When mass produced furniture first became common, it meant the death of intricate detail work. After all, you can’t get ornate hand carved woodwork without any hand carving. But these days, mass produced doesn’t have to mean simple. In fact, it’s easier and more affordable than ever to get furniture with a really lavish finish, whether you’re looking for authentic antique replicas or ones with a more modern twist. Using modern manufacturing techniques, brands like PolArt and PolRey are not only reviving Victorian, Baroque, Rococo, and Louis XV furnishings in all their original glory, but also with a unique and striking contemporary sensibility.
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Antique Replicas Meet Modern Craftsmanship
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The trick to getting really ornate antique replicas isn’t entirely a high-tech one; rather, it lies in making the most out of both modern and traditional crafting techniques. Both PolArt and PolRey use a unique and specialized process of polymer injection to recreate the iconic woodwork styles of antique furnishings, but also hand finish every piece of furniture they make. While the manufacturing process cuts out the lion’s share of the labor, a human touch is still needed to finish off all that fine detailing and upholstery work.
Classic Styles Recreated With Injected Polymers
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For the collections from PolRey, that means furnishings that are as authentic as possible given the process: resin that is wood-toned, gold, or pearl, and upholstery done in jacquard, chenille, and velvet. While on a close inspection the outermost layer of “woodwork” isn’t made of actual wood, the visual effect is authentic and stunning – and will cost you a fraction of what you’d pay for an actual antique. Bonus: their manufacturing process makes it possible to customize each piece you purchase from them, so you can get the exact combination of wood color, fabric, and level of detail work for an incredibly customizable experience.
Reinventing The Classics
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You might be thinking, none of this really screams “modern,” but the traditional feel comes as much from the materials used as the style of the furniture itself. Case in point: PolArt uses the same exact manufacturing techniques, but use polymers that come in a rainbow of bold colors that you couldn’t possibly mistake for wood, and use only vinyl and velvet for upholstery. As with PolRey, you can customize your furniture, opting either for a piece cast and upholstered in the same color, or mix and match for an even more eye-catching finish.
Transforming Antique Replicas Into Pop Art
What makes this swap in color and material feel so different? Largely the fact that it’s unexpected. While the silhouettes of the furniture are familiar, finishing them in a single flat color makes them distinctly alien. The resins used in PolRey’s furnishings are designed to look and feel like polished wood, gradient and all, which makes the flat, boldly-colored finishes of PolArt’s otherwise very similar furniture a little jarring to look at by comparison – which can be a very good thing if you’re aiming for a chic, avant-garde look. Flattening and color shifting an antique silhouette is a popular way for modern design to borrow some of the sophistication of traditional designs for a contemporary space, but these unique antique replicas go a step further by retaining the full original shape of the furniture.
The World’s Coolest Outdoor Furniture
One of the big advantages of PolArt and PolRey’s polymer injected designs is that the finished products is much, much more durable than most other antique replicas – let alone authentic antiques. The polymer used is relatively inert, which means it’s both easy to clean and will hold up well against the type of rough use and wear and tear that would ruin an antique (or even a wood replica). PolArt’s vinyl-upholstered furnishings can even safely be used as outdoor furniture, if you want a patio set that will really blow your guests away. If you like the look of antique furniture but don’t want to be afraid to use it comfortably, this is a great alternative.
Full Furniture Sets And Eye-Catching Accents
Most of PolRey and PolArt’s furnishings are sold both individually and as sets, but which you want to opt for depends entirely on the look you’re going for. If you want a home with a very traditional feel, a full baroque living, dining, or bedroom set might be right up your alley – and it’s simple to buy a full set that’s well-coordinated and includes enough pieces to fill up a room. A single traditional-style replica can work as an accent (though if you ask me, they can feel a bit out of place unless your other furnishings are very traditional), but PolArt’s colorful pieces work beautifully as a statement piece, even (and especially) with an otherwise very simple contemporary decor.
If you love the look of antique replicas (or really artistic modern statement pieces!), don’t let the idea that intricate = expensive stop you from getting a unique and eye-catching style. Chances are, even the most elaborate pieces aren’t as expensive as you think!