A MAD Passion for Lustrous Lacquer Furniture

LBlog Small Bureau By Chelsea Textiles

Lacquer furniture has ALWAYS held a special fascination for me… perhaps it is because of the juxtapostion of something so glossy and visually so strong that is at the same time delicate, refined and lustrous.  Lacquer, unlike many decor trends that are short-lived, is actually a Design staple that can work beautifully in any style Decor and for any application. Originating in East Asia, where artisans decorated objects using resin tinted with cinnabar, lacquer later inspired generations of Artisans, Furniture Makers and Designers such as Thomas Chippendale and the legendary Eileen Gray.   Lacquer is neither traditional nor modern, but has the unique ability to transform into any style, shape, era, form or colour while maintaining a rarified feeling to every space it occupies.  By nature, Lacquer needs a counterbalance for its lustrous quality… such as a an upholstered bench in a rich, deep hand fabric like mohair, velvet or a cut pile chenille.  Lacquer has a sense of untouchability because of its delicate nature which gives it its expensive and chic aura.

lacquer is a clear or coloured varnish that dries by solvent evaporation and often a curing process as well that produces an incredibly hard, durable finish, in any sheen level from ultra matte to super high gloss and that can be further polished as required.

The term lacquer originates from the Portuguese word for lac, a type of resin excreted from certain insects.  Regardless, in modern usage, lac-based varnishes are referred to as shellac, while lacquer refers to other polymers dissolved in volatile organic compounds (VOCs), such as nitrocellulose, and later acrylic compounds dissolved in lacquer thinner, a mixture of several solvents typically containing butyl acetate and xylene or toluene.

While both lacquer and shellac are traditional finishes, lacquer is more durable than shellac.

The Lille Dining Table  Shine by S.H.O

This airy beauty has an almost Alice in Wonderland feeling to it with its raised, scroll feet that feel as if it is trying to perform a ballet movement.  Classically inspired with its scroll-legged base and oversized round top it is in effect an updated take on classic Empire style but lightened and freshened because of the high gloss laquer finish.   The glossy white finish gives it an elegant simplicity and quiteness to a room.  I can see it in a large open modern space that has a “beach house” feeling or that California chic style, juxtaposed alongside textured accessories, such as chocolate rattan chairs and rough dark wood stump side tables. It has a 60″-dia. top that will comfortably seat six for dinner or 4 for a rousing game with drinks.

The Gormley Table by Dune

I have always loved the film Ruthless People  (with Bette Midler) and when I saw this piece it reminded me of the film sets from that movie… its BOLD, almost shocking geometric shapes, clear bell colour and almost brazen demanding for attention ensure that it will standout in a space.  The end result is a piece that is FUN, flirtatious and very sharp-modern.  Perfect for a large loft space to act as a punctuation of colour and form, or for an office space with Louis Ghost Chairs surrounding it (if you get the Dining table version of the table).  The square-top table stands 19.5″ tall (as the end table version), so it’s a good match for most seating. It comes in a variety of candy coloured finishes and would be a tasty addition to any modern space or overall white room acting as a burst of colour.

The Small Bureau by Chelsea Textiles

A charming, almost delicious combination of Neoclassical-style with its fluted details and Pop Art sensibility with its super high-gloss candy coloured finishes, the small bureau chest is a cross between the best of old and new.  The playful juxtaposition of form and finish make it perfect for any Design whether modern, traditional or eclectic.  It is 31.5″ tall and if you DO get one for youself, make sure to send me one as well.

The Harvey Chest of Drawers by Rodolfo Dordoni for Minotti

Sleek, sensuous and beautifully clean lined, the Harvey Chest of Drawers is the perfect addition for any space, be it modern or traditional.  I would love to see it used as a Bar side table in a living room or lounge or a pair on either side of a bed in an oversized bedroom.  The chest is 29″-tall with self-closing drawers and stunning metal pulls that have a tailored crisp feeling.

The City Modern Club Chair by Ralph Lauren Home

Clean, crisp and elegant, the City Modern Club by Ralph Lauren Home has a streamlined 30’s oceanliner aura to it that makes it work in any space, be it modern, tradtional or eclectic.  Its BOLD silhouette makes the design really pop, especially in a space where you can see and approach it from various directions.  I love the contrast in materials from the crisp upholstered back and cushions with its richly glossy frame that reflects the light in a space.  The side profile is very interesting as well being it is a lacquered cube seemingly floating above the floor. I would love to see it in a modern home office, a chic lounge or living space or a pair flanking eachother in a family room.

For more Design inspiration try some of the following Articles:

Designing for Small Spaces – BIG style / Small Condo

Easy Kitchen Makeovers

Home Renovation 101

Paint like an Interior Designer