How To Decorate With Acrylic, According To An Interior Designer

By Kelsey Stewart
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You've probably seen the acrylic trend in fashion at some point in the past year — it's become popular in pieces like jewelry and purses thanks to the unexpected feeling it lends to a look. But one scroll through sites like Urban Outfitters and CB2 shows that the trend has moved past accessories and into a more permanent area of your life: home. You may think of it as an unusual thing to add to a space, especially if your style leans more traditional or you're worried it just won't work in your small space. But according to Emma Beryl Kemper, an interior designer who started her firm, Emma Beryl, in 2015, there are ways to decorate with acrylic decor that won't crowd your space or feel unnatural to your style. In fact, it's a trend that will work in pretty much any home.

How? According to Kemper, the key is not to take it too literally — and to make sure you mix it with other pieces correctly. That means starting with a hefty dose of juxtaposition.

“In my opinion, it is best to style acrylic with different design styles because it makes your pieces more timeless and interesting," Kemper tells The Zoe Report in an email. "I also like to contrast shapes, so if you have a hyper-modern, clean acrylic piece it is interesting and unexpected to style it next to something curvier and more traditional.”

Urban Outfitters

And while it may seem like too trendy an addition for classicists to add to their space, especially if you like to be sure you can hold onto your investment pieces for years, Kemper argues that when done well, it never has to feel dated. “As long as you incorporate acrylic carefully into your space, it can be a timeless material," she explains. "The trick to making your acrylic furniture feel timeless and not overly trendy is to layer it with other furniture styles."

While the trend is a great way to add a fresh feel to your space, its perks don't stop there; the modern material can actually help open up a small, crowded space, too.

“Acrylic is a great material for a small space because it keeps things looking light and open," says Kemper. "I think one mistake people generally make in smaller spaces is only using small, uncomfortable furniture for fear of visual crowding. It’s actually better to combine softer, more comfortable pieces like a welcoming sofa with lighter accent furniture such as an acrylic coffee table to keep things feeling open but still cozy.”

In other words, go ahead and splurge on that sectional without worrying it'll overpower your space — the simple addition of an acrylic coffee table can help it seem like it was made for your tiny living room.

One Kings Lane

Already obsessed with the trend? According to Kemper, there are ways to make it a focal point without going overboard. Her suggestion is simple: Use a larger acrylic piece in an area you want to feel open to give it an airy feel. “I like to use acrylic console tables in small entryways because they give you a place to house your keys and mail and give you an opportunity to position a beautiful mirror or piece of art above it; however, they don't crowd the space," she explains.

Whether you're ready to tackle the trend head-on or test the waters with a smaller piece, keep scrolling for eight finds to help you start incorporating acrylic into your home now.