It’s a little bit retro and a little bit Deco, with a dash of Hollywood Regency glamour and even some magic dust thrown in for extra charm.
Luminous, light and transparent, Lucite is experiencing a renaissance in home furnishings that was readily apparent at the recent High Point Market.
“Lucite has become the new jewelry material for the home. It makes rooms feel less serious and formal, bringing a bit of whimsy and playfulness, and adds sparkle to make spaces feel fresh and modern,” said Comer Wear, marketing director at Century Furniture, which introduced both the Stanford Lucite Chair in the opening photo and the dramatic Omni Collection dining table with Lucite legs and an emerald green malachite top, above and below.
“At Century, we’ve introduced a number of upholstered pieces with Lucite feet, and they read like little glass slippers taking the sofas and chairs to the ball! Tell me what woman can’t relate to that?!”
Lucite is a brand name for a kind of acrylic resin that’s essentially the same thing as Plexiglas, Perspex and other trademarks. Just as the brand name “Kleenex” has come to stand for any tissue paper, Lucite has come to be the favored moniker used for acrylic.
First developed in the 1930s by DuPont, Lucite began to be used in handbags and jewelry in the 40s and 50s and, by the 1960s, was often seen in furniture as well. A fascinating history of Lucite can be found in an article by Apartment Therapy, here.
As the article suggests, the current revival in Lucite can probably be traced back to the Louis Ghost Chair introduced by Philippe Starck and produced by Kartell in 2002, shown below with a Lucite table in a Palm Springs interior designed by Michael Moloney and photographed by Joe Schmeizer for Elle Décor.
At the recent #HPMkt, not only did the Century Omni table and Stanford Chair turn heads; the new Marilyn Chair by Global Views created quite a buzz.
It’s shown above with an admiral blue upholstered seat, and below in emerald green. The chair was offered in five saturated colors, also including pewter, gold and lavender, creating a rich juxtaposition of a tufted mohair cushion with a traditional silhouette and the modern material of Lucite.
As you can see below, the chair was “Style-Spotted” by our designer, author and tastemaker friend Gary Inman of Gary Inman Home Couture.
While Lucite was used as the primary material for pieces like the Marilyn Chair, it was often used as an accent, providing a punctuation mark for a larger piece in a broader setting. For example, acrylic gave sparkle to the overscaled hardware on the Crawford Cabinet below by Jonathan Adler.
Perfect for commanding a room as a bar or armoire, the oversized brass and Lucite hardware on the Crawford Cabinet again creates a style juxtaposition with the cracked lacquer finish in an update of an old Chinese technique.
At Lee Industries, Lucite was used on the sides of an acrylic bench in the fun Zulu Brown fabric, perfect for the end of a bed or an entryway or even used as a cocktail table.
And at luxury home furnishings brand Marge Carson, the graceful curves and sweeping forms of the Deville Sofa were punctuated by sparkling nailhead and Lucite “glass slippers.”
Perhaps the fairytale quality of Lucite will lead to happily-ever-afters for our interiors?
Truly, the magical sparkle of Lucite fits in beautifully with the jazz-age glamour that, according to Gary Inman in his “The Art of Fine Living” blog, “heralds a greater sense of optimism and celebration” in home décor.
Kim Darden Shaver
Leslie Hendrix Wood
Founder, Editor In Chief