Add some shine to your home with lacquered furniture

lillian august chest photo courtesy of shay geyer via kristin peake interiors

Lillian August Karl chest photo courtesy of shay geyer

One of the many design  trends spotted at the Fall 2013 High Point Market this month was the reemergence of lacquered furniture.  This finish, often referred to as high gloss, enameled or varnished, adds a high shine to case goods that include chests, armoires, side chairs and accent tables.  Colors span the rainbow with the on-trend Emerald Green chest from Lillian August pictured above to the juicy lacquered furniture found in the Lilly Pulitzer collection all the way to the sophisticated lacquered chair from the Ralph Lauren Home collection with chic black lacquered sides.

Lacquered arm chair from the Ralph Lauren Home collection

Lacquered arm chair from the Ralph Lauren Home collection


This chair would be equally at home in an uptown loft as it would be in a rustic mountain retreat.

The introduction of lacquered furniture dates all the way back to 5000 BC when Japanese artists began applying several coats of this newly discovered solvent to vases, screens and other accessories.  This inlay process became known as japanning and is still used today by discriminating craftsmen.  The real difference between the terms enameled, lacquered and high gloss is primarily the “ingredients” used.  Simply put, high gloss is an oil-based paint while lacquer is an actual solvent and enameling is a process.  They all produce a durable finish with the high shine that is so desirable in today’s interiors.

Along with other pieces of hand-painted furniture, lacquered items will instantly update a vintage piece and add a unique pop of color to your interior spaces.  For example, take a look at that tired old bedroom chest and see if it can be revived with a durable lacquered finish in a surprising color like orange or pink or add some shine to your country dining room with glossy spindle back chairs painted in your favorite shade of blue.  The design options are endless!











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