2017 marks the 15th anniversary of the debut of one of the most recognizable chairs of the last two decades: Philippe Starck’s Louis Ghost Armchair. Now lauded as a postmodern triumph, the chair’s appeal is clear (pun intended), as it unites seamless, see-through polycarbonate with calculated geometric lines in a design that draws inspiration from the late 18th century. Significantly, its entry into the realm of high design in 2002 signaled a shift in public attitude towards translucent objects in the interior.
Today, clear furnishings, decorative items and lighting—comprised of transparent acrylic (referred to often by its brand name Lucite), crystal, and glass—add interest to modern, contemporary, and eclectic interiors. And, while there’s no formula for bringing these see-through spectacles into your interior for a glamorously composed space, there are a few tried-and-true ways to accent these pieces.
1. Pair with Metallics
Mixing materials makes them pop—and balancing transparent substances with highly reflective metals ensures each shines. Perhaps it’s the interplay of densities—the seemingly weightless glass or acrylic paired with the visual heaviness of dense iron or steel—or the difference in color—between colorless clarity and a strong metallic sheen—but this coupling makes for a dynamic pair.
2. Style with High Texture Accents
The imagination of interior designers gives us a renewed appreciation for the limitless ways to style transparent objects. Yet, we can’t help but detect a common thread in many of these looks: texture. Feathered pillows on see-through chairs, fur rugs beneath glass lighting, and woven accents on acrylic end tables give form and definitions to “hardly there” objects.
3. Compose with Color Pops
Neutral on neutral with see-through lighting and furnishings makes for a colorless interior. To add interest to a monochromatic space, insert complementary splashes of color with tinged vases, books, or other decorative objects. These are ideal to place on transparent shelves and tables—surfaces intended to hold eye-catching items.
If you’re ready to kick-start your own transparent layout, there’s no better place to begin than lighting. We offer a number of glass and crystal collections whose streamlined design and perfect clarity make them a natural fit in layouts with other glass, and even Lucite, decor. Take Harlow, for instance.
Our Harlow collection combines Hollywood glam and streamlined sophistication with the latest in lighting technology. The solid faceted crystal column and tail are illuminated from within by light-emitting diodes (LED) and are fully dimmable with electronic low-voltage dimmers. The "Ivory Ice" shade completely conceals its incandescent light source and is trimmed in rings of hand-applied silver leaf so calming we call it "Tranquility."
See more in clear lighting here.