Ever thought of introducing some clear acrylic furniture or accent piece into your home?
If so, find out everything you need to know – both good and bad – before you buy that new clear acrylic piece for your home.
fyi…Acrylic comes in clear and colored versions. We will discussing the pros and cons of clear acrylic versus other tinted acrylic furniture. While they may be very similar in terms of advantages and disadvantages, there are some of these which apply mainly to clear acrylic furniture.
Pros of Clear Acrylic Furniture
The benefits or advantages of clear acrylic furniture are numerous. If you are looking for a clean, sleek modern look in your home, you will surely be encouraged to buy when you find out the many pros of these furniture pieces made with clear acrylic.
1. Airy Look and Feel
Just like glass, acrylic is clear. While not quite as clear and translucent as glass, it does provide a similar look and feel in your home decor.
The properties of both glass and acrylic is that they are clear – a piece of furniture that you can see through. When you can see through a piece of furniture, it makes the room feel more airy and larger as your eye does not stop at the piece of furniture – it just keeps going until it sees something solid and opaque.
For small spaces, this can be a big advantage allowing your space to look bigger than it is. In other home decor styles such as modern or coastal, acrylic furniture can also work well to create that airy and open feeling.
In large rooms, acrylic furniture can also add to that feeling of spaciousness by not appearing to take up much floor space.
2. Acrylic is Easy to Clean
Again, as with glass, acrylic is very easy to clean – no to mention that it is quite obvious when it is dirty so you know when it needs to be cleaned.
Simply use a soft cloth with some soapy water and you are done.
There is a word of caution though with the cleaning of acrylic furniture. Do not use any strong chemicals as they can cause the acrylic to fog – something that you cannot undo.
3. Provides a Modern Sleek Look to your Decor
If you are looking for a sleek modern home decor style, than a piece or pieces of acrylic furniture should be on your shopping list.
Because acrylic has to be molded into its shape, the furniture pieces tend to be very simplistic in design, which fits well into modern and contemporary styled homes. This is in contrast to highly decorative or ornate pieces of turned wood furniture which work better for traditional or classic homes.
4. Wide Variety of Acrylic Furniture Pieces Available
With major innovations in furniture design as well as the integration of new and unique materials, acrylic as a base material, has found its way into just about every piece of furniture that you can imagine.
In the marketplace today, you will find the more obvious examples of acrylic furniture all the way to the less expected.
The obvious examples of acrylic furniture are coffee tables, side tables, and even chairs and bar stools.
Some of the lesser known pieces include console tables, book shelves, pedestals, desks, beds and even storage trunks.
So just when you thought you could not find the exact acrylic piece you were looking for…look again…you will find it.
5. Pets Don’t Like Acrylic
Please do not interpret this as I am an animal hater – not at all.
I do have experience though that pets – at least cats anyway – do not like acrylic. That is not to say that you should not buy acrylic furniture.
My point really is specific to my personal situation. In my dining room, I have acrylic dining chairs. My cats refused to jump up on them. Even when we placed them on the chairs, they did not like it.
I see that as a bonus only for the reason that I don’t particularly like my pets jumping onto my dining table. The fact that they would not jump onto the chairs – which could then easily lead them to the table top – made my life a bit simpler. I just never had to worry about putting a nice piece of salmon on the table, leave for a second, and then find one of my sweethearts dining on it before the humans go to it.
In my experience, my cats would not jump onto the clear chairs and hence, could not make it to the dining table. As they were older, they were unable to jump directly onto the table.
6. Artistic Effects of Acrylic Furniture
Perhaps an unintended or intended benefit of acrylic furniture is the artistic effect that it helps to create.
Decorative items placed on a piece of acrylic furniture will appear to be floating in the room. Think of an acrylic bookshelf with various decorative accent pieces placed on it. All of these items will appear that they are floating in space – a unique artistic impression beyond the decorative items themselves.
In this living room, it appears that either the wicker baskets are floating or are hanging on the wall – makes you look twice, right! And that, my friends, is often the purpose and beauty of any piece of art.
7. Clear Acrylic Goes With Everything
Clear acrylic furniture is neutral – or is that too obvious 🙂
I would suggest that clear acrylic furniture is even more neutral than white, grey or black.
So, no matter what your decor color choices and finishes in your home right now, you can easily introduce a piece or pieces of acrylic furniture and not have to worry about whether the colors will coordinate or not. Your only concern will be whether the style of the piece works with the rest of your decor.
Cons of Acrylic Furniture
Now that you have read the benefits of acrylic furniture, you may have already decided that an acrylic table, chair, or bookshelf is for you.
