Decorating: 10 Ways to Incorporate Glass Into Your Home
Light-boosting, sleek, space-enhancing… What’s not to love about glass? Make use of its qualities with these ideas for every room
If you have, or have your eye on, a property that has two separate buildings, glass can prove the ideal material with which to link them. It connects the spaces without losing the sense of openness, or the novelty of having two buildings.
Here, the full height of the glass and its slim frames create a strong connection with the garden – glorious when the weather is good. In the winter, a space like this could be made to feel cosier with curtains or blinds, or you could embrace the frost and revel in the fact that you’re warm and cosy.
People often overlook the problem of glare when trying to bring more light into their homes. Remember that glass does reflect more than most materials, and it’s worth bearing that in mind when deciding whether or not to go for it.
Transparent furniture keeps the space visually open, though, and allows light to permeate further into a room. The reflection of the tree in the glass desk might be quite welcome at this work station.
Glass is a great material to use in bathrooms, particularly if they’re on the smaller side. It keeps shower areas light and open, meaning they can be squeezed into even the tightest spaces. Glass can also be used to screen off a toilet or basin without obscuring them entirely, and it looks sleek and sophisticated, too.
Do take into account that a glass screen may require slightly more maintenance, as watermarks will show more easily than on opaque materials. If you live in a hard-water area, invest in a squeegee to remove water from the glass after each shower – it will keep limescale build-up to a minimum.
Many of my clients who wish to upgrade their kitchens are often happy with the layout of their units, and just want to replace cupboard doors and work surfaces, rather than going for a full makeover.
Glass is a good option for worktops, because it’s tough, attractive and easy to clean. The reflective surface bounces light around the room far more than any other material, keeping it bright and airy, and it comes in a range of colours to suit any scheme.
Read more about the pros and cons of glass and other worktop materials
A great way to give a dated hallway a revamp with minimal upheaval is to remove old wooden banisters and handrails and replace them with one sleek piece of glass. This style looks great, but be aware that fingermarks will show up easily if you don’t have a handrail. Browse different colours and finishes, such as sandblasted glass, to find the right style for your home.
If you’d like to open out a room that feels a little too small and claustrophobic, but don’t want to lose the ability to separate your spaces, glass can act as a permanent divider that still allows the rooms to benefit from borrowed light.
This Crittall-style grid gives the office space beyond its own identity while allowing masses of light into the hallway.
Many kitchens have tired tiles on the walls, and re-grouting often offers only a temporary solution that quickly starts to look dull again. Sheet materials are more hygienic, as there are no small cracks where germs can lurk.
A glass splashback is made from thinner glass than that used on worktops, so it’s an affordable option and you’d be surprised how much difference it can make. Consider mixing your materials – say a wooden worktop with a glass splashback – to create interest and character.
For awkward spaces and rooms without a vertical window and no possibility for installing one, a skylight might be the perfect solution. A larger sheet of glass that covers a big section of the roof will dramatically improve the quality of light in a room. It will also create that magical feel, allowing you to enjoy the changing cloud formations during the day and the stars at night.
Check out more skylights
Most of us recognise the benefits of bathing as a way to unwind and relax, and a beautiful tub is on many homeowners’ wish lists. A way to make a bathing area feel really special is by connecting a bedroom and bathroom with beautiful frosted glass doors, so the spaces feel like one room, but can be separated when needed.
If the doors remain open most of the time, you could consider pocket-style models that neatly slide back into the wall to emphasise the connection.
Open shelves are popular in kitchens at the moment, as they keep sightlines open and stop the room from becoming top heavy. For me, though, the possibility of dust collecting is a little too much. Glazed units offer the best of both worlds, keeping the space visually open while protecting anything stored inside.
You can also create a wow factor by painting the insides of the cabinets a different colour to the exteriors, or by lining them with wallpaper. Or why not try special lighting effects at night?
See 11 ways to style open shelves
How have you used glass in your home? We would love to see photos in the Comments below.