Celebrate Geometry to Get a Sharp-Looking Style

When we discuss geometry in design and architecture, we are speaking about using lines and curves and planes. These aren’t the natural shapes of a shrub or a stream, but instead things that may be quantified and calculated with compasses and protractors and rulers (or at least that’s what we used when I was in high school).

Geometric design is not elaborate and filled with flourish — it’s simple and tough edged and crisp. It had been popular in the ’50s and ’60s, and just like all things midcentury, it has made a major comeback. Nevertheless, it’s not all space age modernism. Many geometric patterns are all rooted in conventional patterns from all over the world. The Greek key design is a classic example, as are ikat and easy stripes.

These 14 examples reveal geometric design in all its bold, no-nonsense beauty.

Kevin Daly Architects

This midcentury house has a striking wooden display that juts out in sharp angles. It almost resembles a spaceship.

Eisner Design LLC

A geometry-inspired rectangle with a beautiful and radically canted roofline. You could plot that angle onto a chart pretty easily.

Chang + Sylligardos Architects

Windows and the rooms here are all rectangles. The house looks as if it were made from gray Lego pieces.

Skylab Architecture

This is a beautiful instance of natural and earthy materials meeting structured and nature-defying lines. This house to the two at a monument.

The Garden Route Company

So much of contemporary landscape design depends upon juxtaposing the randomness of nature against the hard and fast rules of geometry. This is a beautiful instance of squares and rectangles contrary to the unpredictable shapes of plants.

VOH Architects

This floor is an Escher-like pattern of squares and diamonds that become 3-D boxes. It has the traditional sense of Middle Eastern design in a wholly contemporary setting.

Lindsay von Hagel

The quilt-like pattern onto this wallpaper is made up of equilateral triangles.

Elevation Architectural Studios

An illusion of the tile. I think this could make me dizzy.

The geometrical kaleidescope pattern of linked circles on this midcentury wallpaper is a bold match for orange plaid, which can be a geometric pattern in its very own way.

Drawing Dept

A subtle white-on-white geometric pattern adds texture into a contemporary kitchen.

S / Wiley Interior Photography

The omnipresent chevron pattern (I’m still a fan) adds a small geometry to this milder, more free-form living room.

The Office of Charles de Lisle

This light fixture is a geometric interpretation of nature, a branch represented in tough angles and straight lines. So lovely.

Brian Watford Interiors

This world light is another piece of geometry.


Geometry in design doesn’t need to be all machine age precision. This drawing combines the uniqueness of freehand.

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