Lucite in the Sky with Diamonds

This just in – Lucite is not longer for stripper heels or for your lewd cousin Sally. Although I always associated the material with wanton fantasies and ladies of the night, its style resurgence has begun!

The material can be used to preserve items in a resin like substance – it also has a bevy of other uses including in CDs, tattoo ink, ceramics, rocket fuel, fiber optics, dental fillings, aquarium windows, hockey rinks, jewelry, cosmetic surgery, and basically everywhere one looks. Perspex, a type of lucite, has been used as a surface to paint on (rather than traditional canvas) by Salvador Dali.

Is it a table? A book? A Painting? Salvador Dali, Freud, Moise et le monothéisme, 1974  The texts chosen above were actually based in alchemy. 

Hailed as a chemical wonder and used in World War II bombers. Lucite was able to be explored in more domestic settings after the war. Here is an illustration from Modern Materials for Modern Living: Bakelite Plastics, 1957. I am assuming the windows are plexiglass. Image found HERE.

Simply put, lucite is a shatter resistant, acrylic alternative to glass. The material was developed in 1928 in various laboratories, and was first brought to market in 1933 by Rohm and Haas Company, under the trademark Plexiglas. It has since been sold under many different names including Lucite and Perspex. I was going to attempt to give you the full and official name but all the “poly”, “methyl”, “acrylate”, “methylpropenoate”, and other chemically words had be a bit tongue tied.


A simple and clean solution to a watch display. Image found via The Glitter Guide, HERE.

Lucite backed bar stools and  the notable Oly Studio lighting. 

The translucent material camouflages itself to match any decorating scheme. Image via DecorPad. 

I spy Domino Magazine! That coffee table allows the magazines to look as though they are in a shadowbox on display. The lucite screen divider separates a room without shrinking its size. Image screen cap found via Lonny Magazine.

Image found HERE.

Contemporary gray foyer entry design with lucite acrylic console table, tall slat back chair, owl umbrella stand, white & black abstract art, white branch candle holders, gray walls paint color, crown moulding and crystal chandelier by Lori Graham. Image found HERE. 

A pop of color is calmed down by the clarity of lucite! Image by Tara Seawright, found HERE.

Cinderella would have made an entrance down this staircase whether or not she was wearing her glass (or lucite) slipper. The bannister is designed by Thomas Britt. Hanging on the stairs is Walking Cake II by Laurie Simmons. Photos by Andi Hatch and Francois Halard. Image found HERE. 

I would not mind reading, writing, or working at this wonder of a desk. Image via Atlanta Homes Magazine.


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White Hot

Let’s get technical (sung to Olivia Newton John’s “Let’s Get Physical”) White is a color, although it is also an optical illusion. The color white is merely a perception which is evoked by light (the color white does not exist without light) that stimulates all three types of color sensitive cells in the human eye. These cells are actually all stimulated in nearly equal amount and with high brightness compared to the surroundings in order to produce the color white.  An object whose surface reflects back most of the light it receives (opaque) and does not alter its color will appear white. Most sources of light and incandescence also appear white. The etymology of the word “white” in most languages usually also means “bright”, “reflected”, and “light”. Clearly ancient civilizations understood the concept that the color white was similar to lightwaves way before science caught up.

When white appears in nature (such as clouds, and snow) the color is actually only water crystals reflecting back the light of the sun. Remember, even the moon at night (which often appears white) is reflecting back the color of the sun.

Rather than delve into the man-made connotations of the color (purity, chastity, holiness, weddings, mournings, et. al.), I think of white merely as an extension of the sun and life, and the light provided by stars. This is its natural state, devoid of context.

Image and furniture via Ikea. White furniture in a white living room can create an illusion of space.

Both of the above images are from the same home. And, technically speaking, if you were to view these white spaces against a dark backdrop, the brightness would be even more obvious!  White allows deeper hued objects (such as vases, books, and flowers) to pop at full potential. The contrast between the white and the tchotchkes allows each object to be put on a pedestal. It also allows each object to seem purposely chosen.  Image found HERE.

White does not have to be minimal! Stick to a color palette of three (burgundy, brown, and white) for a lush and deep feeling. Photo by Art Gray, New York Loft styled by White Webb.

A shabby chic inspired white room replete with reclaimed barn wood floors. Also, the varying materials in this room force the eye to look at all objects and all dimensions. Designer Darryl Carter transformed this blank space. Benjamin Moore’s “Simply White” is used throughout the apartment but to add the illusion of airiness, openness, and area. Image photographed by Gordon Beall and found HERE.

Amaridian, has teamed up with Cape Town’s Design Africa to showcase and promote excellence in African design. The images is from the showcase of African design in NYC, products by Mud Studio, Ronel Jordaan, Tekura Design and Diallo Design. White does not need to have stark geometric shapes, and uber clean lines. Here the color white is romantic, trivial, and subdued. Image found HERE. 

Did I mention how important windows (and thus light) is for white? The above loft has a very 1970’s design aesthetic! Image found HERE.

Ebony and Ivory! Black, Red, and White is a classic color scheme that is never wrong. Image found HERE.

I could actually see enjoying laundering in this space. I have never felt invited in by a laundry room, but here’s to firsts! I bet spotting stains in this environment is super easy. I also love the light, pine wood accents. Image found HERE.

