Smoked Glass Is Back: How to Decorate with the Moody 1970s Accent

Learn the best ways to bring home this retro look.

floating vanity primary bathroom glass pendants 102882701

Kritsada Panichgul

The ‘70s design styles are making a major comeback and, thankfully, we’re leaving behind the vinyl jumpsuits and carpeted bathrooms this time around. This influential decade can be seen not only in today's furnishings (slouchy sofas and oversized disco balls, anyone?) but also in the materials and finishes that are dominating lighting, decor, and furniture categories, says Jen DeRose, senior style editor at Perigold. And at the top of the trend list is smoked glass. 

“There’s something about smoky glass that feels moody, sultry, and seductive; the veiled transparency creates a sense of intrigue and infuses any decor scheme with a bit of edge,” says DeRose. “The aesthetic is all about refined, retro glamour that still feels timeless.”

Interest in smoked glass—also commonly known as smoke glass and smoky glass—is high in all categories, says DeRose, but especially when it comes to tabletop items, like decorative vases and glassware. “They continue to be customer favorites as a good entry point to the look, certainly requiring less commitment than smoky glass architectural applications, such as sleek room dividers, shower enclosures, or even cabinet fronts,” DeRose says. 

Whether you’re looking to invest in smoked glass applications or simply get in on the trend with accessories, there are a few things to keep in mind. Here, DeRose shares her knowledge on smoked glass, including advice on how to give this trend true staying power. 

smoked glass vase and drinkware


What Is Smoked Glass?

Smoked glass is certainly on trend, but DeRose says the reason behind its popularity might be surprising. “What’s interesting about smoked glass is that it actually speaks to a handmade, time-honored process, and that, I think, is part of its appeal,” she notes.

“The tinted look comes from layers of smoke residue applied during the glass-making process.” If it’s artisan made, there will likely be unique patterns and contouring with each one-of-a-kind piece. “Glass is an age-old material that combines form, texture, and color and bounces light around a room,” says DeRose. Add in a smoky tint and a beautiful vase becomes a subtle focal point. 

dining room bubble chandelier

Lisa Romerein

How to Style Smoked Glass

It can be difficult to work trends into existing decor (just ask that boucle chair you’ve had your eye on), but calling on smaller items can infuse your space with a hint of smoked glass. Even tabletop accessories can be a statement-worthy way of adding a 1970s edge to your modern space. “Create a collection of smoky glass vases, vessels, and votives. Overlapping glass layers create a sense of dynamism—heightening the play of translucence—while the sparkling candlelight amps up the effect of light and shadow,” says DeRose.

If you want to take the trend to the next level, she suggests infusing the space with other '70s-style furnishings, like shaggy rugs, lounge-style seating, and brown, rust, and cream hues. “It also pairs well with contrasting materials, such as earthy travertine, dark bronze, and ribbed wood,” she says. 

Finally, don’t be afraid to think outside the box when it comes to color. According to DeRose, the glass doesn’t have to take on a black shade. “It can range in coloring from soft gray to warm amber brown,” she says.

living room glass coffee table animal-print sofa

Adam Albright

How to Make a Timeless Statement with Smoked Glass

If you’re looking to make smoked glass an exclamation in your decor, DeRose says it’s all about striking the right balance. She loves the juxtaposition of natural dried pampas grass within a sculptural smoky gray vase. “Or combine a brass and bronze glass chandelier, like Hammerton Studio’s Nebula 1 Pendant, made of blown and cast glass, with an antique walnut table to temper the dramatic with the traditional,” she suggests. For a more subdued look, DeRose says espresso-brown glass gives a similar effect but acts more like a neutral than darker-toned smoked glass.

Whether you plan to go full ‘70s in your decor or add a few punctuations with a simple smoked glass vase or even a collection of smoked glass drinkware, the material is bound to add both visual interest and a trendy yet timeless look to your space.

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