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Curved Dome Walls: Easy and Fun to Decorate

Image: The indoor courtyard entry at the Atalaya del Vulcan

The indoor courtyard entry at the Atalaya del Vulcan

Image: In this great room, furniture is attractively and conveniently grouped for several activities.
Image: A curved wall makes large furniture look smaller. This very high bed would overpower the room if it were not for the dome wall it’s tucked under.
Image: Is it nap time yet? This comfy, cozy bedroom, with the bed snuggled into the curve of the dome wall, sure makes you feel like enjoying a nap.
Image: A scenic mural follows the curve of the stairway it enhances.

Coming into their own

Monolithic Dome walls are not only good for our environment, safe from natural disasters and cost effective, they’re easy and fun to decorate. Yes, curved walls are finally coming into their own.

What decorators used to puzzle over and dread now has them cheering and praising.


Because interior designers as well as many dome-home owners have discovered the secret of dome decorating: Optical Illusion makes large domes look small on the outside but (and this is really cool) large on the inside.

Vaulted ceilings give rooms an illusion of space bigger than the house plans may indicate. Those vaulted ceilings are popular. But in a dome home, they are also versatile; they can even mimic the outdoors.

Innovative decor

Architect Rick Crandall of Mesa, Arizona named his dome home ‘Chateau de Lumiere’ or “house of light.” With its expansive windows and a sky blue ceiling with fluffy clouds, it’s an inspiring sight.

In Menan, Idaho, Darryl Cunningham, a dome construction project manager, created restful, outdoorsy space in his home, ‘Atalaya del Vulcan’ or “home of the volcano.” He did it with a blue, vaulted ceiling and Italian villa furnishings. Gorgeous!

Optical Illusion allowed Jeff and Susan Crandall of Menan, Idaho to use vaulted ceilings to make small bedrooms look and feel airy and open in their Monolithic Dome home.
Jeff is a dome salesman; Susan grew up in a dome designed by her mother, Marjorie South, the first person to build a Monolithic Dome home.

These three and many others have taken advantage of that Optical Illusion.

The concept is Optical Illusion.

It works in both large and small domes, and it makes round interiors appear large.

For years, designers have used round furniture arrangements to make rooms look bigger. They may hide a corner with a screen or leafy plant or turn a sofa on the diagonal to “round out” the room and focus the seating better. Imagine the fun they (and you) can now have in using Optical Illusion to decorate the curves of a dome home!

Our future columns will address furniture placement, interior wall design that optimizes furniture use, colors, floorings, fireplaces, accessories and many other decorating opportunities for owners of dome homes.

We welcome your questions and are available on the Monolithic Bulletin Board under Dome Decor.

Note: We first published this article in April 2007.