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Using Acrylic And Wire Frame Furniture To Preserve An Outdoor View

When you have a beautiful view, you want to be able to enjoy it. That’s basic stuff. But actually pulling it off presents an interesting conundrum. Enjoying your view probably entails having a comfortable place to sit and look at it, but setting out a bunch of furniture on a deck or patio, or even in front of a large picture window, can actually block some of that view from other angles.  One of my favorite workarounds for this problem is using wire frame or clear acrylic furniture. IT won’t clear the way completely, but being able to see through your furniture can help minimize its visual impact. If you’re looking for a compromise between functionality and aesthetics, these see-through materials might be the answer.

Choosing See-Through Furniture

Simple wire frame furniture keeps a panoramic view as clear as possible while providing necessary seating (photo by Espacios y Luz Fotografia)

The principle is simple. Opaque furniture blocks views, while transparent furniture – like acrylic or wire frame furniture – allow it to get through. A wire frame chair and table obviously aren’t invisible, but it’s easy for the human eye to look through them. Like a chain link fence, the furniture is still there (and doesn’t do anything to improve the view), but it’s a heck of a lot better than trying to stare through a brick wall. Glass is certainly a more transparent material, but is too fragile to use as anything but a tabletop.

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Layer Semi-Transparent Barriers

Wire frame furniture that mimics or contrasts your patio railing creates a transparent., three-dimensional look that can turn an eyesore into something interesting (by Applegate Tran Interiors)
Wire frame furniture that mimics or contrasts your patio railing creates a transparent., three-dimensional look that can turn an eyesore into something interesting (by Applegate Tran Interiors)

For a view from a hill or high rise, your outdoor furniture is an extension of the problem of barriers. A steep drop without any kind of railing is dangerous whether or not you have children, but even a low barricade will partially obstruct your view. To make the most of this less-than-stellar reality, consider opting for outdoor furniture that interplays with your fencing in an interesting way. Look for wire frame or acrylic furniture in a similar thickness and similar or contrasting color to the protective railing. The effect isn’t perfect, but it’s a cool visual trick that obscures the view as little as possible.

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Balance “Easy To Overlook” with “Fun To Look At”

Wire frame furniture can add an interesting visual dynamic to your space while keeping your view as unobstructed as possible (by Sarah Greenman)
Wire frame furniture can add an interesting visual dynamic to your space while keeping your view as unobstructed as possible (by Sarah Greenman)

In a barrier-free space, wire frame furniture can cast a unique silhouette. Again, it’s not quite the same as having a totally open space, but retro wire frame chairs are about 90% open space, while creating a cool, regular pattern (and shadow!). It’s simple, lovely, and minimally obtrusive, which is exactly what you want to do the best job preserving your view. Wire frame chairs come in a variety of shapes, so be sure to pick a design that you enjoy. For a little extra camouflage, consider wire frame furniture in a color that blends more naturally with your backdrop.

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Preserve Your View With Clear Plastic Furniture

Clear acrylic outdoor furniture is the next best thing to invisible, and is much stronger and more durable than glass
Clear acrylic outdoor furniture is the next best thing to invisible, and is much stronger and more durable than glass

Clear acrylic chairs work in a similar way, allowing you to look through the furniture rather than at it. Unlike with wire frame furniture, there’s nothing blocking your view. But there is some amount of distortion due to the shape of the furniture. Essentially, it’s a step down from looking through a clear pane of glass. Even if the furniture is perfectly clear, the material will still slightly bend and alter the light. Still, high quality clear polycarbonate chairs are the next best thing to having a totally open view while still having the seating to enjoy it.

Enjoy Your View From Inside With Clear Furniture

Even indoors, acrylic chairs can be a unique design choice, and can help keep the view through a room to an outdoor space relatively clear (by MDSX Contractors)
Even indoors, acrylic chairs can be a unique design choice, and can help keep the view through a room to an outdoor space relatively clear (by MDSX Contractors)

Though this type of see-through furniture is perhaps most useful outdoors, the same principles apply for keeping indoor views clear, too. If you have a large picture window in a dining area or sitting room, choosing one of these semi-see-through materials can help keep that view clear from other parts of the house without having to sacrifice any usable space. It’s also a great way to keep your room from feeling overcrowded, while opening up sightlines.

Do you have a beautiful view you just don’t want to block? Where is it, and what do you do to keep it clear?