Saturday, March 27, 2010

Why Decorate with Glass

I started as a glass enthusiast long before I became a glass fuser. I love the color and transparency of the medium. In fact, it was my love of glass that prompted me to try making fused glass once I learned that it was possible to take classes and make it on your own. Because decorating with glass comes naturally to me (glass pieces are literally throughout my house in every room), I thought I would share some of the many ways glass can be used to add color, vibrancy and sophistication to enhance your home. But first, I would like to discuss some of the benefits of decorating with glass.

1. Glass can easily introduce a new color to a room.
Most people tend to have neutral colored homes - cream colored walls, a beige couch and brown furniture, which is normal. If you are looking to add some color, adding a few glass pieces are an easy way to turn an ordinary room into something that is more unique and makes a statement, especially if it's displayed in a prominent place such as a centerpiece or in a stand. If you look through any of the home decor magazines most rooms do have a neutral base with a splash of color that pulls the entire room together. Other accessories that add color include items like pillows, throws, table runners, and candles.

Also, today's home layouts tend to be more open with rooms (and their color schemes) tending to flow into one another. This becomes especially apparent when you move. For example in 1996, we had a blue and white colored kitchen/family room and a green and cream colored living room. This was fine when the rooms were separate but once we moved to Seattle in 2001, we were in a place where all the rooms flowed into one another. So, to bring some sense of cohesion, I picked purple as the "transitional" color that would be consistent throughout all the rooms. My kitchen and family room became blue and purple (the white was replaced with silver accessories and stainless steel appliances) and the living room and dining room became green and purple. It was easy to use glass to add that color. While other accessories also help to add color, glass tends to be more eye-catching and thus, makes a statement due to the richness and transparency of its color - so a little goes a long way! Adding this new color was a much more effective way to bring the house together than to completely redecorate the rooms.
2. Glass makes a room more contemporary and gives it a fresh look.
Most people think that glass is meant to be displayed in an ultra-modern "Design Within Reach" style home and that it can't be used in their home. To give an illustration of how it can, I'll share a personal example. In the late 80's and early 90's, I admit that my home decor had more of a country style (which was "in" at that time) with the blue and white striped side chairs and a couch with floral chintz over a blue and white stripes! To update this, in the mid 90's, I replaced all of my "country accessories" with cobalt blue glass. It gave the whole room a more contemporary feel for a relatively low investment.

3. Original objects of art can make the room more special.
This last point is a little more general. Everyone remembers their home decor souvenirs purchased on vacation. The ceramic dish from Cordoba or painting from Paris evokes special memories and means more than the vase from Z Gallerie or wall hanging from a local furniture store. In today's economy, we all don't have the luxury of traveling abroad for our home decor but we can get that specialness when we purchase a piece of original art directly from the artist. Connecting with the person who created the piece adds something more to it. The more you know about who created it and how it was made, the more interesting and sentimental that piece becomes. And isn't it true that even when you want to give a special gift, you're more likely to pick up something hand-crafted.

Anyway, I hope I've provided some insights to the benefits of using glass as part of your home decor. In my next post, I'll share tips about how you can decorate with glass.

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