them a bold colour really suits the architecture of the house and gives them such a distinct atmosphere. These formal rooms feel special to be in.

The main furniture pieces are neutral in colour, with the artwork and wall treatment providing impactful colour. So down the track, if they wish to re-paint, the furniture will work with just about any other colour scheme.

The layout of the lounge and dining rooms are quite formal, however the family are relaxed and young. So, I listened to them, and tried to carefully bring these spaces into the present day. Painting the two adjacent rooms (the lounge and dining) in two different colours definitely required a leap of faith by the client! However, the combination of bold colour and the soft, curved edges in the furniture creates the perfect balance of formality and fun. These rooms that were rarely used are now used as the family’s ‘everyday’ dining room, as well as a backdrop to host birthdays and dinner parties.

A key feature in the sitting area is the distinctive BOL curved couch by HC28 Cosmo from DOMO. What do you love about this piece?

The lounge and dining rooms here are quite symmetrical, with straight lines. The BOL sofa with its curved backrest creates a soft form that is really lovely, it breaks up the formality of the room.  The boucle fabric further enhances the softness and comfort, and it’s irresistible to touch!  It’s also great because it doesn’t have loose cushions that need adjusting, so it always looks neat and inviting.

We’ve noticed a lot of curved lines in contemporary furniture right now. Square, ‘blocky’ furniture is out and softer, curved lines are in! What can you tell us about this trend?

Yes, you’d be living under a rock if you didn’t know that curved lines are having a moment right now! More than ever, we are looking for comfort. Our homes are a refuge where we want to feel safe, and a sofa that ‘gives you a hug’ as it wraps around you does just that. We are looking for furniture that looks inviting and comfortable, and curved shapes do that so well.

What advice would you have for people keen to inject some curves at home?

If a room is looking a bit flat, consider adding a curved line. It can really be the ‘thing’ that lifts the entire room.

A sofa with a curved form is a great place to start if you’re looking to add loads of softness and interest to a space, however adding some ball cushions and a nest of round coffee tables will also break up the straight lines in a room.

So if you already have your main furniture pieces, perhaps a round mirror or lamp is just the piece to break up all of those straight lines, and give the space some variety.

What’s next for Lauren Li / Sisalla Interior Design?

It sure has been an unpredictable year! We’ve had client projects stop, start and stop again and we’ve tried to go with the flow.

Alongside our design projects we launched our online courses and studio sessions in April, and they have kept us quite busy. Connecting with other interior designers has actually been just what I needed during lockdown here in Melbourne. It’s been fun, and nerdy in the best possible way to meet online every week.

Something that I have been asked about from time to time is mentoring, and we have been developing an online community called The Design Society to share information about fees, marketing, finding the best tradespeople and where to source all of the things. It’s a great way to strengthen the interior design industry by sharing information and plus, I love talking about design (if you can’t tell!).

 

For more than 30 years, DOMO has remained Australia’s exclusive stockist of prestigious design brands from Europe, and across the globe.

With showrooms in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane and Gold Coast, DOMO offers a curated collection of classic, contemporary indoor and outdoor furniture ranges that last a lifetime.

For more design inspiration, follow DOMO on Instagram here.

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First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net