Modern Living: The Furniture of Chemistry

At its best, the bright new plastic furniture now invading U.S. stores can transform an ordinary room into something straight out of 2001; at its worst, it changes the same space into something uncomfortably like Motel Modern. Either way, plastic furniture—no longer disguised as wood but blatantly and unashamedly plastic-looking—is now showing up in homes all over the United States.

The reason for plastic's new-found popularity, even in once off-limits living and dining rooms, is summed up by Los Angeles Housewife Audrey Kaufman: "It's light and it's fun, the colors are marvelous, and all you have to do to clean it is...

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