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I’m not really one for living way up in the air. My own apartment is on the ground floor of a four-storey low-rise, and that suits me perfectly fine.

Recently, however, I fell for a Vancouver tower designed by famed British architect Norman Foster. It's striking enough for me to wish I lived 20 floors up. Called Jameson House, its façade is made of four side-by-side cylinders that give the building a unique character. But while the tubes add punch, they create a difficult interior design challenge: what do you do with a circular room?

Circular rooms can be tricky for the obvious reason that most furniture is designed for rectilinear spaces. In some of the units at Jameson House, Foster (who oversaw the interior design as well as the architecture) smartly divided the space with an angled wall — allowing for both a living room and bedroom in the same area — but still played with the shape by using a curvy sofa, side tables and coffee tables.

There is something interesting about the contrast of the curved and straight walls.

Jameson House got me interested in how other designers deal with circular spaces. The above dining room by Peg Berens is gorgeous. The dramatic silk wall covering is beautiful, and works particularly well in the bow of the wall.

This living room isn’t a true circle, but I like how the sofa echoes the gentle curve of the window in this Montreal space.

What I admire most about Patrick J. Baglino Jr.'s living room design here is the wit in the carpet choice, which nods at the whole tension of circular rooms in a world of squares.

Photo credits:
1-3. Foster + Partners, photography by Nigel Young
4. Peg Berens Interior Design
5. House & Home February 2009 issue, photography by Angus McRitchie
6. Patrick J. Baglino Interior Design

Author: 

Matthew Hague

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