5 Quirky Bases for a Glass Table Top

If you are considering a glass-topped coffee table, consider furniture beyond the ordinary. Depending on your budget and creative spirit, you can purchase the components such as pedestals and a thick, tempered sheet of glass, or gather salvaged materials and build your own conversation piece from scratch.

If you like collecting exotic fish you no longer have to relegate them to a wall niche or shelf. Aquarium coffee tables allow you to enjoy watching your fish while you relax on the couch or entertain guests. Colorful fish will make this piece of furniture a show-stopper, and a true crowd pleaser. Friends will be drawn to it. Continue reading 5 Quirky Bases for a Glass Table Top

The Versatility of Mirrors

Mirrors are about illusion and brightness. They are a versatile decor element which can bring light and life to any room in the house. They can open up small spaces or make large spaces appear even larger, they can take center stage or serve as a conversation piece. Mirrors suit non-traditional design schemes as well as classical ones. They can be used to enhance a room or displayed as singular pieces of art. Or, if you have collected mirrors in a variety of shapes and sizes, they can be grouped to make an eclectic wall decoration. Candlelight, chandelier light, and diffused natural sunlight are all enhanced when reflected in a mirror.

One of the current trends is to place a very large framed mirror in a living room or master suite. Hanging a mirror of this size can be tricky, rather than chance pulling out chunks of plaster or drywall many people opt instead to prop these monster mirrors against the wall. Frames are chosen to complement the style of the room from ornate baroque to distressed finishes. Continue reading The Versatility of Mirrors

Frameless Shower Doors Turn Average Bathroom Into Beauty

Frameless Shower Doors

If you are considering a bathroom remodel you will want to think about installing frameless shower doors. Becoming more and more popular, these beautiful doors have revolutionized the look and feel of your shower room. What was once unsightly glass with rusted frames can now be a beautiful area, free of the metal that can be so detracting.

There are many styles and shapes to choose from, or you can have them custom made to satisfy your needs. Continue reading Frameless Shower Doors Turn Average Bathroom Into Beauty

Bathroom Decor: Glass, Glass, Everywhere

Bathroom decor which emphasizes the crystalline beauty of glass is a popular trend, and it all started with the invention of the frameless shower enclosure. Adding extra glass elements can open up and modernize any bathroom space. If your bathroom has an exterior wall consider installing more windows to let in as much natural light as possible. Also, consider adding glass-fronted cabinets. These are the perfect choice to sit beside your standalone glass-walled shower stall.

There is something about seeing stacks of pure white fluffy towels, dishes of soap, candles, and jars and bottles of pomades, perfumes, and shampoos which can make a bather feel as though they’ve entered a spa. Why hide all your pretty items behind wooden doors, nothing showcases objects better than glass.

Glass-fronted cabinets come in a variety of designs. With a classic bathroom they can resemble the cabinets you might find in the more formal areas of your house. These classic-inspired cabinets might have diamond-paned glass, something you might find on a library case which holds rare books or a dining room cabinet stacked with silver and china. This type of cabinetry fits well with a mini-chandelier and elegant woodwork in glossy white. If you are looking for opulence, then consider display cases filled with precious statuary and other breakable objects.

Glass-fronted cabinets which look more utilitarian or resemble antique curio cabinets or apothecary shelves are perfect for a streamlined modern bathroom or a retro-inspired decor. Frosted, rippled, bottle-base glass, stained glass, or art glass can all add interest.

Recycled Glass Countertops
Recycled glass countertops are another innovative way to add glass to your bathroom. These highly-reflective surfaces paired with glass cabinetry and glass shelving and a frameless shower enclosure can give your bathroom a sleek and shiny look. Besides being beautiful these countertops are green, as in eco-friendly green. Those bottles and jars which you throw in your recycling bin might very well end up in one of these shiny countertops. Glass countertops are made from resin or concrete and the glass pieces are embedded in the binding material. All the glass used is from recycled sources. Like countertops of natural stone you can buy glass countertops in neutral shades. But with recycled glass countertops you can go beyond neutral, to vibrant, bright shades. Glass countertops are manufactured in a variety of colors. You can have a mix of chips, ruby red and black for instance or cobalt blue and gray or even a confetti color scheme with a mix of bright colors.

