Volume 47, Issue 1 - January 2012

Decorative Glass
A special section of USGlass magazine

 

Envy of the Block
Decorative Glass Finds its Place in Residential Projects
by Ellen Rogers

Looking for ways to bring glass into your next residential project? Creative thinkers have taken glass to an assortment of new places in the house. Here’s a room-by-room guide to some of the glass products available—and all quite decorative.

Great Entrances
In many homes the foyer is the first room of the house that people see upon entering. Why not make it one that leaves a lasting impression? Entry doors are a great way to do just that. After all, the front door is often the first—and last—part of the home those coming and going see. As a way to help homeowners create a distinctive statement with their front door, the Pella Carina walnut wood door features stylish, wrought iron swirls accented in glass.

Once inside, a staircase is often in close view. Glass can be used to create a real wow-factor, such as this spiraling staircase featuring glass supplied by Goldray Industries. And to take that a step further, some homeowners choose to incorporate a different flooring element in their foyer as a distinguishing element. Acid-etched flooring from companies such as Walker Glass can give a home a chic vibe.

Great Room Ideas
What homeowner doesn’t like to curl up by a fireplace with a warm blanket and good book? But a fireplace doesn’t have to be just brick and mortar. While glass doors are certainly an option, there are some homeowners opting for a less traditional route. Bluworld of Water based in Orlando is a full-service indoor waterwall manufacturer that combines water and art for a range of settings, including residential fireplaces. When budgets allow, some home What homeowner doesn’t like to curl up by a fireplace with a warm blanket and good book? But a fireplace doesn’t have to be just brick and mortar. While glass doors are certainly an option, there are some homeowners opting for a less traditional route. Bluworld of Water based in Orlando is a full-service indoor waterwall manufacturer that combines water and art for a range of settings, including residential fireplaces. When budgets allow, some homeowners opt to add a water feature to their fireplace area, creating a tranquil, unique setting. This company’s water features often incorporate an element of glass, whether clear, frosted or cast.

“Homeowners are looking for a unique décor item that complements their style,” explains Martin Nardini, HOMelements sales manager for Bluworld. “The running water provides a stunning focal point and relaxing sound while helping to promote a healthy environment by cleansing the air and releasing negative ions.”

What’s Cooking?
The kitchen, the kitchen … where to begin as the glass opportunities abound. It’s no secret that everyone loves a good kitchen and glass products are right at home when it comes to helping homeowners create the culinary envy of the neighborhood.

Countertops have become an increasingly popular option for glass usage. Slumped, cast, fused or laminated, a glass countertop can make a stunning impression. Companies such as Think Glass in Montreal have created an array of countertop options that can be created to fit the décor of each individual kitchen. Combine that with a backpainted backsplash, such as those in the Dreamwalls line from Gardner Glass products, and the result is a colorfully stylish environment.

To take it one step further, some companies offer glass-front appliances. Jenn-Air®, for instance, has a Floating Glass line of products that includes refrigerators, dishwashers and more. The glass panels are situated to seemingly float in place.

But glass in the kitchen is not limited to the contemporary effects of a snazzy countertop, backsplash and appliances. Those going for a more traditional look can still bring glass into their kitchen. Glass cabinets remain a popular option. Frosted, textured and patterned glass choices are, of course, available, so let your clients and customers know the dishes never have to be in perfect display.

Fine Dining
The glass tabletop remains a popular option in the dining room, and thanks to advances in glass technologies homeowners don’t have to worry about the problems of scratches. Products such as DiamondGuard from Guardian Industries, for example, can be used for table tops giving homeowners added surface protection. According to Guardian, the DiamonGuard product is 10 times more scratch-resistant than some other products allowing the table top to look newer longer.

The dining room is also a great spot for a large-scale window. Bays and bows and other big window types can open up the room and bring in an abundance of natural light. For example, used in combination, the Andersen 400 Series casement bay window, 400 Series Frenchwood gliding patio doors and 400 Series Flexiframe specialty fixed windows can create a light-filled, open dining space.

Washing Up
If the kitchen is the number-one glass-in-the-house venue, then the bathroom is sure to claim second place. Homeowners often say an all-glass shower enclosure is a must-have feature. While patterns, colors and textures can allow a homeowner to be ultra creative, many say that clear glass remains the top seller—and the desire is still one for as little metal as possible. Cardinal Shower Doors has one such solution in its Skyline shower enclosure, which brings a new take on the sliding door. Instead of hiding the rollers up inside a track, the sliding panel glides on large stainless steel rollers mounted directly to the glass. The unit features one fixed panel and one sliding panel. And yes, for those seeking a unique vibe, options are available to allow homeowners to mix and match patterned and/or cast glass for the shower panels.

Glass tile is another hot-ticket item in the bathroom, as it’s often used on shower walls and floors, tub surrounds and as a backsplash. Companies such as Crossville Inc. offer an assortment of tile options. The Ebb & Flow series, for example, is a combination of both glass and natural stone. It creates a three-dimensional effect on interior and exterior walls, but maintains a smooth surface.

And what bathroom would be complete without a sink? Glass vessel sinks are yet another option for unique bathroom features. Clear glass is certainly available, but for those wanting a more artistic option, many glass artists also create one-of-kind selections. BJ Katz with Meltdown Glass in Tempe, Arizona, often combines cast glass, colors, textures and other details when working on her vessel sinks.

Outdoor Options
But there are more than just interior options for glass when it comes to residential projects. Glass is also finding its place in outdoor projects as well. In fact, Glass Recycled in Plano, Texas, has a colorful showcase of options for landscaping. Called GlassScape, the company turns broken glass bottles and porcelain fixtures into decorative, sustainable mulch in more than 20 colors. Using a patented process, the company takes such discarded materials and “upcycles” them for a number of residential and commercial uses including landscape products, as well as countertops and flooring. The GlassSCAPE line offers the material crushed, loose and bagged and can be used as a permanent alternative to groundcover, mulch or used in fountains and aquariums.

Ellen Rogers is a contributing editor for USGlass magazine and editor of Decorative Glass magazine. She can be reached at erogers@glass.com or follow her on Twitter @DG_magazine.

 

 



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