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Wavy lines and curvy shapes add a playful twist to furniture and accessories. Learn the history behind this quirky trend and check out our favorite picks for squiggly decor.

By Jessica Bennett
March 31, 2021
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Chevron had its shining moment throughout the 2010s, when repeating angular lines zigzagged across furniture, walls, and almost every accessory in our homes. As this once-prevailing pattern finally fades away, it's being replaced by a looser, curvier pattern: the squiggle. Popping up on mirrors, area rugs, and tabletop items like candlesticks and vases, this quirky shape is poised to become the chevron of this decade.

wall mirror with wavy wood frame
Credit: Courtesy of Urban Outfitters

Wavy decor was recently called out by Etsy as a top design trend for 2021. The company reported a whopping 28,236% increase in searches for wavy candles and a 5,296% increase in searches for wavy mirrors over the past three months, compared to the same time last year. "As shoppers increasingly look for creative additions to their homes, these wavy decor pieces are eye-catching conversation-starters and add a touch of playfulness to any home," says Dayna Isom Johnson, Etsy's trend expert.

Groovy blob shapes and doodle-like patterns feel fresh and fun in today's interiors, but squiggly decor got its start decades ago with the radical Memphis design movement, Johnson says. Founded in 1980 in Milan, Italy, the Memphis Group was a collective of designers and architects whose colorful, attention-grabbing style verged on the bizarre. (The group's name comes from a Bob Dylan song that was playing on repeat during their first meeting.) The movement eschewed the structured minimalism of midcentury modern designs, drawing inspiration from the geometric forms and vibrant colors of Art Deco and Pop Art aesthetics. Punchy colors, unexpected shapes, and squiggly patterns defined the kitschy, rule-breaking style that still appeals today.

To incorporate the squiggly decor trend into your space, start with small touches, Johnson suggests. For example, try swapping a standard mirror or vase with a curvier design for an unexpected accent. "Any item that typically incorporates geometric shapes—like lines, arches, or squares—can easily take on a wavy form," she says. The effect is slightly wacky, to be sure, but a little strangeness can bring a lot of joy. Snag one of these squiggly decor picks to add some cheer to your space.

pastel wavy candles
Credit: Courtesy of Etsy

Colorful Wavy Candles

Brighten up a dining room tablescape or a living room vignette with these fun pastel candles. The squiggly design is handcrafted from 100% soy wax and measures 24 centimeters tall (about 9 inches). Light them to release the scent, or leave them unlit for a pretty decorative accent.

Buy It: Squiggle Candle ($18, Etsy)

frameless squiggly mirror with wood base
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Abstract Mirror

With a curvy abstract shape, this mirror can serve as a funky makeup mirror or a stylish accent on a side table or shelf. The frameless design stands up with the help of a wood base. The mirror measures approximately 9 x 10 inches.

Buy It: All Things Shared Decorative Acrylic Mirror with Stand ($20, Amazon)

pink and gray rug with squiggle design
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Pastel Squiggle Rug

Wavy lines give this shag rug retro appeal. The 1-inch pile provides a plush feel underfoot, and color options include pastel pink, blue-green, and red. It's available in sizes ranging from 1 x 3 feet to 8 x 10 feet.

Buy It: Novogratz Retro Collection Retro Wave Shag Area Rug ($39-$314, Amazon)

blue and yellow wavy vase on stack of book
Credit: Courtesy of Etsy

Curvy Two-Color Vase

Wavy acrylic panels give this vase a bold color-blocked look. The squiggly vessel measures about 8 inches tall. It's also available in a mirrored finish.

Buy It: Modern Abstract Acrylic Art Wave Vase ($24, Etsy)

wall mirror with wavy wood frame
Credit: Courtesy of Urban Outfitters

Squiggly Framed Mirror

A wavy wood frame puts a playful twist on this wall mirror. Measuring 65 x 35 inches, it's perfect for hanging in a bedroom or entryway for last-minute outfit checks. It arrives ready-to-hang with hardware and a mounting bracket included.

Buy It: Roma Wavy Wall Mirror ($329, Urban Outfitters)

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