Stained glass is decorating alternative

Hot trend in home decor gives glass texture, tint

From staff and wire reports

Before Beth Miller redecorated her daughter's bedroom, the afternoon sun would beam through the transom windows like lasers.

"It would get hot as an oven in there," Miller said. "I wanted something that would block the sun."

Rather than custom-ordering window treatments for the six windows, each 8 1/2-by-9-inches wide, Miller devised a solution.


Using stained glass panels, she created colorful filters for the westerly sunbeams.

"It's a good feeling," Miller said of the panels, which contain pink flowers, red hearts and a teapot with the letter E for her daughter, Emily.

"How many people around town can say they custom-made their daughter's window treatments?" said Miller, who is seven months pregnant.

Many uses

As stained glass makes its way into home decor, the uses for this timeless art are as bountiful as the designs.

Whether as living room focal points or privacy windows for the bathroom, stained glass isn't just for churches anymore -- it's a growing trend in interior design.

"Stained glass is hot," said Anne McCormick, of McCormick's Stained Glass in Columbus, Ga. "It just gets more popular every year."

According to McCormick, the trend is a result of more stained glass pieces being introduced into the market.


"People will see it at flea markets or in different shops and think, 'Oh, wow, I'd like to have that in my bathroom or kitchen,"' McCormick said.

That's how Robin Mullins said she got the idea for a stained glass window in her kitchen.

While shopping in Atlanta and attending various antique shows, Mullins was inspired to contact McCormick. "I really didn't know what I wanted," she said. "We wanted privacy, but we didn't want light obstruction."

So McCormick sketched out a design for Mullins according to the themes already incorporated into her Tudor style home.

"She really worked with me to find a design that fit," Mullins said.

The end result was a clear, textured glass window with a stained glass design.

"It's beautiful. Some pieces look like water, others look like they've been hit with a hammer," Mullins said. "It allows us to have privacy but with light. It's like a piece of art."

More and more in Rochester


Mike Podulke of Rochester Stained Glass said stained glass in homes has become increasingly popular in Rochester in recent years.

He said sidelights around front doors, transoms over doors and indoor cabinet doors are among the most popular. He attributed the growing popularity to the trend toward homeowners fixing up and improving existing homes instead of going for newer and bigger ones and their willingness to spend money on their homes instead of on other things.

He said home projects can cost from a few hundred to several thousand dollars, depending on the project.

Asking for a general figure, he said, is "sort of like asking 'How much does a car cost?'" without saying what kind of car.

He said Rochester Stained Glass will provide its own designs or follow a customer's design. He said he will usually visit the site for the window or other project to study such things as where and when the sun strikes it and said he tries to determine what time of day the homeowners want it to look its best. These both help determine what will look best in the particular application, he said.

It's this combination of art and privacy that makes stained glass so ideal, said Ken Barrett, of Barrett's Glass in Pine Mountain, Ga.

Alternative to blinds, drapes

For areas of the home, like the bathroom, it gives an artistic alternative to venetian blinds or drapes.


"I can use glass that's so opaque you could stand next to it at nighttime with all the lights on inside and the only thing that you could see from outside would be a shadow with no definition."

Barrett said people are using stained glass for front doors, sidelights, even kitchen cabinets.

"Depending on what you want you can either hide what's inside the cabinet or choose glass that allows you to see through it," Barrett said. "The possibilities are endless."

But depending on the size and intricacy of design, stained glass panels don't come cheap.

According to Barrett, a front door with transom and sidelights can cost anywhere from $850-$3,500. A window panel beside a hot tub can run from $400-$2,800.

But that's the price tag that comes with making a personalized statement.

"Each one is personalized to the individual," Barrett said.

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