Why I’m a Sucker for Colored Glass!

Why I’m a Sucker for Colored Glass!

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If you have been following me for a while, you’re probably noticing a pattern in the things I like. For example, I’m a blue person. I just LOVE blue. However, as I’ve grown older I endorsed a wide palette of colors because they are so powerful but mostly charismatic. Their impact on us is SO deep, sometimes deeper than we realize. And thus, I admit that I have a “hard time” at first accepting a “colorless” design scheme request from a client. But my remedy to that is colored glass! Oh yes, pops of colored glass can balance things out and make everything appear as a seamless design statement in a most brilliant way.

View of the multicolored exterior facade of a hotel in Spain, with different colored glass panels at each window bay.
Attractive exterior facade of Hesperia Bilbao Hotel in Spain
Image via bilbaointernational

As a student at university, glass was not one of my favorite building materials. I was into concrete and steel. I reckoned that if I’m going to design something I might as well make it strong and durable. It was much later in my professional career that I began to appreciate the qualities of glass. It’s smooth, transparent yet, not colorless I began to notice it everywhere. And I mean everywhere…the most mesmerizing building facades are made with glass. How could I overlook that! Then there were glass railings and balustrades that began to appear in one building after the other. Everywhere and anywhere there was at least something made of glass acting as a huge reminder that I owed it more credit than I cared to give.

Two identical high rise buildings with reflective glass fascades standing across each other taken from below looking upwards.
Image via  unsplash

 

A 6 story building (garage) with color glass panels on its exterior illuminated at night!
Parking garage by Moore Moore Ruble Yudell Architects & Planners in Santa Monica, California
Image via  Huffington Post

Fastforward…I got married and when I had to pick a coffee table I ended up picking a square black glass table with a black metal truss underneath (my engineering discipline has a hold on me sometimes). To top it up, I chose the same dining table!!! YES, I did! And the wildest thing? I haven’t regretted it for one sec. It looks amazing in my open floor space and I know that they were the best choices ever!! But hey, what ever happened to my snobbish attitude towards glass? Well, basically it’s gone out the glass window!! LOL!! You see, I realized how great it looks as a building material and how stunning it can be as a decor object. It’s an all-round material suitable for just about anything; it’s almost the perfect material.

It was no surprise that the list of glass objects of desire was never-ending. My favorite glass tumblers that my mom once had (she happily passed them over to me now) were this malted whiskey color glass. Since then, I added to my collection ice-cream bowls, wine, champagne, and liqueur glasses…all colored glasses of course!

 

Champagne, wine, liqueur, and soda glasses and ice cream bowls all made of colored glasses belonging to my collection
Part of my collection of colored glasses

I came to realize how wrong it was of me to exclude such a diverse, material with all-that-mighty potential. It turns out that glass gives me the most exquisite “solutions” to various design hick-ups! It’s also a fact that whenever, designers “run-out” of solutions then they know that they can always rely on glass and its uniqueness. Colored glass is even more special, because of its color attributes. (You may also want to read about color combinations). It maintains its quality of transparency, but with a punch! So, imagine the impact of color combined with glass’ potential! It’s simply awesome and that’s what I want to share with you in this post.

A wall recess with shelving and various colored glasses on display in a rainbow type of arrangement
A beautiful display of colored glasses.
Image via beautifulmess

Various Usages

Glass Panels (…as a building material)

Colored glass as a building material is usually a composite type of safety glass. That means that it consists of two or more layers with an interlayer that holds them together even when broken. So, say you have an open floor plan space, but somewhere amidst you want to designate a very special area. You want that area to stand out for a specific reason, essentially cutting it off from the rest of the activities that might go on in the remaining space without the use of ordinary walls. The use of colored glass panels would be the most brilliant way to go about it. And that’s exactly what they did at the headquarter offices of Tuango in Montreal, Canada. A colored glass cube was made with orange glass paneling that signified the meeting room. Furthermore, they situated the meeting room in a spot where it is highly visible from outdoors, thus making their logo stand out – all thanks to colored glass. Two birds with one stone sort of speaking!

