At the risk of sounding like something of a weirdo, I get really excited by acrylic… no, wait, come back. This is not a special-interest post . I genuinely appreciate its aesthetics. I admire the creativity. I wonder at the variety of contemporary uses of this amazing material. See, entirely normal (ahem….)
Plastic was invented in the 1930s and was developed in every industry sector from then on. But it is during the 60s we really think of its ‘arrival’ for the mass market. In a decade renowned for its emphasis on style and fashion, the fact that plastics had become highly developed was a huge advantage. Home décor benefited, and eccentric designer furniture such as inflatable chairs and acrylic lights became “must haves” for fashion-conscious consumers.
Recently, I have seen some gorgeous examples of acrylic in interiors and design and feel they haven’t been given the plaudits they deserve. Kartell have ensured this material has enjoyed must-have status over the last decade and produce the most covetable products season after season by way of some incredible collaborations. Last year I purchased several pieces from the Kartell range at Amara for a bathroom which hit the nail on the head design-wise. They are as pleasing in a contemporary setting as in an eclectic or period room (and as we know, beauty is in the detail).
The neon colours were spot on – I count neon, like leopard print, as a ‘neutral’ (its my age) and perfect pieces to accessorise our kids’ Orla Kiely patterned bathroom. Sadly, I think they were possibly less excited by the new towel rail and shelving than me. I know, kids today right? *rolls eyes*
Well all that’s about to change. Step forward the design legend and acrylic Jedi that is Philippe Starke (yes, he of Ghost chair fame). The French originator waded into the mix with his range for Kartell which is absolutely enfant-friendly. The swings (which are constructed from acrylic with contrasting ropes) are available in a glorious array of colours blurring the line between furniture and art. C’est trop fantastique non?
Whilst we are thinking of the kids – these rockers are also future icons if you ask me. That shape. Those colours.. total perfection. Not that I would let one of my small luddites on one, thats what the park is for. Japanese designers Nendo have created these rockers for Kartell and their recent kinder-friendly range. (I would rather mount them on the wall instead of a stag’s head).
A company that keep grabbing my attention recently are the London-based Baker Street Boys. Aside from some really cool product design ( their jigsaw-style Connect serving boards are most covetable) their mash-ups of materials are really exciting. Most notably this little beaut in wood and perspex. What is not to like? Its scandi-inspired cool of the future. A contemporary step on from the natural and rustic though, and for me, embraces the best of both worlds. Check them out.
Across the pond, CB2 are doing wondrous things with this sensational substance. I have featured their desk before (in my blog on small-space living, see-through furniture is brilliant in compact abodes giving the illusion of space) but there is more. Much more.
Witness the genius of their wheeled drinks trolley /unit. I love a brass bar cart as much as the next interiors nut, but I wouldn’t say no to one of these. Possessing all the glam of an art deco piece and, accessorised with some urban jungle-friendly cacti and a copper vase or candleabra, would definitely be worthy of any modern living or drawing room.
Spotted: this gorgeous neon acrylic contemporary chair at the Soho hotel in London. And where interiors are concerned, Firmdale’s Kit Kemp is something of an oracle. The Soho, Ham Yard, Covent Garden & Charlotte Street Hotels are just a few of her inspirational IG-worthy spaces.
Whilst neon or plastic room styling may not be for the traditionalist or admirers of a vintage aesthetic, those with a more eclectic taste could do worse than pop a piece of perspex into the mix. Lets see what A/W16 brings.