You really can’t go wrong with more glass in your bathroom decor. It’s a versatile and easy to clean surface which can both brighten or lighten your bathroom. For some remodeling or redecorating inspiration, stroll through our Dallas showroom to see the wonder of glass on display.

When it comes to Bathroom Design is Modesty a Thing of the Past?

People of a certain generation, who are used to privacy in the bathroom environment, might find the prospect of an open-plan bedroom plus bathroom combo quite shocking. But some modern architects are challenging our need for privacy. These cutting-edge designers are behind the trend of open-plan master suites. These suites basically leave out the walls that once divided the bathroom from the bedroom, creating an environment where little is left to the imagination. In these open layouts, bathtubs are sharing floorspace with the bed or chaise lounge. Frameless shower enclosures with crystal clear, unobscured glass, sit openly in the corner of the room.

The unobstructed viewing thing works both ways. Not only can the bather be seen by anyone present in the room, but the bather can see clearly as well. Glass panels may allow the bather to enjoy watching the room’s TV, or gazing through the windows to a garden or a magnificent mountain view. Another daring design move is doing away with curtains and blinds on the windows. This is more common with highrise suites. Dwellers of these pricey suites are sleeping and bathing in what amounts to glass houses, and showering in glass cubicles within these glass house. These suites are in demand because they make the most of natural light. And because of the elevation of these penthouse nests, occupants are afforded a certain amount of privacy from curious strangers.

Obscured vs. Clear Glass
These open-layout suites are popping up everywhere from upscale hotels to loft spaces to elegant master suites. The popularity of frameless shower enclosures may have contributed to this innovative notion. When faced with a decision as to what type of glass to use for their frameless shower unit, many homeowners are opting to dispense with “modesty” glass. “Modesty” glass refers to glass which has been etched or frosted to blur and hide the bather. Some feel that a glass which has been designed to obscure, detracts from the openness that a frameless shower is meant to create. Obscured glass does not let in as much light, and may look dated compared with clear glass.

If you are not ready to “let it all hang out”, there is still beautiful etched and frosted glass to choose from. For a more modern look, rather than choosing a bland, generic pattern, you might consider something which draws inspiration from nature or art. For a truly unique look you could have your glass custom designed. Some homeowners are limiting the obscured glass to just a “modesty” panel instead of the entire shower enclosure. A panel may be all that’s needed to make a bather feel comfortable. Whether you are timid or daring, our Dallas showroom has the perfect glass for you.

Bathtubs are Suddenly Optional

Bathtubs were once considered a necessary element in most master bathrooms, but one of the biggest trends in bathroom remodeling seems to be omitting the bathtub. The large garden tubs or whirlpool tubs no longer hold the allure they did just a few years ago. These big tubs are impractical in terms of water usage. And because it isn’t fun soaking in a tepid bath, these deep and wide tubs require a large-capacity hot water heater, which can be an energy drain. Beyond these energy and water wasting issues, many homeowners have come to realize that they just don’t have the time to luxuriate in a bath. They figure why use “prime real estate” to install a large tub that won’t be used.

A wide-open shower sans the bathtub is considered the modern way to renovate. This is particularly true for the master bathroom. This trend may have been inspired by the frameless glass shower doors which have become so popular. The clean lines of walls of tiles plus walls of glass give the feeling of light-filled space. Including a bathtub can take away from this modern look. As baths are left out of the layout, the shower takes center stage.  Homeowners are concentrating on the finer details that make a shower stall both beautiful and functional. Some people are opting for built-in seats and benches and body sprays embedded in the wall. The rain showerhead is particularly popular for these oversized shower stalls. There are rain shower heads which can be embedded in the ceiling to streamline the look even more. With a rain shower head which sits flush with the ceiling tiles instead of jutting out from the wall, the illusion of rain falling from above is emphasized.