If you are still on the fence…or just want to know everything you can about acrylic furniture, then continue to read about the disadvantages of introducing acrylic furniture into your home decor.
1. Will Show Fingerprints
Similar to glass, mirrors and stainless steel, acrylic will show fingerprints – big and small.
So if you are averse to those pesky fingerprints – and you have little ones who aren’t afraid to touch everything – you may not want to introduce an acrylic coffee table or acrylic chair into your living room or dining room, respectively.
2. Acrylic is Completely Transparent
You may be saying to yourself…yes, the fact that acrylic is transparent is obvious. Why is this a negative quality of acrylic?
The reasoning for mentioning this disadvantage really applies only to certain pieces of acrylic furniture such as a storage unit or trunk of some kind.
An acrylic trunk – or see-thru storage trunk – will not be very good at hiding any of the ‘uglier’ things you want to store away. It will only be good for storing ‘nicer’ looking things in an organized manner.
So, if you want a storage bench or trunk to hide your decorating sins, than an acrylic trunk is not for you.
3. Acrylic Not as Durable as some Other Furniture Materials
Acrylic is hard – there is no doubt about that. And, a piece of acrylic furniture – with proper maintenance and care – will last a long time.
The only point is that if acrylic breaks or cracks, it cannot be repaired easily. This is in direct comparison to a piece of wood furniture which, if cracked or broken, can generally be repaired fairly easily.
This is not to say that acrylic is not hard and durable – it is. The main point about acrylic furniture is that, if damaged, it cannot not be easily fixed. If there is a serious break, it is almost impossible to repair.
4. Design Limitations
Due to the production of acrylic, it does not have the same availability and variety of designs as, say wood.
Having said that, it should be noted that with new innovations in manufacture and design, acrylic furniture has come a long way and there are many different varieties of design available – not as many as you will find in wood or other materials but, more than in the recent past.
5. Acrylic Scratches – Cannot be Repaired Easily
Acrylic can be easily scratched with normal wear and tear.
This may be a deterrent for you but it should be noted that acrylic can scratch just as wood or laminate furniture can. In fact, it may scratch less easily but it can still be damaged.
The biggest issue is that it cannot be repaired easily like wood can. When a piece of wood furniture is damaged with scratches, it can easily be repaired with readily available wood fillers.
According to some research I have done, there are some plastic fillers which can be purchased. I am not sure of their effectiveness as I have never tried them. Some also claim that you can have large scratches buffed out by a professional. Depending on the price and value of your piece, having a professional involved may not be the most financially wise.
If you have any experience with either, please let me know and I will inform my clients.
The reason I mention this is because someone who really likes the look of a sleek and clean acrylic finish – which appears seamless and perfect – may be disappointed with even the smallest of scratches, lessening its look of smooth perfection.
6. Safety Issues
Because the acrylic we are talking about here is clear, this can create a safety issue – for both the young and old. For example, a clear coffee table may not be seen by someone and they may mistakenly run into it. Trust me, it may seem extreme but, it can happen.
Another issue to consider if you want to incorporate clear acrylic furniture is the nature of the design of the pieces.
For example, bar stools made of acrylic tend to have less ornate and intricate designs. This can include being so sleek that they may not have arms. Not having arms can be less safe for general seating but, especially for small children.
Also because acrylic is very smooth and slippery, any chair or bar stool will provide less stable and secure seating – especially if you compare this to a wooden chair or upholstered bar stool.
Is Clear Acrylic Furniture For You?
Now that you know all there is to know about clear acrylic furniture, are you ready to add some to your home decor?
In general, acrylic furniture is very durable, will last a long time with normal wear and tear, cleans easily, and will fit into almost any decor style. The only real drawbacks are that it does show almost any kind of marking – whether temporary fingerprints or permanent scratches – and it can be somewhat of a safety hazard but mainly in homes with small or young children.
Hint of Acrylic
If you are not fully committed to a furniture piece done completely in clear acrylic, you can opt for a chair or table with a hint of acrylic. In today’s marketplace, you can find many dining chairs, living room chairs, benches, as well as some sofas, which have clear acrylic legs only – the rest of the chair or sofa is done in a more traditional design and materials.
The benefit to this hint of acrylic is that the requirements for regular cleaning and care – of mainly fingerprints – are lessened greatly.
Let’s Go Acrylic Furniture Shopping
If you are ready to add that clear acrylic coffee table, acrylic side table, acrylic dining chairs, acrylic bookcase, acrylic bed or you are ready to really dive in and buy a clear acrylic dining table, you can start shopping shop for that new acrylic furniture piece right now.