Acrylic furniture has been the clear choice for interior décor for a few years now. Designers such as Phillipe Starck and Johnathan Alder and brands such as Wisteria and Tonic Home have featured acrylic furniture as a major part of their ranges. Brand names for acrylic such as Perspex and Lucite have become increasingly popular.
Despite plastics rather poor reputation, its popularity as a furniture material is unsurprising. Its thermoforming nature means that it can be pulled, stretched and formed into many different shapes to create some truly eye-catching pieces. Although clear acrylic is popular, it can use an almost limitless palette to make colour statements that can be bold or subtle, traditional or modern.
Style wise acrylic furniture also has a lot to offer. It can look ultra-modern and fits perfectly with a minimalist approach, but its very nature plastic furniture often links to today’s taste for the retro and vintage. Additionally, acrylic furniture works well alongside traditional and even antique furniture.
Clear acrylic brings additional benefits; in smaller spaces, the furniture is ideal – seemingly taking up less room than traditional furniture and making space less cluttered; for darker rooms it also helps maximise available light.
For most of us the good news is that quality acrylic furniture is no longer the preserve of the big spenders. Increasingly, basic items are available in stores and online. What these lack in design individuality, they more than make up for in value and durability. Properly looked after acrylic furniture will outlast other materials. It doesn’t take any special potions or oils to keep acrylic in ‘just purchased’ condition. In fact, lukewarm water and a non-abrasive disposable cloth is probably all you will ever need. Acrylic is naturally scratch resistant (polish is available to restore scratched furniture) and, for those with young or clumsy ones about the house, it is shatterproof, too.
Just a word to the wise here: quality counts with acrylic furniture as much as everything else in life. An unbelievably low price often means furniture made from low grade and thin acrylic.
Always check the thickness of the acrylic used and check the provenance of the manufacturer.
Entry level items are often limited to stock items but they make a good place to start. So where to begin? End tables are a flexible first choice: useable in living rooms when extra surfaces are required; creating a modern look as bedside tables or a clever addition to light-restricted hallways and landings. Table ranges often include nested tables and coffee tables – get creative and you’ll find your modest investment offers lots of possibilities.
And for those who need to add some smart but practical furniture to student digs and accommodation, acrylic furniture offers some ‘clear’ benefits: lightweight and sturdy it can be transported easily and it can easily mix and match with the landlord’s ‘style’.
For lots of reasons – style, value and flexibility – it seems acrylic is idyllic for the home!