Perfectly Imperfect: Discover designs that don't stay within the lines

Perfectly Imperfect: Discover designs that don't stay within the lines

As technology advances, screens dominate and robots seem like a very imminent possibility, our homes are turning their backs on perfectly precision-made modern designer furniture and back to the simplest and most honest of decoration – the irregular and imperfect.

Contemporary furniture, lighting, rugs and accessories have taken a distinct turn for the uneven, a sidestep from the ‘bring the outdoors in’ trend that has ruled over contemporary home design for the past few years. Geometrically precise these forms are not, instead it’s as if they’ve been drawn by the human hand of nature itself. Expect wobbles, variations, and a distinct lack of straight lines.

Noonu Sofa by B&B Italia

A Nod To Nature

Subtly backing up the green colouring, natural materials, and plant patterns currently filling our homes come unbalanced organic shapes, forms that could have evolved out in the garden, woodland or sky, or sea. They have a feel of the stumbled upon rather than the industrial, and if manufacture is alluded to at all, the pieces undoubtedly nod to the individually hand-crafted. There’s no thought of factories. Every piece gives the impression of a one-off, imbued with love and charming inconsistencies.

This all stems from the natural, of course – the smooth, rounded edges, the bucolic influences, the almost accidental forms. But this modern decorating trend is a nature-inspired design that just so happens to be in your home like it’s been growing there for years overlooked or has been recently discovered behind a wall. Welcome to the completely non-obvious, the almost unseen, the would-have-been-there-anyway-even-if-you-hadn’t-noticed-me school of interiors.

Ploum Collection by Ligne Roset

All The Feels

It’s not about being noticed. It’s about the feeling. These asymmetric forms soothe the mind, as unthreatening as a plant, rock or pool of water with their shapes that speak of fresh air and freedom. These are shapes that seem formed by time rather than an intentional hand. The eye breezes over them, gently bumping across those smooth curves, while the mind draws them in and exhales them, the lack of angles, corners and straight edges signalling that it’s time to relax. One irregular piece of furniture tones down a room, calming its angles and pacifying it, while a larger collection creates a spa, away-for-the-weekend feel, forming a space that’s dedicated to tranquillity, health and peace.

Mexique Collection by Cassina

Out of the Box Designs

Inconsistently Infinite

The Arrival Floor Lamp by Ludovica and Roberto Palomba is vine-like, its thin strips shaped as if its grown organically from the floor and is slowly exploring the room and reacting to its own subtle glow.


Woven Shores

Described by its designer as ‘domestic islands’, the Noonu Sofa by Antonio Citterio is presented in uneven soft chunks which are flexible to create a multitude of customised, cushioned shapes imitating rocky ocean outcrops.


Crystal Carvings

Hypnotically beautiful, the Rumors Coffee Table by Mauro Lipparini is topped with pebble-shaped slices of marble – juicy Tangerine Onyx or pink Flamingo Quartz – each piece unique and rounded asymmetrically for a found-at-the-edge-of-an-enhanted-waterfall feel.


Alluring Asymmetry

With its stone-patterned glass top a beautifully asymmetric form, the Senator Dining Table by Paolo Cattelan feels like it’s just been hewn from a quarry and ever so gently smoothed around the edges.


Furry Forms

A whimsical, modern bed designed for the most enchanting of dreams, the Cipria Bed by Fernando and Humberto Campana is topped by fluffy, cloud-like puffs, each with its own shape as if individually scooped from the sky.


Looping Luminosity

Like an exquisite object discovered growing on a long-overlooked tree, the Overlap S2 Pendant Light by Michael Anastassiades feels like a cocoon, the glowing light inside the precious treasure it protects.


Pooling Illusions

Infolded in Canaletta walnut, the Giolo Mirror by Emanuela Garbin and Mario Dell'Orto is shaped as though the wood grew around a natural pool of water, shaped beautifully asymmetrically to create a calming, zen-like feel and bring a subtle sense of nature indoors.


An Organic Oddity

Like an object uncovered in a forgotten forest, the Fenis Dining Chair by Carlo Mollino is both organic and surreal, its sinuous curves and flowing, unequal lines making it feel like it slowly matured among tree trunks.


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