Romantic, antique, luxe. Ivory, Cream, and White (keeping it in the color family). Achromatic works. Image found HERE.

Shabby, Romantic, Charming, Country style. Image found HERE.

I spy a Birkin Bag and a Saarinen Table and a Ludwig Mies van der Rohe designed Barcelona Chair. Image found HERE. 

Neutral paint colors: ‘Veil Cream’ by Benjamin Moore and a Le Corbusier chaise. Somehow this space is rustic, western, and natural. Photo by Justin Bernhaut, Domino, Dec. 2006. Domino Magazine.

  • “White…is not a mere absence of colour; it is a shining and affirmative thing, as fierce as red, as definite as black…God paints in many colours; but He never paints so gorgeously, I had almost said so gaudily, as when He paints in white.” — G. K. Chesterton
  • “The first of all single colors is white … We shall set down white for the representative of light, without which no color can be seen; yellow for the earth; green for water; blue for air; red for fire; and black for total darkness.” — Leonardo Da Vinci


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We’ve Got the Blues

Yves Klein (28 April 1928 – 6 June 1962) was a French artist working in Post-World War II Europe. He is often pinned as the precursor to the Pop Art movement, as well as an influence on the world of Performance Art. Klein did not relegate paints to the canvas, nor arts to the world of 2d. Working with live women, Klein often covered bodies in blue paints. He thought of people as “human brushes” and “model forms”. Blue Women Art, also known as “Anthopometries“, is an expansive piece that includes a full orchestra, several women, Yves Klein Blue Signature Paint, and large canvases to “perform”. The women slowly drag their paint dripped bodies across surfaces – allowing form and movement to be transferred to the canvas.

Images from the Wikipedia Commons and the Yves Klein Archives, HERE.

Klein Blue Form in Blue Venus – Please also draw your attention to similarities in Henri Matisse’s Blue Nudes.

Klein explained that although both of his parents were also painters, his painting career began on a a beach at the age of 19 when, on the sand with friends, he looked upward and “signed the sky” as his first piece of art. Clearly this namesake blue-of-a-deep-sky color followed him throughout his lifetime.  He painted monochromes for several years in the 1940’s and early 1950’s however one seminal day in 1955 made him realize that Ultramarine and Lapis Lazul would be the pigment of his future. Hannah Weitemeier author of Yves Klein, 1928–1962: International Klein Blue explains“From the reactions of the audience, [Klein] realized that…viewers thought his various, uniformly colored canvases amounted to a new kind of bright, abstract interior decoration. Shocked at this misunderstanding, Klein knew a further and decisive step in the direction of monochrome art would have to be taken…From that time (technically 1958) onwards he would concentrate on one single, primary color alone: blue.”

As always, the art world recycles in wonderful ways: Here is the ultramarine pigment in the The Wilton Diptych, which can be seen in the National Gallery, London. The image was painted for Richard II (1367–1400) who is the crowned and kneeling figure on its left-hand panel. This color is often used to depict Madonnas (pictorial or sculptured representations of Mary, Mother of Jesus

TAKASHI MURAKAMI, Homage to Yves Klein , 20/10/2011 – 07/01/2012, Galerie Perrotin, 10, Impasse Saint Claude, Paris found HERE.

Clearly this color is still permeating the mind of artists and the realm of the arts. Photography by Elspeth Diederix / ultramarine / red chairs 2007, found HERE. 

Klein’s deep blue was so captured in the subconscious of people that it began to reappear in interior design, clothing (notably in suits), painting and all aspects of the cultural sector. The artist worked with chemists to capture the raw intensity of dry pigments in a color that does not appear naturally in ecosystems – save for the sky and a few bird’s feathers. This unique hue is now known in art circles, paint stores, and the color experts Pantone as International Klein Blue. Let us just, for one second, imagine being so influential that we have created an color whose legacy will be continually used after our death. Major.

The Blues: as a point of comparison.

Klein in your Bathroom! This also looks easy to clean, deifnite perk. Image via House to Home.
From Sight Unseen, HERE.
A quaint and rustic room featuring the serigraphHomage to Tennessee Williams by Yves Klein. Via, HERE.
From the home of the CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi company. A table filled with IKB pixie dust, created by the artist. Found via Architectural Digest, HERE.
Baboo Apartment by Bernardes & Jacobsen, São Paulo, Brazil – art by Alexander Calder, Keith Herring, Jean Michel Basquiat, Yves Klein blue table…found HERE.
GO BOLD OR GO HOME. Found via Yolksy, HERE.
Screenshot from Sweet Paul Magazine Spring 2012 Issue – found HERE.
Those red lacquered bamboo legs! The glossy pink table! The medieval wall! The Foo Dog Lamps! I literally cannot stop using exclamation points. Found via Design Crisis, HERE.

Bravo, bold man! Interior designer (and assistant to the inimitable Miles Redd) Nick Olsen painted his living room a high-gloss enamel acid green (Benjamin Moore’s Oregano) and accessorized with pops of white, blue and chocolate brown. Photo by Paul Costello, Domino, November 2006. Found HERE. 

Not good at hanging paintings straight? No problem. Leave it on the floor as a mock back-spalsh. Via Riazzoli, HERE.

The Evitavonni Blue Chair is a piece of furniture that is so bold and brilliant it is sure to become the focal point of ANY room. Found at Chair Blog, HERE.


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