I’m new to my city and find myself walking randomly and discovering great things, like the local artist who has incorporated stained glass in his property’s fence.
Since then, I’ve noticed stained glass in so many homes, in so many ways, and I’ve found myself falling in love with its attributes.
If you think about it, most of us we spend our lives in search of light. Whether escaping the office or rushing through our chores to embrace some daylight, many of us are solar-powered and bolstered by Vitamin D, and that light is part of who we are.
So, it’s ironic then that we buy homes with bright windows, flooding with natural light, and then what do we do? We cover break out some curtains or other window “treatment”.
Most art is about interplay of light and shadow, so it’s no surprise that stained glass creates a completely different effect in spaces than transparent windows offer.
Here at BuildDirect, we really believe stained glass ain’t just for churches anymore. Here are some ways for you to rethink glass.
Fake it & make it
Stained glass, if it’s not already in your home or Aunt Pat didn’t make it as a housewarming gift, is a very expensive investment at times. And why shouldn’t it be? It’s hard to make, it’s something that can last for centuries when well done, and it transforms your space.
But what if you don’t need it to last decades or centuries? What if you’re not looking for an investment, and you just want the look? What if you just want some color in your life?
Lots of sites have DIYers who have created fantastic “fake” stained glass, like this Instructables page on making a “stained-glass” artpiece. This technique can be replicated on many surfaces, if you’ve a steady hand and a passion for details.
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And here is another great DIYer’s way to turn a salvaged old-school window into a great feature in your home, with the “fake” glass mosaic applied in the same technique.
The stained glass lightbox
Old stained glass windows can be found in salvage shops, but if they don’t fit your house, the standard thing everyone does is to add eye-hooks, wire, and then suspend it in front of another window.
Another option is to create a fake window by turning it into a lightbox on the wall. You need some DIY skills for this one, but make a timber frame, lay some LED lighting in, maybe put an opaque diffuser between the lights and the stained glass, and there you have it, a window where there wasn’t one. The Google has many sites explaining how to make lightboxes, so let your fingers do the searching, and see what style fits for you.
Here, there, everywhere
These old stained windows aren’t just for your hallway. Hanging these character pieces is something you can do nearly anyplace. In the garden, suspending an stained window from a masterful tree branch is a quirky way to bring design into the garden in an unexpected way.
On a porch, it’s a terrific way to temper the sun’s brightness with some style. Suspending with eyehooks and wire, you can hang just one or many in the space to give you shade, color, and some privacy from the next door snoops.
Really the only consideration to worry about, aside from making sure you’re mounting things safely, is whether the sunlight will ever hit your chosen spot. Because, if not, why put it there? You want that moment every day when the sun bleeds through and those wonderful colors dapple your space, indoors or out.
Knickknack-paddywhack, give a Tchotchke a home
From little designs of angels and butterflies through to beautiful colored glass vases, the world’s full of great glass pieces.
If you don’t have stained glass artwork per se, but you’ve got great glass pieces, it’s time to get those on window sills or shelving in front of windows, so you can have those great colors shining through as the sun passes by daily.
A smaller window can have glass shelves cut to size and mounted into the window’s frame quite easily, giving you the perfect place to store some of those knickknacks while still coloring your world without casting shadows from the shelves themselves.
If you love colored glass, it’s a great thing to have around you. It’s one of the few things we can decorate our homes with that comes alive a little every single day.
Good glass pieces can be expensive and hard to find, but they’re out there. From home renovations to salvage jobs and consignment shops, old stained glass windows and knickknacks can be found where you least expect them, and making glass a long-term collecting goal might have your eyes open that day you luck out and find the piece of your dreams.
If patience isn’t your thing, Grasshopper, people learn to solder stained glass every day, and maybe you don’t even know it yet, but you’re a future stained-glass artisan.
So, you can fake it, you can make the real thing, or you can keep your eyes peeled in great shops in the hopes of buying some.
Whatever the case, stained glass has captured our interest for several centuries, and it’s time to think of these glorious pieces as a home decor solution, not just something wonderful we see in churches.