Thoughtful Detail: Glass

By Oliver Burns

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July 27, 2016|Luxury Design

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  • he iconic French designer, René Lalique, described his chosen medium of glass as a ‘marvellous material’. Lalique’s mastery of glass, in particular crystal, into exquisite works of decorative art showcased not only the splendour of this material, but its diversity. Crafting everything from perfume flacons to graceful fountains, Lalique was a true visionary of his time.  Over 100 years later and glass is still celebrated in interior design for its inherent beauty and endless creative potential. From producing the optical illusion of a bigger space to providing an additional level of security within the home, glass delivers on both an aesthetic and functional level. This blog explores the enduring appeal of this elegant material and how technology is providing new and innovative ways to incorporate glass into the home.
Image via Houzz

Glass, or more specifically crystal, is extensively used in luxury residences for its lustre and timeless elegance. Pieces produced by famous cristalleries such as Moser and Waterford have adorned the finest homes for centuries past. Czech glass manufacturers Moser where once the court suppliers of emperors, shahs and kings, whilst chandeliers by House of Waterford hang in the illustrious surroundings of Westminster Abbey & Windsor Castle. Simarly, Austrian company Swarovski has carved a global reputation as a leader of exquisite crystal cut creations.

Image via Swarovski Group

Commonly known as lead glass, crystal is produced by using lead oxide instead of calcium oxide and potassium oxide instead of sodium oxide. This creates a material with a high refractive index which is what produces its famous sparkle. In addition, crystal has a relatively soft surface which enables the glass to be ground, cut and engraved in order to fully showcase the brilliance of the material into decorative items such as glasses and decanters.

Image via Interiors by Studio M

Our luxury residences are often dressed with statement chandeliers from specialist lighting companies such as Windfall and Lights of Vienna. These form show stopping centrepieces within the room, and once illuminated by light are truly a spectacle to behold. When selecting glass pieces to adorn our developments, our client’s needs and specifications are always at the forefront of our mind. Glass when combined with leather or dark tones creates a masculine feel, whilst cut or coloured glass lends itself to a more feminine design scheme. Likewise, glass can be used in both a contemporary and traditional way depending on what other materials it is paired with. Glass and stainless steel make for a sleek, contemporary finish whilst pairing it with wood or stone creates a juxtaposition between the old and new

Image via Living House

However, glass offers more than just decorative qualities alone. Acoustically insulating glazing can be installed to minimise external sound disturbances, whilst thermally insulating glass works to retain heat. These qualities can be combined with solar control glass for multifunctional glazing, which not only benefits its residents but the environment too. This coupled with the fact that glass is produced from sand, an abundant natural resource, makes it a highly eco-friendly material. Glass also offers an array of safety benefits, which is as important to our Ultra-High Net Worth clients as its aesthetic quality. The installation of bullet, blast and bomb-proof glass windows, especially in exposed or high-profile locations, is an invaluable addition to a super-prime property which provides our clients with peace of mind.

Image via Home Edit

Glass can be used architecturally throughout the house to form stunning design features. Staircases crafted from glass add drama and grandeur, whilst the transparent quality of glass creates a sense of additional space. Glass floors create a similar effect, which can be maximised when placed directly under a natural light source with pure white painted walls, to create a bright, illuminated space. Technology has made these architecturally striking features possible; molten glass is poured onto a liquid tin and then slowly cooled to produce reinforced glass which is able to sustain huge weights.

Image via Most PP

Offering endless design potential, an array of security and practical features and timeless charm, the appeal of glass is plain to see.

Composed by LE.

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