The History of Acrylic Furniture

lucite ghost bar stools for kitchen island acrylic furniture

Furniture with a Clear Future

Acrylic, also known as lucite, is a material often associated with either Hollywood Regency glamor or Disco-era, but 80 years after it was first created, it is still a versatile and a beloved material in interiors. Let’s take a look at the history behind this acrylic material, as you will see it used often in Gabby furniture and lighting:

History Timeline of Design

acrylic furniture history of lucite

  • Lucite is actually a brand name for a kind of acrylic resin that is basically the same thing as Plexiglas; the Kleenex of acrylic

 

  • The material was created in the 1930s, looking to create a safety glass

 

  • Lucite became commercially available by 1937, used in jewelry, handbags, cosmetics packaging

 

  • During WWII (1939-1945) acrylic was common in use for military applications: airplane windshields, submarine periscopes

 

  • The earliest use of lucite in furniture was 1939-1940. Cosmetics Mogul Helena Rubenstein commissioned a complete suite of furniture for her NY apartment. Furniture was designed by Hungarian artist/interior designer Ladislas Medgyes. Rubenstein is famously pictured in her acrylic furniture which includes a lucite bedframe and ghost chairs

 

  • After the war, manufacturers needed to find non-military uses for Lucite, so they licensed it widely, and by the 1960s it was often found in furniture

 

  • The recent Lucite renaissance can be traced back to 2002 when Philippe Starck introduced his Louis Ghost Chair, produced by Kartell

 

  • Today, Lucite is used in varied styles, its light touch belying its military past

 

Acrylic Furniture from Gabby

Gabby began incorporating lucite into our designs back in 2015. We debuted our first piece of acrylic furniture at High Point Market in April of 2015. The King Bar Stools continue to be our most recognized piece of acrylic furniture. They are being used in transitional and modern interior design all over the world, and we don’t see this trend stopping anytime soon. Why? They are stylish, yet understated. Often referred to as “ghost chairs” they allow for other elements in the room to shine. Modern homeowners living real lives love acrylic furniture because of how easy the material is to clean.

What’s Next for Acrylic Furniture?

Our designers are developing more items with acrylic handles and are looking into developing more seating with acrylic accents and not just the seat panel. If you are looking to add lucite materials throughout your home furnishings, we incorporate them in seating, lighting, hardware, and much more to come!

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