If you boil architectural design down to two fundamental elements you’d be left with two types of lines: straight and curved. It’s the careful composition and interaction of these two opposing elements that can make architecture so interesting and engaging. Straight lines can imbue strength, order and symmetry, for example, while curved lines can evoke softness, elegance and gracefulness.

A timeless technique for infusing tasteful curves into a home’s design is through arched ceilings, frames, niches and doorways. Whether traditional or contemporary, arches can make spaces not only look stunning but feel even more comfortable and inviting, too.

Two arches with decorative keystones create a gorgeous entryway for this dining room we designed for a family home in Massachusetts. The arched openings were designed large enough to allow for plenty of space and natural light while encouraging family gatherings and togetherness.

New Hampshire architecture firm

Design by TMS Architects

When renovating this historical waterfront home in Maine, we utilized an elegant archway design to connect the foyer to the living room while simultaneously highlighting the gentle curves of fanlight over the front door.

This picturesque reading nook features a serene, neutral palette and lots of curved lines. Notice how the woodworking combines angles and curves that add interest and depth while an arched niche creates a charming window seat. From this view, a subtle archway down the hall frames the whole bright and sunny space beautifully.

Here’s a wonderful example of how arches can be used in a more subtle way to enhance interior architecture. Here, we integrated a slight arch with wood paneling that runs perpendicular to the curves in order to mark the end of the staircase.

This arched doorway featured in House Beautiful shows off another way to decorate this architectural feature. In addition to the keystone at the top, the arch is decorated with springers on either side to create a column-like visual effect.

Whether you are looking to renovate a historical building, remodel an existing home or a build anew, TMS Architects can help you achieve a timeless design with exquisite architectural detail.