Published on December 10, 2019

Borosilicate glass, first developed in the 1880s as a durable alternative to the standard kind, may sound like something completely unglamorous that belongs in a science lab…but chances are you’ve already seen it at your favorite retailer without noticing. You may even own it. 

We’ve found borosilicate glass tableware everywhere, from smaller makers such as Sophie Lou Jacobsen at Shoppe Object to big retailers like Hay, which made it the focal point of its new collection. This year’s iterations of the material are bright and colorful in a myriad of shapes so paper-thin that you’d never guess they’re okay for everyday usage—except they’re heatproof, chemical-resistant, and available in a range of price points.

With artful glassware of all types enjoying a serious moment in the spotlight, it’s never been easier to find this specialty material. The next time you’re deliberating over a new stemware set or trying to track down that perfect statement lamp, give borosilicate a chance. What’s old is new again, and it’s never looked better.

To Lighten Up

Why it’s worth it: Unlike lamps that end up being safety hazards when left on for too long, this tubular piece is resistant to high temperatures and will stay cool to the touch. Plus, it just looks really fabulous, especially if you’re looking for a way to elevate your rental. 

How to bring it home: Pick the straight-lined one to hang over a dining table and kick-start dinner party conversations. 

To Remind You to Hydrate

Why it’s worth it: With one of these mouth-blown carafes at your side, you’ll never forget to get in those eight cups a day. Despite how upscale it looks, it’s pretty easy to clean; simply pop it in the dishwasher. 

How to bring it home: Make room for it on your desk as a practical bit of office decor or incorporate it onto your nightstand so water is always within easy reach. 

To Spruce Up an Empty Corner

Why it’s worth it: Sophie Lou Jacobsen is the master of using borosilicate glass in innovative ways (including a chic set of cleaning bottles).  

How to bring it home: Perch a few of the vessels on a mantel and keep them steadily filled with seasonal blooms for a display that blends contemporary design with natural beauty. 

To Elevate Your Caffeine Habit

Why it’s worth it: Let’s face it: Keurigs aren’t exactly the most eco-friendly way to make your morning brew. If your New Year’s resolution includes a step toward a more sustainable lifestyle, this orange French press will help you make it happen. If you’re making iced coffee, just stick it in the fridge for a bit—it can withstand extreme cold and won’t crack with the temperature change. 

How to bring it home: Use it as the impetus to carve out a coffee nook, so you can take your ritual to the next level: Add a few stacked mugs (borosilicate glass ones, of course) and a colorful tray, and you’re good to go. 

To Set the Mood

Why it’s worth it: How often do you come across a candleholder that could hold its own among the books, vases, and sculptural objects that typically end up the stars of a table or bookcase vignette?

How to bring it home: Go for color-blocking, choosing a vibrant cobalt (dare we suggest Classic Blue?) or citron hue for your tapers. 

To Build Out Your Kitchen Arsenal

Why it’s worth it: Whether you’re starting from scratch and need some everyday glasses or you’re on the hunt for barware, this set is timeless. Stack the cups or use one as a lid for the carafe if you’re tight on space. 

How to bring it home: Organize the duo atop a bar cart or open shelves—glassware this elegant shouldn’t be hidden away in a cupboard. 

See more trending decor for 2019:
Hardwood Isn’t Just for Your Floors Anymore
Pantone’s 2020 Color of the Year Is Refreshingly Bold
Is This Design Style the New Boho?

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