On the Homefront: Kitchens & Baths Offer Interior Glass Opportunities
Blame it on the pandemic, but people have had extra time on their hands in 2020, and they’ve spent a lot of it at home. That’s been good news to the home improvement market. According to the American Institute of Architects (AIA) 2020 fourth quarter Home Design Trends Survey, all custom residential sectors reported improved market conditions, with home improvement reporting the strongest gains. In fact, 69% of respondents reported increasing interest in kitchen and bath remodeling projects compared to 48% in last year’s fourth quarter survey.
Also good news on the residential front, architecture firms in all regions reported strong growth in billings in Q3; project backlogs at those firms continued to increase, and, on average, firms reported about a 6% increase in the value of backlogs from the second quarter of 2020 to the third.
Increasing growth on the residential side could also mean good news for glass companies, hungry for work given the slowdown on the commercial side. As homeowners look to upgrade and improve their living spaces, particularly their kitchens and baths, that could bring opportunities for more interior glass installations. Here’s a look at some of those unique installations.
Residence, Aspen, Colo.
Glass Fabricator/Supplier: Bendheim, Wayne, N.J.
Glazing Contractor: Cutting Edge Glass, Denver
Architect: Monique Agnew Architecture, San Francisco
This Colorado home balances tradition and modernity as defined in part by its kitchen. It includes a number of glazing components that help showcase the room’s simplicity and organized elegance. While the home’s exterior embraces its original architecture, the interior has evolved into a contemporary, open setting.
In the kitchen, the cabinet fronts feature Bendheim’s low-iron, pattern etched glass, which helps provide a semi-transparent solution. The glass was used to allow the beauty of the items inside the cabinets to stand out, while still proving a veiled display to eliminate clutter. As the viewing angle of the glass changes, the linear pattern creates a sense of movement. In addition, polished glass shelving allows light to flow through the cabinets. The back of the cabinets feature Bendheim’s translucent white laminated glass, which also filters light from the outside in. The white glass essentially converts a large opening into a functional backsplash and wall cabinet space, while maintaining daylight advantages. The glass door fronts, glass shelves, and translucent white cabinet backs work together to brighten the kitchen.
In addition, a variety of other glazing products supplied by Bendheim were used in other areas of the home. Translucent white laminated safety glass defines various functional areas, helping to avoid the closed-off feeling that solid walls tend to create, while semi-opaque closet doors maintain design uniformity and obscure items on the inside.
Seaview Residence, Monmouth County, N.J.
Glass Fabricator: General Glass International (GGI), Secaucus, N.J.
Glazing Contractor: B & Y Top Glass LLC, Edison, N.J.
A family in Long Beach, a beachside city in Monmouth County, N.J., decided 2020 was the year to update their master bathroom—and they did just that in December 2020 with a luxurious custom shower enclosure. GGI fabricated the custom enclosure with 3/8-inch low iron tempered glass featuring an Alice direct-to-glass printed gridwork design.
B & Y Top Glass LLC installed the oversized 106-inch wide by 82-inch tall shower enclosure that included two 70 ½-inch tall swing doors with glass-to-wall hinges, back-to-back pull handles and one large center panel.
GGI created the on-trend look of ornamental, hand-forged iron gridwork on a glass substrate of 3/8-inch low-iron glass and the Alice direct-to-glass printed design in a matte-black ceramic paint, which is durable and ideal for interior and exterior applications, including high-humidity environments such as bathrooms.
Residence, Montecito, Calif.
Glass Fabricator/Supplier: UltraGlas, Chatsworth, Calif.;
American Shower Door, Commerce, Calif.
Glazing Contractor: Santa Barbara Glass Co., Carpinteria, Calif.
Designer: Birgit Klein Interiors, Montecito, Calif.
Collaboration was the key to giving homeowners in Montecito, Calif., their dream bathroom. Santa Barbara Glass Co. (SBG) worked closely with suppliers to create and install a unique shower enclosure that resembled a leaded glass window.
“I reached out to Jane Skeeter of UltraGlas to see if she could provide cast glass to replicate the lead came aesthetic of a leaded glass window,” says SBG president Daniel Hope. “After a few sample iterations we had an approved glass product.”
Hope says the next challenge was getting the cast glass to fit in a frame that could handle its weight.
“Jane and I linked up with Carrol Sturgill at American Shower Door. Carol recommended we use a solid brass frame that could be plated oil rubbed bronze.”
He continues, “It took a good deal of coordination working with two different suppliers on totally custom designs, but in the end, we were able to provide a high quality product to the customer that met their design intent.”
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