Design lesson: I can see clearly now
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These days, the quest for less is more alluring than ever, and the way to embody the look of "less" just got a lot clearer. So clear, in fact, it's transparent! Home enthusiasts are clamouring for see-through style like never before. The concept isn't new: furniture makers were first able to mould plastic furnishings in the late 1940s, with the introduction of acrylic. Like glass, acrylic catches light, but it's up to eight times clearer and doesn't have a green edge. Today, buzz words like chic and sophisticated are being tossed around to describe these '70s-revival must-have clear furnishings, pieces some might have called tacky only a few years ago. It makes one wonder: can the avocado fridge be far behind?
Dos and don'ts
DO select transparent furniture when space is limited. For instance, in a small kitchen, clear chairs and an island tabletop extension will reduce visual clutter.
DO look for acrylic furnishings that have interesting forms or functions. Invest in serviceable items like magazine tables, TV stands and plinths (to support a plant, sculpture or bust).
DO consider übertrendy coloured acrylics and glass for punctuating neutral rooms.
DON'T obstruct the view of a beautiful carpet by placing an opaque coffee or dining table on top. Choose an acrylic or glass version instead, to allow full appreciation of such a design-worthy element.
DON'T amass an entire room of acrylic furniture. Choose only one or two pieces to play against wood and upholstered furnishings.
DON'T purchase a see-through chair without considering what I call the "derrière factor." Once seated, compression occurs and, let's face it, the rear view expands. That may or may not be the effect you're looking for.
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Kimberley's guide to the sheerest window treatments
White sheers soften architecture, decrease glare and bring a wisp of summer to sun-starved rooms. Today's sheers come in a variety of materials, including cotton, silk and linen.
• Look for modern sheers with decorative details like embroidered stitching or beading. Such accents give lightweight fabrics a stylish presence.
• Modify weighty window treatments to suit summer temperatures. Heavier side panels on draperies are ideal during cold winter months, but now it's time to remove them, leaving just the breezy sheers.
• Pair sheer fabrics with matchstick or bamboo blinds, which are perennially pleasing and affordable. Or, if privacy isn't an issue, consider leaving windows bare so you can bask in the unimpeded sunshine.
• Choose sheer fabrics in a warm, pale colour like apricot -- an antidote to the gloomy grey light that comes with drizzly days.
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