Why Use Glass

Home Floral Panels Geometric Panels Donation Projects Other Style Panels Sun Catchers Glass Boxes Project Details Why Use Glass About the Artist Contact Info

 

Stained glass panels are an interesting way to solve various challenges a home may present and turn them into "Opportunities". Here are a few situations where glass can enhance your home's value and ambiance.

Example 1: Nothing pretty to look at.

The challenge:

The back of our hillside home in Mill Valley looks into a steep, unlandscaped hill, and several windows are beneath large decks. The original home design concealed this unloveliness with windows using obscured glass. We found this type of glass more annoying than useful. They limited the light that came into the room and acted more like walls than windows. Windows in the two primary bathrooms, the entry, and a long hallway were affected.

The opportunity:

Hallway: We replaced the glass in the hall windows with clear glass. I created light and open designs with some colored glass that is very transparent and background glass that textures the view significantly. This allows in what limited light is available and attracts the eye to the design. By looking out through the transparent pieces, the back hill is clearly visible. The end result is shown at the left. Click on the picture for a full screen view.

Bathrooms: We replaced the sliding windows with clear awning windows and hung panels from very short chains in front of them. This allows the awning windows to be opened to enhance bathroom ventilation, while distracting you from the actual view. The designs and glass chosen allowed a view through some pieces, while focusing your eye on the design, not the nether side of the decks. Click on the picture for a larger view.

Entry: We replaced the original obscured class with clear glass and mounted a single, large, reinforced panel in front of it. It was astounding how much more spacious the entry hall felt as soon as the ugly old window was gone. We used wood trim spacers to keep the reinforcements on the back of the panel from touching the outside window and then put molding in to hold the panel in place, which also aids in keeping it stable. This size panel stretches the capacity of my studio bench and I am somewhat reluctant to do another as big. Every time I had to turn or flip the panel, its tendency to bend (and potentially break) added more stress to my life than I like! Click on the picture for a larger view. Also, the Project Details page has more information about this project.

Back to top


Example 2: Pass-through to nowhere.

The challenge:

Our home, like many in Marin County, was originally smaller. An addition created a large master suite downstairs and a library/family room upstairs. The design is unique in that there is no bedroom door per se, only doors at either end of a short corridor, and a large opening from the corridor to our room, with an opening like a kitchen pass-through next to it.

The opportunity:

We felt that placing a panel in the pass-through would somewhat improve the privacy of the room. We chose glass colors to reflect our cherry cabinetry and furniture and textures that would impede the view while not hampering the minimal light available through the opening. We also used the diamond pattern in our bed headboard as a foundation for the background of the panel. We "installed' the panel using cove molding to hold it in place. We offset the panel to the outside of the opening, leaving space to use the sill as a small shelf. This project is the reason I learned stained glass, and as such, is the cause of my 'addiction'! Click on the picture for a larger view.

Back to top


Example 3: Create the illusion of privacy.

The challenge:

When we remodeled our guest bath, we removed the old sliding window with obscured glass and replaced it with a double casement window with clear glass. The room is an odd sort of L-shape, with the windows not directly in front of the facilities. During the day, it is pretty obvious that there are so many trees between us and our neighbors that no one could see into this second story powder room from the outside. In the evening however, this natural privacy is not so obvious. We also removed a large black acacia just outside the window which opened up the view to some of the neighbors considerably when looking directly out the window. However, the view when using the powder room facilities is toward the remaining vegetation, as shown in this photo, taken from over the pedestal sink.

The opportunity:

I created a pair of panels to give an illusion of privacy, especially in the evening, when a visitor would not be aware of the dense vegetation surrounding the house. We did not want to restrict light into the small room, which had been pretty dark due to the trees, so the design was intended to be open, with clear glass that could be seen through easily. The glass selected for the flowers and leaves was intentionally more opaque, to assist with the appearance of privacy. Additionally, the pane closest to the facilities was designed with less clear glass and a more 'private' design. Glass was chosen to look good in both transmitted (daytime) and reflected (night time) light. The design and color selections for the panels was influenced by the powder room wallpaper, reflecting the white flowers, green leaves, and pink accents. Hanging the panels allows easy access to open the casements and enjoy the ventilation through them. Hanging them toward the bottom of the window increases the privacy impact and lets in more light at the top. Click on the picture for a larger view.

Back to top


Example 4: Improve privacy without limiting light.

The challenge:

A client bought a condo with a bedroom overlooking a small courtyard and hallways with windows. While they installed blinds for privacy, they wanted  more light in their room. The window they selected to place the panel in was stationary, but was divided into two lights, creating a bar across the design space. The window frame was metal, which also limited installation options.  In another situation, the privacy in a bathroom with a large shower window was impacted by tree trimming. Adequate natural light was also a factor for this dark room.

The opportunity:

Condo: I created a panel of concentric and embedded circles using few colors and 5 types of clear glass, chosen for their ability to distort reality. This geometric panel was built with lead came, using zinc for stability around the outside and through the middle. Cove framing was nailed into the ceiling and sill of the window to contain it.

Shower: I designed a panel using the border elements from a previously installed panel in the bathroom (see the right hand panel in Example 1 above). By giving the window the appearance of 3 separate panes, my design was able to be 'busy' on the ends (most exposed to the neighbor's decks and view) and open in the center without looking like the middle section had been forgotten. Adding the illusion of diamond-shaped lights throughout gave the panel some action in the middle and tied the three sections together. It also allowed the use of a lot of clear glass that did not distort the view outside while achieving the desired level of privacy.

Back to top


Example 5: Make a dark space lighter without losing privacy.

The challenge:

Like many Marin homes, our living floor is on the top where the view is better, but the entry is below. In our case, the entry size is fairly constrained and the original door was nearly all wood with a very small window, filled with yellow glass. Additionally, the dining room extended over the entry to the stair, and the space was not wide enough to add sidelights. Along with the obscured glass window in the entry, the area was very dark. We tried to address this by replacing a half wall above by the dining room with a glassed in railing, but the impact was minimal. Click on the picture for larger view.

The opportunity:

We replaced the entry door with a new door with a much larger window. Using only clear glass would have made the entry more public than we wanted, so I designed a stained glass panel to install behind the required tempered glass. The difference in the light in the entryway is dramatic! On the left is the new door with no stained glass. When the acacia is trimmed (that's all the greenery you see outside the door), there is a clear view of the door from the road. The lower photo shows the same perspective as the old door with the stained glass installed. The additional light in the entry is amazing -- we keep thinking we've left the door open! Click on this picture for a larger view. For more about the entry project, go here.

Back to top

 
Contact us:
Sunrise Art Glass
415-389-8916
Email questions or comments about this web site.
Copyright 2009 Lynn Eichinger
Last modified: 06/02/12