Dynamic Duos: Lucite and Brass

I’m a Texas gal, and that makes loving all things shiny part of my DNA. So today, I’m going to double down on the shine, and discuss not one, but two of my favorite shimmery, reflective materials, lucite and brass.

I just looked up brass on wikipedia because I knew it was an alloy of two metals, but I couldn’t remember which ones (copper and zinc), but I also discovered something I didn’t know, brass has been around for so long it actually predates recorded history! Lucite I knew was a much more modern invention, a clear plastic dating to the 1930’s. Lucite is actually a trade name for the material. Generically, it’s acrylic plastic, but here in the US, the term lucite is pretty interchangeable, like kleenex. The Brits and Aussies do the same, but their trade name is Perspex. 

 Early use of lucite in a curvaceous lucite and brass chair, circa 1930’s.

Early use of lucite in a curvaceous lucite and brass chair, circa 1930’s.

The marriage of old and new materials is appealing, but I like them together because they are just pretty, and add a touch of glam to any room, modern or traditional.

 Rivers Spencer Interiors

Rivers Spencer Interiors

Lucite is also a very dense plastic, and gets very heavy! It’s one of the ways you can tell a quality lucite material from a cheaper acrylic as the more it weighs, the more costly it is. That's why it’s considered a luxury material unlike most plastics. A lucite slab this thick would take a forklift to move. Thankfully, brass is also a dense, strong metal, equal to the challenge of being its partner’s support.

 Fawn Galli

Fawn Galli

Lucite is also known for it’s highly refractive qualities, so light looks pretty when passed through it, so it’s often used as a choice for lighting. The below photo has some pretty lucite and brass bunching tables, which is why I saved it, but that chandelier? I’m 99% certain it’s lucite and brass as well, as circa the 1990s, not murano crystal circa the 1940s or '50s. It looks amazing!

 Ken Fulk

Ken Fulk

Last, I am completely in love with this bedroom by Meg Braff. The chic-ly over-the-top lucite and brass bed is the perfect foil to the other, more traditional elements of the room. I also thought if i ever lived in California, I would want this to be my bed. Lucite and brass are both incredibly strong materials, so this monolithic bed might hold the ceiling up in an earthquake!

 Meg Braff

Meg Braff

For more shiny inspiration, please visit my Dynamic Duos: Lucite and Brass Pinterest board.

Warmly, 

Beth