Often interior design is focused on seeking emptiness. When we clean up the house we seek it to be empty, of impurities, of what is unnecessary and of what is superfluous. Glass is an element that helps us to achieve this goal of creating an empty space. It’s transparency let’s light through, giving us the feeling that a space it is empty and spacious, transforming what could be a dark and gloomy interior. It’s the optimal solution for room that receive too little light.
When it comes to interior design, glass has many uses.
Glass Stairs made popular by architect Peter Brohlin’s for the iconic Fifth Avenue Apple Store in New York, have started to show up in many a residence. An all-glass stair has treads (steps), a stringer (diagonal support) and a rail of glass. While this stair is actually cantilevered from a support (likely a piece of steel) hidden in the wall, the stair is essentially all glass.
Because of its transparency, the staircase seems to float, blocking neither light nor view. And in many ways it becomes, with its lightness and transparency, an ethereal, contemporary sculpture. If natural light available from only two sides, glass stairs are a perfect way to illuminate the interiors of older row houses in historic neighborhoods.
Glass Floors are often used in conjunction with glass stairs and mostly on upper floors of a house were we seek to bring more light under it. It makes most sense to use these under a sky lit roof.
Glass Walkways allows us to be enclosed yet open to the view. When closed the walkway connects two sides of the house, but it does so in dramatic fashion. The cove lighting and subtle barrel-vaulted wood ceiling are nice touches.
Glass Bathrooms are controversial. Privacy becomes an issue when the material you are trying to use is transparent. There are today glass walls that can change its opacity in the same way you turn a light on or off. With a flick of a switch these transparent walls become completely white, blocking most of the light that would come through.
Glass Blocks are very versatile, they can be used up as a solid wall a window or as flooring.
Then we have the more artistic Stained Glass.