Looking at Lucite

Today we thought we’d take a closer look at (through?) Lucite.  A trademarked name, like Kleenex or Xerox (and, of course, Anaglypta), that is synonymous with its product, Lucite was first manufactured in the 1930s.  It has the visual lightness of glass, but the functionality of plastic.  Its sheerness makes it something of a chameleon; it looks right at home next to leopard prints and brass in the most glossy of rooms, but also makes a nice pairing with more toned-down organic elements.

This room is a good example of Lucite holding its own in a more neutral, rustic space.  These ghost chairs take center stage without taking up visual space.  Raise your glasses to Lucite, and to the high-waisted pants trend!

Lucite in kids rooms to us seems a bit much (remember this crib?), but as book ledges its function dominates and it doesn’t seem so contrived.

This is the perfect mix that is, again, best paired with menswear-inspired trousers.  But if you’ve created this elegant little writing corner, we’re not too worried about the rise of your pants.

This room is edgy and sophisticated (and the occupants apparently have a thing for sea urchins). The Lucite table melds into the dramatic dark walls and lets the rug underfoot do its best to soften the room.

Because Lucite seems to float in a room, Lucite tables can handle a lot of objects without looking cluttered. They’re a good choice for bar carts and coffee tables, as in these next two photos.

We can each think of about 15 places in our homes where this amazing vintage vanity could live.  Those bowed legs!

We each have Lucite tables that we love.  Here is Katie’s thrifted Lucite side table:
Red House West || Before & After - Chamber of Secrets RevealAnd here is Mera’s coffee table from CB2:
Red House West || Mera's House

Lucite is soft and does get scratched and can also turn cloudy over time. We’ve had good luck fixing both issues and keeping our tables clean with this cleaning system.

Happy Monday!

12 responses on “Looking at Lucite

  1. Katy gilmore

    Lucite isn’t really my thing – want so much to put my feet on coffee tables – but love how your own use examples combine it with other styles. And, I’d happily read you guys writing about anything !

    1. Mera

      You are welcome to put your feet up on my table anytime, but I also understand the sense that it isn’t as inviting for kicking back. Thanks Katy!

      1. Katy gilmore

        That is a kind offer ! Maybe such tables are like tables with finishes that get rings from wet glasses or hand-stitched textiles one can’t bounce on. Beautiful. But not good for kicking back as you say. Still beautiful and desirable. Xo

  2. Carol Bryner

    Glass coffee tables and bookshelves just freak me out, so Lucite seems a good substitute for that. Especially in a house with young children. Still, like Katy, I could never comfortably put my feet up on a glass or a Lucite table, and I’m not sure I want anyone seeing my bottom through a transparent chair. But this was, as usual, fun to read and fun to look at.

  3. Lea

    I can report, this post has taught me how little I care for Lucite. No offense to Mera’s coffee table — which does a good job of letting that gorgeous rug be seen but which I don’t think I would be at all comfortable using as a foot rest — of all the scenes you sampled only the small children’s book shelves and Katie’s little side table have any appeal to me. The ghost chairs, larger tables and bar cart just do not tickle my fancy. If you had asked me earlier today, “What do you think of Lucite furniture?” I would have admitted to never having considered it and probably said it might be an interesting idea. One of the things that is truly great about your blog, is that it encourages me to reflect in ways that I otherwise wouldn’t and in that way has helped me to more specifically identify my own style.

  4. Brittany @ white dog vintage

    I like Lucite quite a bit most of the time. I think I like it most in table form, and I’d love to have a Lucite coffee table to show off my living room rug a bit more. It’s also a smart small-space trick. All that said, I could go very happily without seeing a ghost chair for a while. In theory, they’re neat, but in reality they are definitely a design element that reached has saturation for me.

    Interesting that Lucite is yet another example of genericide; I always just assumed that was the name of the material. Good stuff!

    1. Mera

      I’m with you on ghost chairs. They’re a dime a dozen on pinterest, but you never see images of people actually sitting in them–not such a pretty sight I’d bet. Thanks, Brittany!

  5. isabel

    I love the look of Lucite, but I was wondering how easily it could scratch. I seem to recall lots of lines on lucite tables i’ve seen. thanks for the post.

    1. Mera

      My experience is that Lucite is not the most durable material, and scratches easily. That said it’s also fairly easy to remove scratches with the product that we linked to. Thanks! 🙂

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