A special section of USGlass magazine
Envy of the Block
Decorative Glass Finds its Place in
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.
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
“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.”
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.
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
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.
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 email@example.com
or follow her on Twitter @DG_magazine.
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