In the past few decades, glazing has been transformed as an industry: from something that was focussed almost entirely on practicality, to a practice that can now elevate and revitalise your home aesthetically – in a stunning way.
Architectural glazing firms have pioneered new methods to change what’s possible in glass designs. Whether it’s a simple revamp, or a complete architectural redesign, using glass in your home renovation is a fantastic way to transform the visual and practical appeal of your property. But what are the most inspiring ways to renovate your home using glass?
Change look of windows
They may not be the first things that spring to mind when you start renovating, but all homes need windows. You might think of them as purely practical, but changing the style, look and feel of your glazing could be the secret ingredient in a stunning renovation.
Choosing new windows tends to conjure images of shady window salespeople and relentless cold-calls offering double-glazing. Thankfully this image is changing, and windows now represent a truly fantastic renovation possibility.
Modernise your window styles
Windows, like many elements of the home, come in all shapes and sizes. What’s surprising is just how much those shapes and sizes impact the overall aesthetic of a home. If you’re looking to modernize your property, then choosing to modernize your windows could be the best place to start.
Consider choosing frameless, large, and minimally intrusive designs. Single panel windows, in particular, are emblematic of modern design, and swapping out tired wooden framing for up-to-date, appealing aluminum (or other metals) is a great way to bring the look of your home into the 21st Century.
Choose materials in line with other renovation choices
One of the great things about modern construction is the sheer number of aesthetic styles available when doing some literal window shopping. With everything from brushed steel to entirely concealed frames available, great windows can cohere to a visual style that specifically complements other parts of your renovation.
Choose colours and materials in line with the overall aesthetic you’re trying to achieve – don’t assume just because windows are clear, they won’t impact other parts of your renovation! If, for instance, your design is going to feature modern geometric angles, then a perfectly square metal frame would probably work better than a round wooden one. It all comes down to creating a harmony between design elements, something windows can really help with.
Include a glass wall
Windows are a great addition to a home for many reasons. But to take things that one step further, one of the most inspiring ways to renovate your home using glass is to feature a glazed wall. Developments in modern structural techniques have made it possible for framed glass to bear considerable weight, and this means entire glass walls are now very much a reality.
With all kinds of options available, from totally ‘invisible’ styles providing a seamless view of the outdoors to multiple bi-folding doors set in floor-to-ceiling panels of glass, the visual result of a glass wall is truly incredible. If you’re looking to bring in more natural light (which has been shown to boost productivity, and well-being) or open up your property, there are few more inspiring ways to do so.
Include some unusual glass features
One of the best things about glass in the context of modern construction and technology is how delightfully unusual it can be. With all kinds of weird and wonderful design styles now possible, opting for something a little less ordinary could be the perfect choice for an inspiring home renovation.
You could choose to go down the truly modern, cutting-edge route, and install a switchable glass panel. Switchable glass is characterised by its futuristic ‘intelligent’ nano design, enabling the panels to switch from crystal clear to opaque at the press of a button.
Other unusual features include panels set into the floor or roof of a property. With a variety of colours, and with the potential for designs to be engraved or sandblasted into them, all of these lend a unique and standout quality to any renovation.
Add a glass extension
Possibly the most popular way to feature glazing in a home renovation is to construct a glass extension. Traditionally, these kinds of designs have been used to create things like conservatories, or similarly uninspiring designs. Fortunately, this is no longer the case, and modern glass extensions can be truly inspirational.
The best glass extensions now use strengthened, thick glass, which means that every wall surface can be glazed without the lack of insulation – and associated chill – of previous design styles. The other benefit of a modern glass extension is how simply versatile they are; they can be used for everything from a dinner or hosting space, to offices, or even entertainment rooms.
Opt for frameless designs
Glass, when used correctly, can be a striking and eye-catching feature in its own right, and one of the best ways to ensure your glazing is the main event of your restoration is to choose a frameless design. Mentioned above in a few other types of glass feature, frameless glazing deserves a place of its when it comes to inspiring glass features for home renovations.
Using cutting edge technology, modern glaziers and glazing firms are able to set the framing of a glass window, door, or other installation into the space above and below the floor and ceiling line, leaving only a few millimetres visible. Put simply, it’s possible to include a glass panel that’s completely unobstructed and looks like it doesn’t have a frame.
It’s one of the most impressive feats of modern home renovation construction, and choosing a frameless option for your glass installations is arguably the most inspiring way to show your flair for design. A frameless glass wall, for example, completely removes the boundary between the outside and inside, creating a borderless and modern aesthetic.
Include a glass staircase
For something a little more unusual – and if you’re planning on renovating the interior structure of your home – you could even consider installing a glass staircase. With the aforementioned ability to create strengthened, load-bearing glass installations, entirely glazed staircases are now a possibility.
Few things are more emblematic of the very finest in modern home design than a glass staircase. Whether it’s a simple balustrade to support an existing set of stairs or an entirely new construction with glass steps, these features are undoubtedly some of the most eye-catching on the market.
While all of the designs mentioned above are a fantastic place to start, when it comes down to actually planning and choosing the right types of glazing for your specific project, there are several things you’ll need to bear in mind. A few useful tips include:
- Thinking about security
By its very nature, glass can create vulnerability in a home. The one downfall of many of the designs mentioned above is that they are susceptible to damage, and can even provide a route into the home.
However, this is also entirely avoidable. If your designs might present a security risk, you can look into things like heat-toughened, bullet-proof, and even bomb-proof glazing to ensure you aren’t at risk in the unlikely event of an issue.
- Considering strengthened glass options
While glass installations are undeniably appealing, they don’t fare particularly well from impacts, or other similar damage. Glass shatters, and few things would be more frustrating (or cause more hassle) than installing an incredible new glass feature only to have it break.
While accidents strong enough to break glass panels are thankfully few and far between, when they do occur, they present a serious safety risk. Broken glass all over the floor is never a good thing, let alone if you have children or young family members in the house.
Looking into strengthened, laminated glass options could be the best way to ensure this doesn’t happen. Laminated glass remains in one piece even when broken, meaning that if an accident does occur, you won’t have to worry about shards.
- Using minimal glazing for older properties
When it comes to older properties, such as listed buildings, renovations can be slightly trickier. If your home is a classic or traditional building, a more modern installation – particularly those involving glass – can create a visually displeasing aesthetically. If your building is listed, it can even be difficult to get permission for certain additions and renovations.
If you find yourself in this situation – looking to renovate a property with historical appeal – then you don’t need to sacrifice the option of glass. Instead, consider minimal glazing installations. Modern glazing suppliers can offer unobtrusive solutions, such as the frameless glazing mentioned above, that actually complement the designs of older structures – helping to preserve their timeless appeal.