Room for Two Bathers at Once
Double sink vanities have been around for a long time, allowing two people to attend to morning grooming rituals side by side. Some of these oversized showers have incorporated that same concept. They have been built to accommodate two bathers at once with side by side shower heads. With two separate shower heads, each bather can choose their favorite, whether handheld or overhead.

For those people who want a huge shower, yet still want a bathtub for the occasional long soak, the standalone tub has become the go-to choice. With a standalone you will need the floor space to accommodate both the shower and the bathtub. These streamlined tubs obviously take up less room than a whirlpool. In addition, these tubs are definitely a greener choice since they require less water to fill and the hot water heater doesn’t need to run overtime. A standalone is a versatile design element. It can look modern or classic depending on the decor.

If you are considering a roomy shower, we invite you to visit our Dallas showroom to see all the frameless glass shower doors we offer.

The History of Tempered Glass

Tempered glass keeps us safe in our shower and we may owe it all to an ancient novelty. The first toughened or tempered glass was said to have been created, perhaps inadvertently, when glass still in the molten stage was dropped into icy water, the instant chilling effect of the water on the heated glass made for a very tough droplet of glass. These teardrop-shaped glass pieces known as Prince Rupert’s Drops were a sort of party favor in the seventeenth century. The bulbous end of the drop would be practically invulnerable compared to the tip or tail-end. The bulb end could take a beating and still survive, but if the tail chipped or cracked the entire drop would shatter.

Tempered Glass in the Modern Age
Shower doors and panels are toughened in much the same way as Prince Rupert’s Drops. The glass goes through a soft molten stage followed by a chilled stage. Undergoing these extreme temperatures creates a glass which, when broken, will crumble into pebbles of glass instead of sharp shards. If you’ve ever broken a tempered glass bowl while mixing in the kitchen you will have seen how the glass shatters in a whole different way from regular glass. Instead of dealing with dangerous slivers there are only glass nuggets to sweep up.

Though tempered glass is more durable and has a higher heat resistance because of the manufacturing process it endures, it is not indestructible. Tempered glass has points of vulnerability as demonstrated by Prince Rupert’s Drops and their delicate tails. The edges of a glass sheet are particularly susceptible when struck. Also, for the do-it-yourself enthusiast a word of caution–trying to drill holes into tempered glass will likely result in a pile of glass pebbles.

The tempering is the final stage in the manufacturing process when creating sheets of shower glass. Tempering does not alter the look of the glass. A brilliantly clear glass will keep it’s crystalline look after the process. This process is used on shower glass even if it has been etched, tinted, or frosted.

When Choosing Shower Glass Consider the Thickness
A frameless shower enclosure is only as good as the glass it is made from. A tempered, safety glass is of course a necessity, but there is still the thickness of the glass to consider. A couple of common thicknesses are ⅜ of an inch and a half an inch. Some builders believe that the thinner, thus lighter glass, puts less strain on the hinges. And since hinges are the components holding up the frameless shower door they are certainly an important consideration. Others feel that the thicker glass has the potential of being more durable.

The thickness of the glass plays a part in the look of the shower as much as the tint or the frosted or sandblasted embellishments. The thicker glass has a decidedly richer, more modern look.

It is best to consult with an expert when choosing the glass for your frameless shower. Visit our Dallas showroom and see the different thicknesses available.


Unbeatable Remodeling Additions: Extra Storage Space and a Frameless Shower Door

Storage Space for the Bedroom
Storage Space for the Bedroom

When remodeling your bathroom think storage space. From medicine cabinets to small closets, storage space will add value and convenience to your bathroom. With a clever layout you can find ways to include nooks and crannies for storing all of your towels and grooming essentials. In addition, consider utilizing the wallspace inside of your frameless shower enclosure. Built-in shelving can hold shampoos, conditioners, and soaps.

