Chances are, you most commonly associate stained glass with places of worship. It’s a fair assumption — lots of cathedrals, mosques and temples incorporate huge breathtaking panes of feature coloured glass into their designs.
But this architectural feature doesn’t just belong in public spaces of worship. More and more, stained glass windows are finding their way into homes across the country. Here are five reasons why-
The trend has its roots in turn of the century design
Legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright was an innovator in many ways, including in his use of stained glass. He called his creations light screens and, while they sported intricate designs, they featured plenty of clear glass, too. In one of his builds, the Robie House, there were 175 stained-glass doors and windows all designed by Wright.
Although decades have passed since then – and centuries since the first stained glass windows were made – the process for piecing them together remains the same. Artisans add metallic oxides to glass, then heat it to create different colours. Clearly, this infusion is long-lasting, just like the staying power of stained glass in architecture and design.
To that end, these colourful panes have remained a design staple because they never go out of style. That’s one reason why they’re making a comeback in home design — they’re an eye-catching unique feature that will always look as amazing as it does on the day it’s installed.
Of course, because stained glass is a design feature with staying power, it doesn’t come cheap — you can expect a custom-made leadlight window to cost around $1,000 per square metre. Many home designers will head online to compare designs, prices and installation fees before purchasing. Or, if you’re ready to pick up a new artistic hobby, you could piece together a smaller project of your own. But the price you’ll pay for a professionally made design will be a cost-effective one since you know the look will remain in style for years to come.
Another reason stained glass has grown in popularity is it can fit into anywhere you have or could install a window pane. As such, you shouldn’t just consider your window frames as potential homes for your new stained glass. You can pop a colourful pane into skylights, stairways, doors, bay windows and even the fronts of your cabinets.
As you will be paying a considerable price to have your bespoke piece of stained glass made, you can expect to have a hand in designing each window, too. Whether you want a design with every colour of the rainbow or you want a simple, understated piece, you can request it from the artisan behind your project. Chances are, you already have a vision, but if you don’t, be sure to peruse galleries that flaunt designs chosen by other homeowners. Their selections may be enough to inspire your own stained glass installation.
It adds privacy
As much as we love letting natural light into your home — and as many benefits as it has for your mental and physical health — you don’t want your windows wide open all of the time. A clear pane lets passersby see right into your abode, so you install blinds and hang curtains to customise the amount of light and privacy you get.
On the other hand, a stained glass window gives you the best of both worlds. The panes still let light into your home, and the sun’s rays pick up gorgeous colour as they pour through them. But the colour and finish of stained glass obscure the view from outside into your property, which means you don’t have to worry about curtains, blinds or other accoutrements to create privacy — and block the light.
Seeing as it provides a bit of a screen without blocking light completely, stained glass is an excellent choice for a bathroom, too, even powder rooms with tiny panes. They can let light in from the outside, or provide screens between the shower and sink area, for example.
Stained glass is beautiful
Finally — and quite simply — stained glass has experienced a boost in popularity because it is beautiful. Even the plainest of rooms will have instant appeal, interest and colour with the installation of a single pane. Many have turned to stained glass to provide the warmth that modern design and technology cannot. The blue light that emanates from our phones, tablets and TVs is no contest to the warming glow of stained glass, after all.
If you’re considering adding a bit of stained glass to your property, remember that it’s not going to be the cheapest or quickest project. But you can work one-on-one with a maker to design the perfect pane with just the right combination of colours to suit your decor. Once it’s installed, your home will have a bit of added privacy from the street. Most importantly, the piece you’ve installed is not only timeless, but it’s beautiful — and you, your family and future occupants will enjoy it for years to come.