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Shine On

Whether your home is filled with heirloom antiques or hand-me-downs, any style of décor can pull off a touch of whimsy, a bit of other worldly sophistication and some sparkle. Accents in acrylic, chrome and lacquer add a little spunk to your home and bring you a smile every time your gaze falls upon them.

A Clear Winner
Acrylic furnishings (sometimes called by their brand names Lucite or Plexiglass) add a playful accent to your room without adding visual clutter. These ghostly furnishings have the uncanny ability to disappear while highlighting other items that rest on or under them. Elegant and with a contemporary edge, clear acrylic brings colors and shapes in your room to life and visually maximizes your space.

Something you should know: Acrylic scratches easily and requires a tender touch to keep it gleaming. A clean, damp microfiber cloth keeps your acrylic sparkling. It’s a good idea to designate a cleaning cloth to be used only on your acrylic so you don’t accidentally smear a cleaning solvent from another job on your item. Never use chemical cleaners or glass cleaners on your acrylic. Oops! Got a scratch? Novus Polish ( removes scratches and haze to restore your acrylic to its former glistening glory.

Perfectly Polished
Modern and cheerful, chrome is a forward-looking metal that adds a sleek touch to any room. Often overshadowed by other silver-toned metals like nickel and pewter, moderately priced chrome holds its own in your living room just as well as it holds your robe in the bathroom. This cool metal reflects light like a mirror and everyday items such as wastebaskets, coat racks and desk utensils take on a retro swanky Palm Springs vibe when finished in chrome.

Caring for chrome: Chrome is a durable material that needs only a little upkeep if it is kept away from water. Simply dust with a soft cloth and clean occasionally with a nonabrasive cleaner. Make sure the cleaning agent is safe for your chrome by testing it on a small area that is hidden from view.

Shiny and Bold
If you haven’t gotten yourself a lacquer tray yet, you must! Every home needs at least one. These handy multitaskers corral odds and ends on the desktop, upgrade beverage and snack service at refreshment time, and hold a stack of books plus a drink on the ottoman.

Lacquer works equally well in either very traditional or very modern décor. Lacquered wood finishes are durable and can be found in an array of bright colors and metallics. Antique lacquered boxes and tableware are sometimes inlaid or carved, but today we tend to use the word to refer to wooden items painted with a super high-gloss paint finish. Lacquer looks best when it has something in a contrasting texture nearby.

Hard as nails: Due to its high-shine, every fingerprint and smudge shows up in sharp relief on lacquered surfaces. But, all you usually need to do to clean it is to wipe the item down with a soft damp cloth and then polish it to dry with a soft, dry cloth. Never use paper towels or pretreated cleaning cloths on lacquer.

Don’t Gloss Over the Details
Try one new fun thing in every room of your home this spring. An acrylic container by the phone holds your reading glasses and a pen. A chrome-dipped light bulb peeks from under the pendant over the kitchen sink. And your car keys always have a home when resting on a lacquered tray on the hunt board. By adding touches of these glossy accents throughout your home, you’ll freshen things up for spring without committing to a total makeover, adding a little something unexpected to your stylish home.

A special thank you to Present Thyme for contributing photography for the article.

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