See-through furniture is a clear favorite with designers, customers

McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

        

This City Light Phoenix Coffee table by Thomas O'Brien for Century was inspired by a 1970's table the designer found in London.

HIGH POINT, N.C. — Clear the way for style with a little transparency. The use of acrylic and Lucite continues to excite furniture designers and consumers alike.

Anyone can see how clarity elevates what would be just another dresser or chair to a transitional piece that will fit any setting from modern to classic, contemporary to traditional. Among the companies clearly benefiting from the trend are French Heritage, Kelly Hoppen, Century and Global Views, among others.

"Acrylic adds the sparkle to beautiful wood furniture just as diamonds add sparkle to a beautiful woman," said Henessy Wayser, president of French Heritage.

A decidedly modern material, plastic gives classic forms a contemporary ambiance. Here is a look at some of the ways see-through furniture gives any interior a clear edge:

Adding acrylic legs to the tightly upholstered Ava bench from Ambella Home takes this rather traditional piece from ho hum to hip. Also using clear legs to float furniture were Thomas O’Brien for Century and Theodore Alexander.

The City Light Phoenix coffee table by Thomas O’Brien features thick Lucite legs holding up a crotch mahogany wood veneer top that can be swapped for a glass top. The design was inspired by a 1970s piece Mr. O’Brien found in London. Theodore Alexander’s Levitate cocktail table does just what its name suggests, with a mahogany and acacia parquetry top suspended above acrylic panel legs.

Highland House goes a step further with the Molly cocktail table. Completely clear with Greek key detailed feet, the table practically disappears. It’s ideal for small spaces and comes with a clear glass inset top.

French Heritage added side panels of acrylic and draw pulls of the same material to its Riva three-drawer chest and tall Reese semainier chest. The melding of an antique cherry finish with chevron pattern veneer make these pieces irresistible to lovers of modern decor.

Not wanting to disappear is the Degas occasional chair by Kelly Hoppen for Resource Decor. The chair’s acrylic back and arms show off the velvet upholster, and the body is perched atop a metal base. Also using clear Lucite to enhance upholstery and give a little back support is the Where’s Ken vanity chair by Caracole.

Then there’s the Beverly bar cart by Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams. It’s pure cocktail-hour sophistication on casters, with acrylic, satin brass and a mirror tray top to stir things up.

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Websites

Ambella Home: ambellahome.com

Caracole: caracole.com

Century Furniture: centuryfurniture.com

French Heritage: frenchheritage.com

Global Views: globalviews.com

Highland House: highlandhousefurniture.com

Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams: mgbwhome.com

Resource Decor: resourcedecor.com

Theodore Alexander: theodorealexander.com