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Eight Decorative Glass Window Pane Options for Windows and Doors

December 31, 2009

Glass is such a common element in doors and windows that we tend not to notice it. Yet everywhere that glass is used in a door or a window is an opportunity to add decorative interest. Consider these window pane options for your home or office:

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Window Pane Options

  1. Clear glass - If you want to see out, and let others see in, clear glass is your best choice.
  2. Beveled glass - A bevel around the edge of a piece of glass takes it from plain to elegant. A bevel is right with just about every architectural style from Craftsman to contemporary.
  3. Antique glass - Real antique glass is very thin and fragile, is not energy efficient, and breaks into shards instead of safely shattering, so it is not recommended, but you can get the same effect with new glass window pane that is designed to look antique. Since old glass settles toward the bottom of the pane, it creates a horizontal ripple, slightly distorting the view and softening the light. Glass with an antique effect is a good choice for restoration projects, adding an air of authenticity while providing modern-day safety.
  4. Leaded glass - Leaded glass is not a type of glass, but rather a technique for creating designs by soldering lead. The glass in a leaded glass window pane can be clear, opaque or colored (stained glass). There are many readymade doors and windows with leaded glass designs ranging from simple geometric to complex organic shapes.
  5. Stained glass - If you instantly think of church windows or Tiffany lamps when you see the term "stained glass," it is with good reason. Stained glass church windows date back to the 7th Century, and Tiffany is probably the best known American stained glass artist. Yet, stained glass need not be religious in subject nor bold in color. There are many doors and windows available with stained glass in both geometric designs and pale hues. Use stained glass window panes wherever you want to create a focal point.
  6. Textured glass - As the name implies, textured glass either has a texture, or appears to have a texture. Textured glass is not completely opaque, that is, it allows the passage of filtered light, but you cannot easily see though it. Some common window pane textures are:
    • Reed or fluted (vertical texture of narrow channels)
    • Rain or water (a stylized version of rain on a clear pane)
    • Glue chip (a frost-like pattern)
    • Etched (a design executed in a frosted or opaque texture on a background of clear glass)
  7. Opaque or Frosted Glass - For the ultimate in privacy short of having a wall instead of a window pane, choose opaque or frosted glass.
  8. Glass bricks - Use glass bricks for side lights to a door or instead of a fully functioning window; glass bricks cannot open and close.

Whether you want a view or privacy, there are plenty of possibilities with decorative glass window panes.


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