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The Virtues of Clear Décor

The following post is from Lindsey M. Roberts, a design & décor writer:

clear console and chair
source: CB2

Two friends of mine have told me they were going to toss pieces of acrylic or lucite furniture that they had; one wanted to get rid of a Z-chair, the other wondered if her nesting end tables fit into her more traditional style.

“Don’t do it!” I said. (“But if you do, give them to me!”)

Here are my reasons for keeping those items from the dump.

source: Pottery Barn

They add a touch of modern, but go with any style

A clear acrylic console, glass see-through lamps, or clear polycarbonate chairs add variety and interest to any style of décor. Even though clear plastic or large swaths of glass seem to have a modern edge, they can freshen up a more traditional home with something unexpected.

Good for small spaces, less blockage of sight lines

Our apartment is small. To reduce visual clutter, I’ve placed two Tobias chairs from Ikea up against a wall with a sliding-glass door. I think this helps us prevent us from feeling hemmed in by lots of furniture, while still giving us some extra seating.

living room
source: West Elm

Lets other pieces stand out

In that same vein, clear glass and acrylic not only reduce visual clutter to help your space feel bigger, but they let other pieces in the room take the spotlight. The flowers on a table or paintings on a wall can be what your eye is drawn to.


So if you have a vintage acrylic piece of furniture, keep it! And if you’re looking for a way to add more to a space but don’t want to crowd it, consider something clear.

Some of my favorite options are the aforementioned Tobias chairs and nesting tables and consoles like those found at CB2. You can also find clear glass lamps and vintage pieces on Craigslist or antique stores.

If you’re not looking for lamps or furniture, you can get a similar effect with glass candlesticks, a row of glass candleholders, or a grouping of glass vases.

Where could you use a piece of clear furniture or clear accessories?

Lindsey M. Roberts has covered design, décor, and homes from Washington state to Washington, D.C., writing for publications such as Seattle Homes & Lifestyles, Apartment Therapy, The Washington Post, and Preservation and Architect magazine.