If you’ve been making do with little more than a simple vanity and a medicine cabinet, you can probably appreciate why adding more storage space would be considered such a boon. If you include a linen closet, which you can stock with washcloths and towels, you will never have to worry again about forgetting to bring your towel into the bathroom. No more shivering while you wait for someone to bring you one.

Storage Units Which Would Look at Home in Your Master Bedroom
Today’s bathroom cabinetry often takes its influence from other rooms in the house. For instance, cabinetry that resembles kitchen cabinets. Cabinetry in the kitchen takes advantage of every conceivable empty space. Often there are drawers above, below, and on either side of the sink, and drawers squeezed next to the stove and above the refrigerator.

A bathroom with kitchen-like cabinetry copies this sort of layout. The cabinetry may also include some unique items such as glass-fronted cupboards, a slide-out vertical drawer similar to a spice rack or something bigger and more in line with a sliding pantry drawer. Instead of coffee and brandy or spice bottles, the bathroom sliding rack can hold beauty potions, nail polishes and hey, if you want to put brandy in there too, why not? If you add a refrigerated medicine cabinet, then all you will be missing is the stove. Kitchen cabinets often come with a variety of door options. Most of these innovative doors work well in the bathroom as well. You can get medicine cabinets which have hydraulic flip-up doors and built in linen cupboards with pocket doors where the door slides into a pocket in the wall.

Antique Inspired Storage Space
A very popular trend is installing bathroom cabinets that look like they belong in the master suite or in the study. Antiques are particularly popular. Vanities that look like desks, linen closets that look like armoires, and cupboards that look like credenzas are all part of this trend. These vanities can be built from actual or faux antiques. They can make a bathroom look downright opulent especially when paired with a chandelier.

Custom-Built or Ready-Made?
Consider having your cabinets custom-built. Hiring a carpenter will ensure that you make the best use of all available space. Unlike ready-made cabinetry, a carpenter can build drawers of varied types and sizes.

Can You Ever Have Enough Storage Space?
There are so many electrically-powered grooming products to store such as; straightening irons, blow-dryers, electric toothbrushes, water jets, facial cleansing devices, and shavers. From floor-to-ceiling built-in units to free-standing furniture, homeowners have a multitude of options. Remember to pair all that fine cabinetry with the clean, unfussy lines of a crystal clear frameless shower door. Visit our Dallas showroom to see all our frameless options.

Custom Glass & Frameless Shower Doors – The Open Concept Layout

Open House Plan

More and more architectural plans are based on an open concept layout. Whether remodeling or building fresh, architects are tearing down the walls. For these modern designs, separations between rooms are becoming obsolete. These large open spaces take some of their inspiration from urban artist lofts; basically, uncluttered, vast open spaces. Architects are designing homes with kitchens without barriers, making them part of the dining room or living space, and bathrooms without walls joined to master suites. And where walls are still desired glass is often the material of choice. Custom glass walls and ceilings let the light pour through and add to the feeling of freedom. A frameless shower door enclosure is an essential in an open concept layout.

The open layout plan gets even more daring and open when the outdoors is brought inside, or vice versa. To include nature inside, designers are not only tearing down walls, but ceilings, as well. Of course, a ceiling-less bathroom works best in areas with predictably warm climates. The materials used in these open air bathrooms are those which can withstand the elements; stone, treated wood, and marble. For those people who live in an intemperate zone and need protection from the elements, a glass ceiling and walls can bring the beauty of nature inside while leaving the rain and snow outside. For instance, a room encased in glass within a private garden. With a bathroom like this you will feel as if you are showering in a greenhouse.

