Circular design and how to shape your Interior design scheme in 2021

OK, Circular design in 2021 what’s the news? One of the biggest sellers in homeware accessories over the past year has been oversized circular mirrors. They have risen to become a key focal point to many grand interior settings. Humans have a natural draw towards circles. What is the draw and how can we introduce this visual symbol into our home and workspace interior?

The Psychology of the Circle

According to ScienceFocus.com “the circle embodies all of the attributes that attract us: it is a safe, gentle, pleasant, graceful, dreamy, and even beautiful shape that evokes calmness, peacefulness, and relaxation.” just about everything we are looking to achieve when designing an interior environment, especially in these days of such uncertainty.

Another explanation as to our preference of round over angular shapes has a more evolutionary basis to it, it is rooted in the idea that human faces and the emotions they express rely on simple geometric shapes. Following extensive research, it has become apparent that expressions of anger showed acute downward V shapes (angled eyebrows, cheeks, and chin) while expressions of happiness were conveyed by outward curved patterns (arched cheeks, eyes, and mouth).

happy round face

In other words, happy faces resembled an expansive circle, while angry faces resembled a downward triangle. The ability for our eyes to read and process facial expression i.e. an angry ‘triangular’ face over a ‘circular’ happy face, serves not only to sooth but to keep us safe as a natural and evolutionary survival instinct detecting external threats as quickly as possible.

Warm, Welcoming and Safe environments to Live, Work and Play

As we look ever more to creating warm, welcoming and safe environments to live, work and play in, how can we introduce the circle into the mix?

Image 1: Andrus Bezdar – Architectural Designer Image 2: Caspian Stork Wall Decal by Avalana Design.

I have to put it out there and say the days of the feature wall are gone – Sorry! A room should be seen as a whole and treated as so, no one area should stand out in leu of airbrushing over a less interesting corner. Painting a room is no longer about covering the wall surface, that rule book was thrown out while angles, corners and curves are exaggerated in contrasting or complementing colours.

Circles have now burst into this equation. Admittedly it may cause the most skilled of decorators to wince, but even they will be impressed if they can pull off the perfect patterned ellipse. If that challenge proves all to the extreme then simply apply one of these striking circular wall decals by Avalana Design. These stunning hand-painted scenes in lush botanical forms and watercolour paint inject a fantastical impression onto any interior setting.

Inbuilt circular interior design

If however, you wish to go one step further and create a more permanent circular backdrop, inbuilt is the way to go. There are admittedly two elements required in order to successfully pull this option off. The first one is Space. There will generally be a sacrifice in terms of space within a room if you create a recessed circular alcove for either seating or display, but whatever is lost will be gained back in terms of a unique ‘Instagram able’ zone. This can in turn be transferred into a marketing moment in terms of a business setting.

Give it space to breathe

Proportion is the second element. While I mentioned above that a room needs to be viewed as a whole so it applies to incorporating a circle. Being of such strong character within space, a circle needs to have its say without being too overbearing. There needs to be room for it to breath, the negative surrounding space is as important as the positive, circle, so the whole feature works in unison.

Circular design in 2021

Finally, and with a throwback to the days when all design rules were thrown out the window, the sunken 70’s style conversation pit or sunken living room has been rejuvenated and display the ultimate in spacious luxury. These distinctive architectural features must identify as the ultimate in human sociability and interaction, they are almost primaeval in concept but far from primitive in design and finish.

Whatever the scope and budget the final element when it comes to introducing a circle is to be brave. If nothing else we all need to feel enveloped in safety, comfort and serenity, and we definitely all need to smile more.

At Yellow Brick Road Design – Devon-based Domestic Interior Design and Commercial Interior Design & Project Management, we love to push the boat out on both our Commercial Interior Design and Domestic Interior Design Projects. We look forward to forging new relationships and we aim to work with all of our clients to create that individual space that will help them stand out from the crowd.



Join us on our journey and keep up to date with all of the exciting new blog posts and topics.


Caomhie Mckenna Yellow Brick Road Interior Design Devon

Hi, I am Caoimhe and these are my personal ramblings on everything design related. With a deep passion for all sectors of design combined with over 20 years of experience within the interior design industry in the UK, Ireland and Australia it feels great to have a space dedicated to all my whims, passions and industry related topics.

Caoimhe McKenna: BA Honours Furniture Design.





You May Also Like…