Glass options to brighten your home

Glass doesn't have to be restricted to windows. We bring you glass trends that will not only brighten up rooms, but will also bring a contemporary and modern look to your home.

Lightly tinted teal glass kitchen wall
ARTICLE Joanna Mathers

Glass can be flexibly used in alternative forms to suit many different styles in the home. Take a look at options to incorporate in your home renovation for a brighter space.
From creative countertops to decorative and discrete walls that become opaque at the flip of a switch, glass has come into its own in recent years. It is the ideal medium for injecting some atmosphere and light into any room of the home.

Wondrous walls

Glass may not seem the ideal medium for walls – transparency isn’t the best for privacy. But new technological innovations allow us to incorporate glass into the home in new and exciting ways.
They were hot stuff in the 1980s and glass blocks can still provide privacy and natural light when used as a window or wall. “Glass blocks are actually over 100 years old,” says Gary Walden from Viridian Glass. “But there are some great innovations coming through.” These include blocks that offer increased insulation, light control, sound proofing and fire resistance. Glass blocks can be used for both external and internal walls, and also look great for stairwells and curved walls.
Another interesting option for walls is Profilit, which is a U-shaped glass framing system that is used for interior and exterior walls. “This was traditionally used for the outside of factories to provide light; it’s now used a lot in Europe and for exterior and interior walls,” says Murray Young from Euroglass Creative, who provides creative advice and service to the architecture and building industries.
Prolifit can be used as a single or double glaze, depending on the client’s need – double glaze provides superior insulation and soundproofing.
Glass wall separating family living room and outdoor swimming pool

Photo by Euroglass


Bathroom ideas

Bathrooms can be a real haven in the home; a place to relax, unwind and luxuriate in the joy of water. But they need to be private, and the transparent nature of conventional glass means that this can be problematic.
One solution to this is privacy glass – switchable glass that can change glass from clear to opaque at the touch of a button. The transformation occurs via an emulsion of crystal that is integrated between layers of glass and is activated via electricity.
Translucent laminates are also a great option for the bathroom. They contain a translucent layer between two plies of glass; permanently offering a frosted look but with a cleaner colour. They also provide excellent light transmission and are ideal for bathroom windows.
Transparent and frosted glass panels enclosing oversized wood bathroom shower



In the kitchen

The kitchen is increasingly a social hub of the home and there are many design options that utilise glass in innovative ways.
Glass benches offer an attractive alternative to stone or steel; they can incorporate the customer’s choice of design, be toughened for kitchens with high use, and come in a range of finishes and textures.
Glass can also be incorporated to great affect in kitchen splashbacks, making them ideal for creative types wanting to make a real statement in the kitchen.
Or more contemporary types can choose muted tones that work beautifully with the overall colour scheme of the kitchen.
Slightly green tinted glass sink and kitchen countertop in industrial styled kitchen

photonewzealand/Andreas von Einsiedel


Up and down

Stairways can take up much needed visual vertical space in the home.
Glass stairs offer a solution to this problem – allowing light and background spaces to show through.
Frameless glass stairs create a striking statement in the home, especially when paired with glass balustrades.
These are ideal for contemporary homes when space is at a premium – they look striking positioned in front of a brightly painted or wallpapered feature wall.
Glass balustrades can also be used with regular stairs, and it’s possible to make them look even more striking by using designer coloured graphic glass.
Transparent glass balustrade for frameless wooden stairs

Outdoor solutions

Glass can be effectively incorporated into outdoor entertaining areas, providing shelter and offering a strong visual statement. It’s fit for pool fencing, creating a seamless visual flow between the pool space and the rest of the outdoor environment.
Bunnings Warehouse stocks a range of glass fencing solutions at a lower price range. Euroglass also offers a range of glass pool fencing, including heavy duty and curved glass. Or you could go for Euroanchors; stainless steel fixings that can be anchored on to the side of the pool and to which glass fencing can be attached.
Graphic Glass screens could be a great option for your outdoors. As with glass benches and splashbacks, these allow for graphic elements of the buyer’s choice to be incorporated into the strengthened glass. Suited for modern courtyards or city apartments where privacy is essential.
Apartment dwellers can make use of glass balustrades to secure their deck area. This can be crafted in a range of colours and patterns; even digital images can be used. “Our balustrades are made from laminated glass, which offers superior safety and helps protect the image,” says Murray Young from Euroglass Creative. Euroglass manufacture an extremely strong “sentry” glass, which can withstand massive force without shattering – perfect for balustrades used in high-rises or upper floors of houses.
Modern, outdoor sentry glass balustrade for high-rise outdoor deck

Outdoor entertaining area. Picture from Euroglass


Feeling creative

Modern technology means that the use of glass in the home is limited only by your imagination. The Euroglass Creative showcase office features a wide range of interesting glass screens that can be used to separate rooms or hide unsightly utility areas, to a glass fireplace in a bright, vibrant shade of lime green.
“We like people to come to us with their ideas – the sky’s the limit when it comes to what we can create with glass,” says Alan Stuck from Euroglass Creative.
For less ambitious projects, attractive decorative glass is readily available. European art glass is beautiful and readily available online through websites such as TradeMe – mid-century blown glass from manufacturers like Murano is particularly spectacular.
Or invest in the work of a local glass artist – a Google search will offer up many good results.

You might be interested in reading: Replacing your windows with double-glazing.

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This article by Joanna Mathers featured on page 106 of Issue 013 of Renovate Magazine. Renovate Magazine is an easy to use resource providing fresh inspiration and motivation at every turn of the page.


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*All information is believed to be true at time of publishing and is subject to change.

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