Interpreting Privacy in a Whole New Way

People accustomed to complete privacy may take a while getting used to showering in one of these outdoor/indoor bathrooms. In truth, many of these bathrooms only give the illusion of being non-private. They are often built within a walled off courtyard or garden which can only be accessed from the bathroom. But for some of these open and airy bathrooms the lack of privacy is real and intended. For the adventurous souls who wish to hide nothing from their spouse, there are truly wall-less bathrooms with frameless shower doors.

Vacation homes, particularly those nestled in beautiful landscapes, are the perfect places for an experimental bathroom. A bathroom which invites in the scent of pine, or a refreshing island breeze, or the sound of the waves crashing will only add to the spirit of a getaway home. Some homeowners choose to have both an outdoor and indoor shower back to back with only a glass wall separating them. Which shower is used can depend upon the weather.

Walls of Glass

With open layout plans sometimes eliminating all barriers is impractical. When walls need to be erected the material of choice is often custom glass. Custom glass is the closest thing to having a wall-less environment. Glass lets the sunlight pour in, and it also allows you to take advantage of magical views of woodlands, or desert, or ocean. If you are remodeling and considering a daringly open layout, then don’t stop at the shower stall, choose a frameless shower door for crystal clear freedom. Our Dallas showroom can help you with all of your glass needs.


The New Gym / Bathroom Combinations

Many people are finding inventive new ways to arrange large bathroom spaces. Some people are turning their bathrooms into entertainment centers complete with fireplaces, refrigerated cabinets for chilling wine, television sets, music systems, wall paintings, and small libraries. Of course, these types of bathrooms really need crystal clear glass showers so bathers can enjoy unobstructed viewing of all the amenities. That’s where our experts in Dallas come in, they can help you choose the perfect frameless shower door.

Another trend leans towards making the bathroom into your own private gym space. Instead of a leisurely, winding-down room these bathrooms are outfitted with equipment to get your heart rate pumping.  Stair-climbers, ellipticals, rowing machines, even large treadmills are finding their way into these bathrooms.

Saunas & Spa Baths
A couple of add-ons that fit the exercise theme; saunas and jet powered spa baths. A sauna can help soothe aching muscles and  flush toxins from your system, while a spa bath can relieve stress with massaging jets. Both make perfect followups to a strenuous workout. In fact, what better way to end an exercise session than with a quick trip to the sauna followed by a refreshing shower to wash away the sweat.

Neutrals & Chrome
A workout room suits a bathroom with a sleek modern appearance. Large spaces of cream-colored tiles, pale walls, and wood cabinetry with purpose. For instance, ceiling high shelves loaded with plush towels, or a glass fronted cabinet stuffed with aromatic blends and herbal infusions for a revitalizing, hydrotherapy bath. A no fuss setting, as you would expect to find in a gym, is probably the best approach to one of these gym/bathroom combination rooms. Taking the personal gym one step further some homeowners are including a wall mounted waterproof LCD set to give them something to occupy their minds as they ride their stationary bike or run the treadmill.

The Ultimate Layout
Depending on the amount of space available the workout equipment can be separated from the rest of the bath behind a glass wall or perhaps a waist high barrier. Some people prefer a more wide-open approach with no barriers to slice up the space, and the equipment out in the open. A spacious open floor plan lends itself to a doorless recessed shower with perhaps only a panel of glass to keep water from making the tiles slippery. An exerciser can step off the exercise equipment, toss his or her clothes in the hamper, and walk right into a multi-spray shower for the ultimate showering experience. A surround shower system, though once considered a luxury, is becoming a common addition for new, upscale home construction projects. It is also becoming a popular choice for those remodeling their bathrooms.

A personal workout room with gleaming tiles, chrome fixtures, and a crystal clear glass shower stall, provides the perfect excuse for both a weekend warrior and a gym rat to stay home. Our Dallas showroom can help you turn an ordinary bathroom into an extraordinary one with beautiful glass walls and frameless shower enclosures.