Every year there’s a certain trend in home DIY: retro, upcycling or even geek-chic have all had their moment in the spotlight. However, there is a constant in home décor which is very much on trend and never seems to fall out of favour: glass. Whatever the style which is hitting the headlines, the need for light airy spaces is unquestionable and this is a feature which glass delivers time and time again. But knowing how to incorporate glass innovations into a DIY makeover is an art in itself; here are a few select ideas which should help get those creative juices flowing.
Bringing the outside in
The unrelenting trend towards more natural products and environments means that a more blurred line between indoors and out is very appealing.
But whilst you might enjoy padding between your lounge and garden in the summer months, it’s not quite such a welcome idea when it’s cold and wet outside. Opting for frameless sliding doors provides an unbroken view of the outdoors, without ugly frames to block the vista. A single sheet of glass is all that stands between you and outside, helping the room to feel light and airy and almost as if the outside is flowing into the very core of your home.
But although the frameless glass doors can providing an almost unique visual appeal, they are incredibly practical too. Their superior thermal technology means that even when it’s cold outside, the temperature doesn’t travel through the glass so it won’t feel cold and icy if you touch it on the inside. Clever stuff!
Creating invisible barriers
There may be times when you want to seal off part of a room particularly if you have children or other family members who are indulging in a noise activity! In order to do this typically means installing a wall and door, a design feature which can make a room seem smaller and darker. One way to open out the space without losing any of the practicality is to install frameless sliding doors instead. Not only are they more practical – no more bumping into people on the other side! – But they help the room to retain its light and spacious vibe, but also allow that all-important privacy too. Frameless sliding doors by Otto’s Exterior are available with special acoustic technology to guarantee sound insulation when you want it the most.
And if you want the option to totally close off one part of the room temporarily, why not invest in sliding vertical blinds? Easy to install and providing the option of keeping the room sections open or closed, you have a versatile solution which doesn’t compromise the light you have available.
Breaking up a wall
If you already have an arch or a doorway and don’t want to install frameless sliding doors, another way to use glass in an innovative way is to create a glass panel. By cutting out a slice of the wall you can install thick glass bricks or panels instead; ones with colours or accents can look very unusual. This doesn’t affect how the room functions but is a great way to provide a splash of colour whilst also injecting more light.
As an alternative, if you don’t want the work of cutting apart your walls, you can create a similar effect with the use of wall art. Finding glass plates or platters and arranging them decoratively against a light coloured plain wall can have a magical effect. If the room still seems dark, adding some directional or spot lighting above will help emphasise the brightness. An old-fashioned trick of using a mirror to create light and bright rooms is still as good as ever, but by placing it opposite glass doors or even glass panels you can amplify the effect to its maximum.
If you are embracing the glass design in your home, echoing the feature in other rooms in your house can help to provide a flow which ties the whole house together and can give it a really classy edge.
In the kitchen, rather than opting for garish patterns, why not install glass splash backs. A clear and simple design, glass splash backs can make the kitchen look clean, modern and stylish without being cluttered by competing colours. And matching glass worktop savers can complete the décor. If you have a separate dining room, a glass table can set off the food you present to perfection. An understated backdrop such as a glass table top can provide a real touch of sophistication, making your dishes look simply exquisite.
Upstairs you can forget having shower curtains which need to be replaced every few weeks, think glass appeal instead. A frameless shower screen will follow the designs you have in your lounge, kitchen and diner and will make even the smallest bathroom seem larger and elegant. Across the whole house, accessorise with glass objects to help emphasise your chosen design. In the kitchen, open shelving with glass containers can provide support to the glass splash backs as well as making everything easier to find!
Lampshades can also be made from glass; you don’t need chandeliers in order to transform every light fitting into a shimmering exhibit. If you have small children and worry about the safety of using glass, opt for soft curved lines instead of sharp lines and corners to protect small heads from unintentional bumps and bruises.
If you are keen to repeat the glass pattern throughout the house you may find there are rooms where you don’t quite know how to use such an open design whilst still maintaining privacy. For example, if you prefer not to have the contents of your kitchen on display…just in case the washing-up hasn’t yet been done…you could opt for a frosted door instead. This provides the glass without compromising on your privacy.
Another very modern option to frosted glass is the ability to design your own. Anyone can imagine and draw their own pattern before handing it to a digital artist to create it on glass for permanent use.
This facility can make it possible to replace the wall to your bedroom with a giant glass screen, providing privacy in the form of specially-designed glass which is either patterned or has been etched or engraved.
It may not something you have previously considered but if you particularly crave the feeling of being outside, why not install a sky light? A great way to bring more brightness into a room, a skylight can direct natural sunlight right into the centre of a space, a quality which is almost impossible to reproduce by artificial means.
If you wanted to go one step further and the design of your house permits, you could even create a whole glass roof. The feeling of being in a room which has surround glass is impossible to describe and will provide you with sunshine and lightness even on the darkest days.
The idea of using glass to create a light, bright and airy home is not one which is new, but by implementing modern designs and sharp, clean lines you can make your home look contemporary and stylish, no matter what this season’s trends suggest.