HOUSETRENDS GREATER CINCINNATI
GREATER CINCINNATI | OCTOBER 2013 | VOL. 12, NO. 4 | HOUSETRENDS.COM | $4.95
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Art glass adds a dazzling touch By Amy Howell Hirt
Ever since stained glass made the jump from cathedrals and castles to the front door of the common man, art glass has represented the ideal union of aesthetics and function— delivering privacy while adding beauty. Today, as the economy eases upward, many homeowners are shaking the dust off their remodeling plans and finding fresh reasons why art glass installations —whether stained, leaded, pebbled, back-painted, carved, etched or textured—are more than just a pretty face for the front door.
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“A lot of people are dressing up the home they have. They’ve been thinking about doing an art glass design for a long time, and decide to just do it,” says Dan Burgess of Stained Glass Overlay, a stained glass manufacturer and installer in Elsmere, Ky. “It’s not all that expensive and totally transforms a room.” Here are a few art glass applications that are transforming standard features into oneof-a-kind treasures, and delivering some surprising benefits.
Sparkling surfaces There’s a reason why leaded glass designs have become the most popular option for the windows that are often installed over garden tubs: Beyond its privacy wielding power, art glass is an ideal substrate for adding style to spaces that need to have a clean look and even cleaner surfaces. Billy Klausner, founder and owner of Crystal Illusions, a custom glass company in Cleveland, says back-painted glass—in which color is infused to the back side of a sheet of tempered glass —has become a popular option for shower walls and kitchen backsplashes because it provides saturated color and a dazzling reflective quality,
but also because it usually requires a lot less elbow grease to clean than ceramic tiles. There are no grout lines, and the naturally non-porous material is treated with a polymer coating to resist hardwater staining, Klausner says. Recycled glass countertops have moved into the mainstream as well. For frameless shower enclosures, textured glass has become an equally durable and low-maintenance option, Burgess says.
Custom vessels In the bathroom, vessels crafted from glass are a popular way to punctuate a custom design. continued >
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p 1 Cincinnati HOMEARAMA® garden tub, photo from Stained Glass Overlay 2 Dual stained glass windows by artist Cathy Parkinson flank a copper tub in Greater Cincinnati, photo by David Rose 3 Created by Pittsburgh artist Jeffrey Phelps, this one-of-a-kind glass backsplash is called Tree of Life Moonlight Sonata, photo by Craig Thompson 4 Tom and Saundra Snyder of Designer Glass Mosaics in Charlotte designed this intricate, bamboo “wall” formed of fused glass tiles, photo by Ron Miller 5 Recycled glass kitchen countertop by Vetrazzo, photo by Joel Puliatti
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While lighting is hugely important for bringing any art glass installation to life, some homeowners are moving beyond natural light and adding LEDs beneath the glass vessels, creating a dramatic glow, Klausner says.
From the bathroom to the patio, many people are turning to art glass to provide in-house and outdoor privacy. Emerald Art Glass in Pittsburgh often installs laminated glass panels on decks and patios, as an elegant upgrade from a privacy fence.
The additional installations might include the door of an office located just off the front door, or divider panels added between the kitchen and dining room, says John Root, owner of SGO Designer Glass in Dayton, Ohio. Frank Lloyd Wrightinfluenced designs are the most popular for this application, he says, because they complement a range of styles.
A cohesive interior
Beyond carrying a front door design to the sidelights and transom, many people are continuing the design throughout their first floor space, just as they would with any other architectural element.
A handful of truly progressive homeowners are using glass to bring artistic flair to the humble staircase, as well as the
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catwalk design found in many floor plans. Installers with Emerald Art Glass often bring in glass floors and stair treads, as well as glass panels in place of traditional railings and balusters.
A personal expression
2 Glass privacy panels in bedroom, by Emerald Art Glass in Pittsburgh
1 Artisan glass vessel sinks lighted from below in Tampa, photo by Johan Roetz
Five years ago, many people would’ve been hesitant to incorporate such grand—and permanent—features. And while many still opt for neutral tones and themes, others now see an art glass installation—and their home—as a way to express their tastes. continued >
3 Flowing front entry by Franklin Art Glass in Columbus 4 Stained glass by Rex Glass wraps around a spiral staircase in Pittsburgh, photo by Craig Thompson 5 Personalized art for a Buckeye fan by SGO Dayton
6 Resized antique piece by Hyde Park Art Glass in Tampa
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p 1 Wright-inspired windows in the Bexley suburb of Columbus by Franklin Art Glass in Columbus 2 Glass staircase by Emerald Art Glass in Pittsburgh
“People are staying in their homes, so there’s more of a trend of personalizing. They’re not as concerned about resale,” Root says.
A moveable masterpiece Though should it come time to move, homeowners may opt to simply take their art glass with them, just as they would any cherished piece of artwork. While not all installations can be easily uprooted, features like windows and doors are “a little more transportable than people think,” Reid says. “Some people will call and say they’re planning to sell and want to take the glass with them, so we go back and replace it with clear glass,” Reid says. “It can last 75 to 100 years, so you’re buying an enduring piece of artwork.”
To see more photos of this home, go to housetrends.com and search “Glow in the Light.”
Cincinnati stainedglassbysgo.com Cleveland crystalillusions.com Columbus franklinartglass.com Dayton sgodayton.com Pittsburgh emeraldartglass.com Tampa hydeparkartglass.com
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