View of the exterior of a building where an orange cube on the inside is visible from the street while looking inside the entrance door
Entrance to Tuango’s headquarter offices

 

An orange cube made of glass panels in the middle of an open floor space within Tuango's headquarter offices
Interior of Tuango’s offices. The meeting room is within the orange cube.
Images via archilovers

 

Glass Furniture and Decor Objects (…as a decor element)

Designers over the years have experimented with glass furniture. They have created ethereal objects that are breathtaking including coffee, side, and dining tables, sideboards, and armchairs…even if they’re not the most comfortable. They are beautiful design elements that add a dazzling sophistication to an interior. Therefore, it did not surprise me that glass furniture appeared once more this year at Milan’s Salone del Mobile Satellite section captivating the fair’s visitors. I don’t know for sure if this trend will grow any stronger, but I’m pretty sure that it will never subside either. An accent glass furnishing is just the thing we need for an eclectic interior, now and always.

A multi colored glass armchair with no visible fittings and an ombre effect.
The ombre chair designed by Germans Ermics
Image via dezeen

 

A round glass top resting on a glass made tripod with an iridescent finish
Table designed by Patricia Urquiola for glas italia
Image source 

 

A larger table made all from iridescent glass with two glass pedestals.
Table with iridescent finish designed by Patricia Urquiola for glas italia
Image via glasitalia
A nest of tables
Nest of tables manufactured by Ligne Roset
Image source

Glass decor objects have been around for long time, as a matter of fact a lot longer than furniture. Murano’s glass objects are probably the best known of their kind worldwide for ages. Murano’s island in Venice became the center of a glass blowing tradition that ages many centuries back. It was the leading glass industry and if I may say so, I believe they still produce the best quality of glassware using the same old techniques. Owning a Murano decor object is highly esteemed in Europe (I don’t know about elsewhere), especially since each piece is handmade and therefore, a unique art object. Naturally, just like any form of art (whether it is photo print, an oil or acrylics painting etc) it is a personal styling statement. So, let me show you a photo of a horse’s head that makes me admire the craftsmanship of this art, while it perfectly illustrates my fancy for glass before I get completely carried away…(after all I will write a post about Murano’s fancy glassware in the near future).

A horse's head sculpture made of Murano glass with an iridescent finish
Captivating horse’s head made of Murano glass
Image source

 

…as Lighting

Is it possible to amplify the effect of colored glass? Yes, it is if we add some light to it! Ceiling lighting for example made with Murano glass is probably one of the most sought after Murano decor items. Murano glass chandeliers date back to the 1700’s. The tradition remains the same, but the new artisans make also wonderful contemporary lighting that’s well worth looking into if you can afford it. (They do have though, some affordable pendant lights). In any case, glass lighting even if it’s not Murano glass is still so pretty… The great thing about colored glass lighting is how they look when illuminated. The lighting transforms from nice to AHHH! So, they definitely brighten everything up including our mood. (Follow this link for more about lights).

A white colored Murano glass chandelier
White colored Murano glass chandelier
Image source

 

A beautiful contemporary Murano glass chandelier (looks like enlarged water droplets)
Stunning Murano glass chandelier
Image source

 

A pendant light with colored glass balls hanging from different heights.
A colored glass pendant
Image source

 

A pendant lighting consisting of glass and metal flutes in various colors.
A stunning pendant light
Image source

 

A word about the lesson learned…

Colored glass is a material that I didn’t appreciate enough at first. That was clearly my mistake. But as I grow older and learned to appreciate the details, the colors, the scents, and value all those things that make my heart race faster I have also realized that everyone and anyone can make design statements every day with the littlest of things. Even a humble material like glass can resonate hard our affection for design in a most sincere way. It can’t fail us. If I hold a party for example, I use my colored glasses. Firstly because they make me happy. Then because they show a little bit about my design consciousness. So just give in to its charm like I did and let me know of your favorite glass objects…a vase, a pitcher, a tealight holder. Tell me how you use it. At the end of the day, we have nothing to lose. By introducing/using decor objects like that and taking the time to come up with a design scheme we will only promote a better quality of living while showcasing our inspiring style! Let’s love our home…

Yours truly,

2 comments
  • If you go to places like London,they have started to build housing developments and apartments with coloured glass. It's actually starting to become the norm!

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