How to Use Glass in Interior Design
Glass can be incorporated into the design of your home in a variety of ways, whether that’s architecturally or superficially as decoration. And there many different types of glass that can be used for different purposes and different effects. The fact that glass can be quite fragile is no longer a problem as it can be toughened for use in any part of the house, from walls to floors and furniture, too.
There are concept houses in Milan, Italy made entirely from glass. Everything bar the ground floor flooring is made from glass, so there is nowhere to hide. There are no barriers to the outside world, so it's a bit like a ghost house, whereby living in a completely transparent structure you live in the environment that surrounds it. However, it's not yet practical to occupy an entirely glass house as it is difficult to retain heat, and that's if you can get past the privacy issue (reality tv stars probably wouldn't have an issue with that).
Instead, many people who love the inclusive properties of glass, its ability to bring the outside in, are opting for sky lights or incorporating floor-to-ceiling glass windows into their conventionally built houses. (Our friends who live a street over have a similar house to ours, but the second floor windows begin just above the floor, adding an extra three feet to the window space, and the difference it makes in opening up the room is massive.) Others are using textured glass bricks to build walls inside their homes, to create a partition that allows transparent obscurity, letting light in without losing the divisive aspect of a wall.
Those who aren’t designing their own house but want glass in their homes can opt for a conservatory. Conservatories now come in a variety of styles and are no longer stuck within the confines of wicker furniture and jungle plants. Pavilion Glass in Sussex, for instance, have a variety of styles that can be used as a dining room or a reception room, or however you please. I think a sun-filled (when you can get it) English tea room would be lovely!
Glass flooring is generally used to let light into the floor below, for instance if you had a (super clean and attractive) basement but wanted natural light. It is strengthened to hold the weight of several people. (How long would that take to get used to walking on, I wonder?) And glass panels can replace staircase banisters or railings, or the top area of a staircase wall to open up the stair area (my mother-in-law has done this to stunning effect.)
Glass furniture creates a futuristic look, and is perfect for small spaces as it allows the eye to move through it. Paired with leather, glass furniture can be quite masculine and minimalist, but if you use glass in other elements of your decoration as well as different materials and textures, you can balance it out with a bit of femininity with cut glass vases or sculpture.
Photo credit (bedroom): William E. Carter Co.