Log Home Living, October 2004
kitchens and beyond. Discover new ways to incorporate
glass into your home’s master plan.
Glass is usually thought of
as a transparent shield that separates us from the great
outdoors. But it can also be used in a myriad of
imaginative ways around your castle — from unexpected
sink and furniture designs to durable and decorative
countertops and shower enclosures.
Today’s glass artisans and
manufacturers are pioneering the way for a melding of
glass and timber, which (you guessed it) marriage rustic
and modern styles. And if you’re worried that glass
accents or large sections of the clear stuff is galaxies away from your budget, fear not. Glass accessories are
less expensive than you think, and the new options are
“The use of glass in log homes is an excellent way
to introduce light and movement within the heavy log walls
of rustic homes,” says Stephanie Gauthier, resident designer at Wisconsin Log Homes. “And since
glass can be formed into almost any shape, it’s also a
creative way to incorporate organic shapes into the
glass to a rustic home also offers a great way to break up
the long horizontal lines and draw the eye up to
there are other reasons to consider incorporating glass
into your space. For example, it’s an excellent choice
if you’re concerned about energy efficiency, according
to Stephanie. “Using glass in a log home is a way to
continue “green” home design,” she says. “And
glass products are 100 percent recyclable.”
glass also offers UV protection by filtering light, which
protects your carpets and furnishings from the effects of excessive direct sunlight.
finally, using glass in your log home can actually save
you money. Strategically placed stained glass panels, for
example, can usher light into just about any room, which
cuts electricity costs by lessening your reliance on
Etched and stained glasses have been used successfully in
rustic design for decades. Frosted images depicting
wildlife or mountain landscapes on panes of glass have
become common — and maybe a bit of a decorating cliché.
But new techniques have created possibilities for more
intricate and original designs, especially with the advent
of computer-generated designs coupled with knife-plotting
or photo-resist methods.
stained and leaded glass also have found a comfortable
niche in log homes, according to Gauthier, who says they
offer a subtle but sophisticated way to add your own sense
of style. “A stained glass inset in a door, a unique
splash of color tucked neatly above a window or high on a
gable is a charming accent,” she explains. “You also
can install a large stained-glass window over a whirlpool
bath to provide natural light, color and privacy.”
In the Kitchen
Glass-fronted cabinetry has been popular for many years,
but other gleaming glass elements are also finding their
way into rustic kitchens.
such as Glassworks in Seattle, Washington, provide striking options for countertops by using a
variety of glass-making methods. One example of the
company’s work is a rounded kitchen counter measuring
eight feet with a “chipped” edge. Elevated above a
more traditional granite or marble countertop, this new
surface adds dimension to the variety of natural elements
in the room as well as extra space for displaying
collectibles in an otherwise functional work zone.
a more traditional look for your countertops, panels can
be made of thick sheets of glass, broken and re-formed in
an oven and finished with polished edges, which produces a
flat, shiny surface reminiscent of marble or other
polished, gleaming stone.
more reason glass makes a fitting countertop choice in
your rustic home? It’s a heavy-duty material that’s
easy to clean. When cast, it can be as resilient as
granite and less porous than marble.
Glass has always been a primary element in the
bathroom, but innovative twists on old ideas have pushed
the scope of rustic design in new directions.
glass-sink designs are especially impressive, with an
array of bowls, vanities, textured countertops and
pedestals available to home owners. A shallow glass basin
or trough set on a glass vanity shelf looks as if it’s
floating off the log wall.
stunning example of glass mimicking natural form is
Glassworks’ waterfall sink. Usually constructed at 3
feet wide and 2 feet deep, the custom piece gives the
impression of a sleek shimmer of water tumbling over the
lip of the vanity. Think of it as functional artwork you
can display and appreciate in any prominent powder room.
and tub enclosures are also prime places for using
sculpted glass. Fire polished so that it isn’t abrasive
like etched glass, the surface of sculpted or heat-molded
glass is smooth and easy to keep clean, and its thickness
allows for an array of decorative-edge options.
also suggests dividing the functional areas of the bath
with glass blocks to avoid splitting an already small room
into even tinier quarters. Consider using colored glass
blocks— available in vibrant blue and green hues—to
bring a gorgeous lake effect to the bath.
glass light fixtures can wash a room with light rather
than reflect off of glossy fixtures (frosted styles work
best). Bits of colored glass also can be inserted into a
tile wall (think rich mosaics), for a minimalist look or
an elaborate glass mural.
Glass accents don’t have to be relegated to the kitchen
way to show your personal style is to bring more glass
into your home’s entry. “Adding sidelights, transoms,
palladians, and other glass window features opens up and
welcomes guests like a big smile,” Stephanie says.
designs can work wonderfully in every room of your rustic
home, particularly with room dividers, tabletops and
furniture pieces—even stunning cast glass stairs that
use color to imitate smooth stone. Not only are there tons
of possibilities, but glass artisans are happy to help you
come up with new ways to use this versatile material.
don’t forget the importance of a well-placed skylight,
which can spill natural light through a cathedral ceiling
in the great room or kitchen. After all, says Stephanie,
“in a rustic log home, it’s all about bringing the
stands to reason that glass works so well in log homes;
after all, it’s a natural material made of sand, lime,
and soda ash. And in the same ways that the log beams in
your home speak to the characteristics of strong, soaring
trees, glass harkens to the ocean’s beaches, bringing
with it texture, light, and movement.
dispense with the notion that windows are the only places
where glass can coexist with those rich wood hues. When
you’re finalizing floorplans and mapping out each room
of your home, ask yourself a simple question: How can I
add more panache to this space with glass? You’ll be
delighted by how many opportunities there are for your
home to truly shine.
Decorative Glass Techniques
can be transformed from the clear, immaculate panes we
most often envision into breathtaking decorative pieces of
color, texture and intrigue. Several options to consider:
Stained glass that has been cut into pieces and
reassembled to form a picture or decorative design.
Created by masking a pane with a stenciled design. Pieces
of the mask are then removed while the glass is sprayed
with aluminum oxide or other chemicals to achieve a
Crafted by jointly heating pieces of glass to temperatures
high enough to cause them to melt together and permanently
Formed by heating a sheet of glass until it softens and
changes shape with the help of gravity.
Created by heating a sheet of glass and allowing it to
become molten. Once the glass if fluid, it’s poured into
a mold, cooled and released.
Sledge is a professional writer who lives in
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