Glass balustrades add a certain elegance and decadence to the space that they occupy. From an exterior Juliet balcony, to an important component of a staircase, glass has its place in some many properties across the country.
If you are thinking of including glass is your next interior design project, you may have many worries and concerns, some of which may resolve around age or ‘fitting in’ with the current design and appeal of your property.
The good news is this: glass fits with any property, any age and in any place. And here’s why…
Glass as a material is not a new thing…
… in fact, naturally occurring glass known as obsidian or volcanic glass, had long been used by our ancestors before we start to learn to make it, around 1BC. However, we can go back even earlier in time to 3500BC and ancient Egypt to reveal what glass was first used for. Utilised for both weapons and decorative pieces, the fragility and strength of glass has long dominated out imaginations.
Glass blowing and the discovery of molten glass many thousands of years earlier meant that glass was seen as a precious material, that could invoke gasps of delight, and gasps of pain in equal measure a sharp fragment could cut the skin.
The glass industry grew rapidly but then declined as other materials were found to have better properties for certain applications. For example, metals were seen as better for both weapons and cutlery, two applications that had, up until this point, been made from glass.
It was not until the 20th century that safety glass was invented and thus, the applications for glass began to grow once again.
Although associated with clear, minimalist, cutting edge design it is also a material that is equally at home in the older style property and design.
The reason why glass fits so well in all types of design is because its elegance and beauty is highlighted by the materials that surround it. On one hand, you could see glass as a supportive piece of design and yet, in the right setting, it can be the star of the show.
And this malleable elegance is something that designers and homeowners love. In other words, glass balustrades can forma striking part of the design, or it can be a supportive pieces with its own understated elegance.
Of course, we all associate glass with fragility, who wouldn’t? All you need to do is drop a glass tumbler on the floor and you will be finding shards of tiny glass for weeks on end. The smallest piece of jagged, broken glass can cut us too.
That said, it seem a little ludicrous to talk of durability and robustness – and yet, this is exactly what you will get with glass balustrades. Glass in this type of application is tempered and treated. In other words, small thin layers of glass are packed tightly together vastly improving its strength.
Thus glass balustrades are actually quite hard to damage. And when they are, they rarely, if ever, shatter to a million pieces but chip. In some instances, it can be possible to repair it too.
The magic of mixing the old with the new
An interior designer worth their salt will understand the need to create magic, by mixing the new – glass – with the old – the age of a property.
In some ways, you may want the modern addition of a glass balustrade to stand out. Or, you may want to just ‘be there’. You may want a seamless transition between the old and the new, something which is achievable with glass.
Letting light play
Interior designs that take their pedigree from times many years ago tend to suffer from a lack of light. Woods could be dark, with small spaces feeling cramped and stuffy. The use of glass within a space, even a small amount, can alleviate this claustrophobic feeling, and the darkness of a space. Allowing the light to play in a room is important and just like the use of mirrors on a wall to bounce light around, glass balustrades can do the same.
Glass balustrades can match any home, any property and any interior design, whether this is a commercial application – just look at Apple’s flagship store in New York and its twos flights of glass stairs ad balustrades – or in the home.
Glass is timeless and elegant, fitting with any style, including those of old and modern, clean, minimalist designs.
Offering the highest quality stainless steel fixings and components is important when creating an elegant glass balustrade, whether it’s for a balcony or a staircase, or another project. Paul Startin of Balustrade Components Ltd knows that small parts can make the biggest impact to a project.