Is Modern Black Lacquer Furniture As Modern As They Say?


Hey guys! In this post I want to discuss a pretty controversial subject I would say, and that is nothing else than modern black lacquer furniture.

Is Modern Black Lacquer Furniture As Modern As They Say?I’m sure you’ve tried (or at least seen) this kind of furniture at least once in your life…I have, because 10 years ago it was among the most popular kinds of furniture and you could see it in almost any home. So if you’re at least 25 years old, you probably know what I’m talking about. 😛

Anyway, even though this lacquer furniture has pretty much lost its popularity in the last 10 years, I noticed there are still enough people that really like it and still keep it in their homes.

And even though companies claim the lacquer furniture they sell is really modern, to me it doesn’t really seem to be true.

So in today’s post I want to find out if this lacquer furniture is as modern as they say… Because in my opinion, considering the features it has, I wouldn’t really call it modern, on the contrary. But in order to judge correctly, I want to analyze 4 facts about it, because they will help me bring in a verdict about this lacquer furniture.


Design – Not Modern

It’s true that it would be totally wrong to say this about all lacquer pieces, but most of the ones I’ve seen still have that design of the ’90 furniture pieces. I mean, most of them still kept the features that made them popular.

The rectangular shape, the straight 3 shelves and the medium feet are probably the most important elements of lacquer pieces. And these are all features that I saw in the furniture pieces from my childhood.

So even though the producing companies say they really improved the design of lacquer furniture pieces, to me it doesn’t seem that they changed too much. Most pieces still keep the main elements of the ones from 20 years ago, so I can’t consider them modern.

And even though it’s not true for absolutely all pieces, I would say that from this point of view, lacquer furniture is definitely not modern.


Polish – Not Modern

This is probably the most important feature of lacquer furniture because that’s the essential reason why it’s called “lacquer” (and not “matte”) furniture. And to be honest, it doesn’t seem to me that this glossy look is trending right now.

This polish was very popular in furniture in the ’80s-’90s, I could even say that it was a must for many elegant pieces. But in the last 20 years, it really disappeared from the scene. You can see this yourself, as there are very few items with this kind of polished look.

It’s true that there are many wooden furniture pieces that have a polished surface, but that is really different of lacquer polish. Just look at this picture that I put below.

Is Modern Black Lacquer Furniture As Modern As They Say?

So if you ask me, this polish is probably the most “not modern” feature of lacquer furniture. Tell me, how many pieces with this kind of polish have you seen in magazines or in TV? Not so many, I tell you…

So even though many people believe this polished look is a nice feature of lacquer furniture, when it comes to modernism…it’s really far from it.


Legs – Pretty Modern

If there’s something I like about lacquer furniture, it’s definitely the feet.

Although I can’t say this about entirely all pieces, lacquer items usually have gray, iron legs that are also very thin. This is actually one of the common features of contemporary items, that have a symmetry both in colors and design.

So the legs of lacquer furniture pieces are indeed pretty modern, nothing to say about it. When it comes to this, these kind of items could be called modern. But unfortunately or not, there are also other factors to consider.


Price – Not Modern At All

I know it doesn’t make any sense the first time you read it, but judging after the price…lacquer furniture is definitely not modern.

Modern furniture pieces usually have medium prices, depending on the exact type of item, the fabric or the dimensions. For example, a massive wooden wardrobe will never have the same price as a fake leather ottoman. But generally speaking, the prices for modern items are not too high nor too low, I would say.

However, lacquer furniture is actually much more expensive than regular one. The reason may be the fact that many pieces look like collection items, so many sellers take advantage of this thing and they ask really high prices for each. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, because a higher price means a better quality

But if I think about this aspect, lacquer furniture seems pretty far from modern. I told you, modern pieces tend to be affordable for almost everyone, while this kind of lacquer furniture is accessible only to a certain class of people. And this doesn’t really make it modern, in my opinion…


My Verdict – So Is Black Lacquer Furniture Modern?

I can’t say I dislike lacquer furniture because it has a lot of advantages, but being modern is definitely not one of them. 

So if you ask me, judging after these 4 features of lacquer furniture, I couldn’t really consider it a modern type of furniture. I would say it’s rather traditional, and this is a pretty good thing too as I have also written a post about traditional furniture recently.

So all in all, if you want a modern home and you heard that lacquer furniture could be the right choice, well…try to choose something else, that’s what I say. There are many types of modern furniture, but unfortunately lacquer one doesn’t really have the elements of one, that’s what I think.


Now you tell me, what is your opinion about lacquer furniture? Does it look modern to you or you agree that it seems rather traditional?

Let me know your answer in a comment. Anne 😀

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2 Responses

  1. Batya says:

    Thanks for such an informative post! I agree with you that black lacquer furniture it not at all modern, I remember it being in my grandparents house growing up so I definitely don’t find it modern. Although due to the polish and usually fancy handles/edges I find it regal, so if someone were going for a regal look then they would probably appreciate the black lacquer look.

    • Anne says:

      Hi, I’m glad you liked my post 🙂

      I totally agree with you, lacquer furniture reminds me of old times so I wouldn’t really add it to my living room. But just like you said, it looks extremely elegant so for a very luxurious home, I think it wouldn’t look bad at all.

      Thanks for letting me know your opinion.

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