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Now You’re Thinking With Acrylic: Declutter With Acrylic Furniture

Acrylic furniture has always been something of a novelty. After all, there’s really no other way to get totally translucent furniture. Glass and mirrored surfaces come close, but the look of clear acrylic really is in a class all its own. But if you think that means clear acrylic furniture can only be used as an accent or an oddity, think again! The very quality that makes it so distinct to look at also means its easy to look through. Together, that means acrylic chairs and tables are perfect for packing style into small spaces, helping keep crowded rooms looking open, and minimizing visual clutter.

Clear Up Your Kitchen Island Seating

Clear acrylic bar stools can blend in to your kitchen island, helping make the space feel larger and uninterrupted (by JTWdesign LLC)
Clear acrylic bar stools can blend in to your kitchen island, helping make the space feel larger and uninterrupted (by JTWdesign LLC)

One of the most common places I see designers using clear acrylic chairs is in the kitchen – specifically as bar stools for a kitchen island. On the one hand, this is the perfect place to put any kind of bar stool on display. Since it’s the room-facing side of your kitchen, it’s highly visible and a great place to highlight a distinctive or unusual piece. But more importantly, if your greatroom is a little tight – with maybe a little less space between your kitchen and the rest of your furniture – using clear chairs will help keep that in-between space looking a little more open. Bonus for backless stools you can slip under the countertop, keeping them both out of sight and out of the way when they aren’t in use.

Trendy, Translucent Looks For A Small Dining Room Or Breakfast Nook

Pairing clear acrylic chairs with a glass topped table is a great way to squeeze a dining area into a small space without making it feel overcrowded (by Lisa Petrole)
Pairing clear acrylic chairs with a glass topped table is a great way to squeeze a dining area into a small space without making it feel overcrowded (by Lisa Petrole)

Clear acrylic dining chairs come in a close second in popularity, and for a similar reason. If your dining room feels crowded, switching to a full set of acrylic chairs will instantly alleviate the problem. Ditto for a greatroom that doesn’t quite have space for the size dining set you need. Wish you had space for a breakfast nook, but can’t quite swing it? A glass-topped table and matching set of acrylic chairs can help you squeeze that extra seating into a space that feels too small, without making it feel overcrowded. If you want to emphasize the style of the chairs themselves, opt for a darker or more solid table to set them against. But if you want the whole thing to be as inconspicuous as possible, think thin, clear add-ons to help the whole set blend in.

Minimize The Impact Of Your Home Office Setup

Wish your desk or office chair would melt into the background in your off hours? Upgrade to one made of clear acrylic (by Lauren Christine Henno)
Wish your desk or office chair would melt into the background in your off hours? Upgrade to one made of clear acrylic (by Lauren Christine Henno)

Clear acrylic furniture is also a surprising answer to a lot of home office questions that many homeowners are starting to bump into. Need to put a desk in your living room, but don’t want to clutter your space with a full-sized office chair? Grab a clear acrylic chair instead. To be fair, plastic chairs aren’t a great choice if you’ll be at your desk for six or eight hours at a time. But they hold up well for the short-haul, and blend in with your space once you’re off the clock. Just tuck the chair in and forget it’s there. Don’t have space for a big desk, or want one that won’t crowd up the room? Small, clear desks will fade into the background. Larger, extendable desks unfold to give you the surface space you need, and disappear when you’re done for the day.

Create The Illusion Of A Bigger Living Room With A Clear Coffee Table

A clear acrylic coffee table can help open up a crowded living room, and give you a little extra storage space (by The Design Build Company)
A clear acrylic coffee table can help open up a crowded living room, and give you a little extra storage space (by The Design Build Company)

Living room feel a little tight? It’s hard to get away without having a coffee table at all, but opting for a clear one can make your space feel a whole lot more open. Acrylic coffee tables are typically made out of a single seamless sheet of plastic that’s folded into shape. That means minimal lines and almost no disruption in your view through it. Even if you cover every inch of the tabletop in stuff, you’ll still be able to see through the legs. With less of the open space in your living room barricaded off by wood furniture, it will instantly feel less crowded. Bonus: lots of them have a couple extra bends to create a built-in magazine holder, which makes it easier to keep the surface clear.

Sneak In Some See-Through Side Tables

These acrylic nesting tables make you look twice - invisible at a glance, but packed with three tiers of storage (by Cassie Daughtrey)
These acrylic nesting tables make you look twice – invisible at a glance, but packed with three tiers of storage (by Cassie Daughtrey)

The same goes for side tables: if you really need extra surface space in your living room, bedroom, or office, petite acrylic tables are a great way to get a lot of it. I particularly like nesting tables. These are typically sold in sets of three that stack together and can be pulled apart and used as needed. In other words, you get three tables that you can stow in the space of one small, clear cube that’s easy to glance over. You’ll hardly notice it’s there, but it will absolutely get the job done.

Upgrade Your Bathroom With Clear Acrylic Furniture

Because acrylic chairs are water resistant, they make a great accent for your bathtub, or can even be put directly in a walk-in shower (by DeForest Architects)
Because acrylic chairs are water resistant, they make a great accent for your bathtub, or can even be put directly in a walk-in shower (by DeForest Architects)

Of course, acrylic furniture has more going for it than just being see-through. In fact, one of my very favorite uses for it has nothing to do with it being transparent and everything to do with it being…plastic. Okay, so acrylic is closer to glass than the kind of “plastic chairs” you probably think of when you hear the words. But the point stands that it’s both inert and water-resistant. That means you can plunk an acrylic chair down anywhere in your bathroom – including right inside your big walk-in shower – and not have to worry about it getting damaged. They only work as shower chairs in particularly large spaces (and certainly aren’t ADA-approved!). But they can be used as tub-side seats and storage just about anywhere, and are a solid way to add a stylish, semi-permanent seat to your space.

It’s easy to dismiss acrylic furniture as quirky – something a little too daring to pull off in a real home. But this clear, high-quality plastic can blend in with a variety of different styles, and serves small spaces particularly well. So if you’ve ever wished you could slim down, disappear, or streamline any of your existing furniture, it might be worth trying acrylic on for size!