Decoration & celebrations

Acrylic Furniture – a retrospective of transparent furniture design

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Glass looks chic, can be quickly wiped off with a damp cloth, but is unfortunately relatively fragile. It is the edges that are usually damaged, which give the piece of furniture a beautiful line. Colorless ones look very similar Acrylic furniture and are extremely robust at the same time. In a short retrospective, you will learn more about them and how multifaceted they can actually be used.

Acrylic furniture – Hollywood glam of the 80s

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The first acrylic furniture appeared in the 30s during the swing from extraordinary design through the invention of new materials. After the oil crisis, they became very popular and often associated with the typical Hollywood ‘glam’ style. Even then, as it is today, the glass-like pieces of furniture looked extremely chic and extravagant. At first, acrylic was only used as a coating, varnish, paint or adhesive in the furniture industry, then the idea of ​​making furniture entirely from plastic came up.

Acrylic furniture at the beginning – with DuPont

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The plastic for furniture production should produce certain properties that were necessary for the function of a piece of furniture. Plexiglas, Perspex and Lucite stood out as such, although they were related materials from different brands. First these were made in the early 1930’s by DuPont (Lucite) and Rohm & Haas (Plexiglas) developed. In 1937, the first products made of this striking material, such as jewelry, handbags and other accessories, appeared on the Merkt.

The beloved acrylic furniture by Helena Rubinstein

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The first apartment furniture made entirely of Lucite was commissioned by business lady Helena Rubinstein for her New York apartment. With the exception of a few pieces, the furniture consisted entirely of the striking material and was characterized by a little more than glamor. The furniture collection was specially designed for the discerning customer Ladislas Medgyes, who was actually a famous set designer at the time.

Acrylic furniture in Helena Rubinstein’s bedroom

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The aesthetics of the design of the extravagant apartment was almost too surreal due to the transparent effect of the furniture and its curved shapes. The detailed execution delighted the viewer and attracted his attention. With an unrealistically light effect, acrylic furniture created a whole new sense of living. The furniture was designed exclusively for Helen Rubinstein and by the furniture manufacturer Roman & Haas produces.

Acrylic furniture in Helena Rubinstein’s house

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Helena Rubinstein is an American pioneer in the cosmetics industry, originally born in Poland, who was known for her passion for modern art and extravagant design. Over the years, she promoted young artists and scientists and established foundations that still support women researchers today.

Designer acrylic furniture – Charles Hollis Jones

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Charles Hollis Jones is a pioneer in working with acrylic glass for furniture production and designed several pieces between 1960-1970. He has worked with celebrities from America and designed extraordinary furniture for them according to their personal preferences. This is how the famous ‘Wisteria Chair’ for offices was commissioned by the writer Tenessee Wililams. He accepted the challenge of designing furniture that you can look through and with this basic idea he furnished 13 houses with the modernist architect John Lauther.

Hollywood style acrylic furniture

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Combined with light upholstery, carpets and home textiles, the particularly light-looking Plexiglas furniture is now complemented. Similar to glass, plastic also looks extremely attractive in combination with metal or other reflective surfaces such as mirrors. Connecting elements, brackets or purely constructive parts serve a decorative purpose rather than accents.

Midcentury Acrylic furniture for a modern living style

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The plexiglass furniture appeared in the 60s – 70s and therefore brought the midcentury spirit with it. Thanks to their transparent feel, they can be wonderfully integrated into modern surroundings today and also harmonize with traditional living styles. Almost every designer has experimented with it and some have worked with the material for life. These include: Karl Springer, Vladimir Kagan, Charles Hollis Jones, Gaetano Sciolari and others.

Acrylic furniture alongside design classics such as the Tulip table by Eames

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In the 80s, Hollywood glam with its kitschy charisma lost the “good” reputation of the transparent material. It is a good point to prove that while ‘less is more’, there can be times when it just becomes way too much.

Acrylic furniture – Ghost Chair

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From this point of view, it is worth investing in one or two pieces of acrylic furniture that will catch the eye and liven up the interior. A chair, small side table, stool or chandelier with a transparent effect is a wonderful accent in the room and creates a playful atmosphere.

Acrylic furniture fits every style of living

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Perhaps the most famous piece of acrylic designer furniture is the crystal-clear Ghost Chair with armrests by Philippe Strack. The designer designed an entire series of seating furniture for Kartell in 2002, which is still very popular today. Due to the optical transparency, the chair looks as if it has disappeared into the room. Therefore, it fits into any living environment regardless of the rest of the furniture.

Plexiglass chairs around a wooden table in the Earea 

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In the next pictures, the chair is presented very differently under furniture in traditional, modern or more loft style. These only prove how multifaceted the material and a piece of furniture from it can be included in the apartment.

Put acrylic glass chairs in the limelight

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Transparent plexiglass chairs and patterned carpet underneath

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Acrylic furniture combined with massive in modern interiors

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