Volume 27, Issue 1 - January/February 2013

Glass Tech

Small on Space, Big on Style
Decorative Glass in Condos Can Make a Big Impact
by Ashley M. Charest

Condominiums have been a great housing option for those interested in a small starter purchase, looking to down-size from a large family house into a smaller space or for those wanting to live in the downtowns of major metropolitan cities. However, condos can provide a challenge when it comes to decorating in a minimal amount of square footage. Decorative glass offers the perfect solution; it provides unique and simple ways to enhance surroundings, maximize space (or the perception of such) and add individual flair.

Decorative Glass in Furniture
Furniture in a living room can take up most of a condo’s space, especially when using large, oversized items in dark colors. Suggest homeowners opt for a small couch and a glass coffee table. The glass gives the table the transparent look and helps open up the room. Does the condo need more light? Strategically place mirrors to allow light from the outside to bounce into the interior spaces. As a bonus, mirrors can open up a room and make it appear larger.

Glass for Privacy
Condo living, or even townhouse living, can mean less privacy, particularly for homeowners unaccustomed to living in close proximity to neighbors. Decorative glass, however, can also be used to increase the condo’s privacy level. Think about the front door. In a glass exterior entrance that includes sidelites, for example, an option could be switching out clear float glass for patterned, etched or sandblasted glazing. The vision area doesn’t have to be completely blocked; sandblasted glass could be used for about 3-4 feet and the rest left clear.

Glass for Unique Touches
Homeowners want to make their condo a home, and allow their own style to penetrate into the space. As an architect or designer, you may have a small palate with which to work, so incorporating decorative glass can be both beautiful and useful. Consider the bathroom sink and a glass countertop. Glass in the bathroom provides an aesthetic alternative to stone and is also easy to clean. Glass countertops, as well as vessel sinks, come in many varieties of color, shape and make-up.

Also, take a look at the kitchen. Condo owners can spice it up by installing colored glass tiles as a backsplash and bright colored glass in the cabinet panels. The products are low maintenance and will keep their beauty for years.

Glass in the Balcony
Some condos are constructed as multi-level units that feature balconies. They may offer a great view, but an enclosed feeling from the wood or metal balustrade, which could also detract from the view. Instead of wood planks, a glass and metal balustrade is an ideal alternative. The glass is available in a variety of decorative options, and will help open up the space.

Are you a visual person and need to see these products in action, before you take action? Check out the GANA Decorative Division online photo gallery at There you’ll see what is possible with this amazingly versatile product.

Ashley M. Charest is the account executive for the Glass Association of North America in Topeka, Kan.


Architects' Guide to Glass & Metal
© 2012
Copyright Key Communications Inc. All rights reserved. 
No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.