Fitting conventional furnishings into a circular room – like a converted oast house roundel – can feel a bit like trying to jam a square peg into a round hole. It seems like furniture makers rarely think outside the square box and almost everything is designed to fit against straight walls and 90-degree corners. But while decorating an oast’s curved rooms is never easy, the results are always worth the effort. To get you inspired we’ve put together five tips to get you started:
1. Goodbye frames, hello murals
Curved walls and framed pictures are not a match made in heaven. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t adorn your oast roundel walls with exciting artwork. Decorative decals are a great alternative to framed images and they work great on curved surfaces. If you have any artistic talent (or know someone that does) consider painting some unique designs onto the wall yourself. You could give the room a personal twist with a dramatic mural or paint some understated wallpaper-inspired designs.
Pro tip: If you are still keen to hang some framed art, then go for long narrow frames rather than square ones. Or if you are happy without pictures but feel that your room is still missing something then choose some bold or colourful curtains as a way of adding some drama to the walls.
2. Add a circular centrepoint
We humans love circles. Numerous scientific studies have found that when it comes to shapes, most people prefer something round. One theory is that while harsh and jagged edges suggest potential danger and therefore invoke feelings of anxiety, our brains find circles relaxing. It also might help explain why an oast house looks so appealing to us!
Embrace the appealing circular shape of your room by adding a circular focal point. If you are using your roundel as a dining area then add a round dining table in the centre of the room. If this is a seating area then a round coffee table. You can also add round soft furnishings like a circular rug to emphasise the room shape.
3. Avoid an enclosed feeling by painting the walls a light colour
Small round rooms can sometimes feel a little closed in. Using a light colour scheme to paint your circular walls will enhance their sense of space.
Contrast is key in design and oast houses often have exposed beams and woodwork. The contrast of woodwork against light colours will provide a calming, rustic effect to your unique home.
4. Consider adding some custom-made furniture
As with any curved wall, standard furniture, even curved furniture, is probably never going to be an exact fit – so how about investing in some custom made fitted pieces? Nowadays you can source some amazing pieces from local makers and independent artists that would give your space a meaningful touch – a great way to support local talent and heritage.
5. Add interesting lighting
Lighting can definitely transform how we experience a room, and curved walls offer a great opportunity for some atmospheric lighting. Wall lights are great in a round room, as the wall will pleasantly difuse the light. If you are after a more dramatic effect, a large pendant light hanging from the centre of the room will accentuate the pleasant circular shape of the room.
Dude & Arnette are the UK’s market leader for oast cowl manufacturing, restoration and repairs. We have been the go-to family business for oast house owners since 1937.