Shiny finishes make fall glow

Fall home fashion is aglow this year with metallic, pearled, acrylic and mirror finishes. It's a trend that resurface
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

Fall home fashion is aglow this year with metallic, pearled, acrylic and mirror finishes.

It's a trend that resurfaces, so to speak, every few years. Yet there are always new examples of creative craftsmanship.

This year, Pottery Barn has introduced a line of mirrored, sleek and sexy tables, while Crate & Barrel offers an array of muscular silver and copper vases.

The trend is everywhere at all price points. Metals, Lucite, gold leaf, ceramic and glass are fashioned into decorative elements. And in soft furnishings, there are iridescent table linens, as well as metallic threaded throws to dress the sofa.

Some of the mirrored furniture looks lean and lithe, as light reflects off pencil thin legs and slim drawers. But there are statement pieces, too, big and bold. The look is reminiscent of 1930s Hollywood, all glamour and gloss.

Clad in highly polished aluminum or plated resin, Modern Dose's curvy Deco Table, Philippe Starck's Kong chair and Harry Allen's whimsical roller-skate doorstop all play on ''shiny.''

If sleek reflections aren't your thing, there are accessories that feature more muted burnished and hammered metals, sumptuous raw silks, and faux leathers in gold, bronze and pewter.

West Elm's block table lamps are clad in luminous shells. Paired with wood furniture, these pieces provide lambent texture in a room.

Chiasso has debuted some interesting peel-and-stick tiles, upholstered in pewter or mercury toned vinyl. They'd make a sophisticated headboard or wall installation.

Ballard Designs retails an antiqued glass collection of screens and floor mirrors that can both divide and open up a room.

And the Lucite trays lined with colorful graphic papers from stationery e-retailer iomoi are popular -- iomoi will create a custom design to fit a small or ottoman-size tray.

Aaron R. Thomas, a Los Angeles-based designer, sculpts acrylic into furniture, artwork and colorful boxes. He says the ''purity'' of the material makes it exciting to work with.

''It both catches your eye, and disappears into the room. It's uncommon enough that people just kind of light up when they see it.''

Charles Hollis Jones, considered a pioneer in acrylic furniture design, says: ''It's as or more valuable than bronze on the vintage market now.'' He believes that acrylic's longevity -- ''Pieces I made 47 years ago look the same as the day I made them'' -- stems from an architectural and organic resonance. ''People appreciate how light carries and penetrates in an acrylic piece.''

The reflective quality of these finishes can work in smaller rooms and entryways. Mirrored tables provide useful surfaces without filling up a lot of space.

And for larger rooms, a glamorous furnishing or two is the right ''touche extravagante.'' Those unwilling to commit to the trend with furniture can add some oomph with one or two accent pieces. Vanity sets, clocks, votive candles, table lamps or little pillows provide a small stage for light to play.

As the days get shorter and darker, homes become warm havens again. Lustrous furniture and accessories can light up the season.