Glass is not as transparent as you may think!

As a designer my role is to add to the design of the window or glass wall, writes Vanessa Brady

Image from: Pippa Paton Design – London Townhouse; finalist of SBID Awards 2017

Technology has changed everything… so when you look out of the window, give a thought into the window itself. Glass provides numerous benefits that many homeowners are entirely unaware of.

Windows can now be made with acoustic glass to improve the soundproofing within the home which makes building homes near busy roads no longer an issue for developers regarding noise interference. Technology has altered many other areas of innovation, too, as windows also address heat escape and temperature cooling. Glass can now adjust to the external temperature keeping your home cool in summer and warmer in winter.

I particularly like the much incorrectly claimed self-cleaning glass. Of course, it doesn’t clean itself but the process of manufacture for this design makes dirt slide off rather than sit in the crevices of the micro surface window and in doing so it prevents the amount of cleaning necessary to regular glass. In these three elements a new-build window can save you a substantial annual sum in energy and cleaning bills so the financial investment in them is an easy case to make. Interior designers provide solutions as well as aesthetics with every decision and recommendation provided. In window design we may also provide technical solutions such as the above and then in character with the architecture of the building and its surrounding built environment, may recommend a design to compliment the exterior – as well as the interior – of the building.

A difficult choice for many homeowners is the colour of frame (when choice allows). When in doubt many owners and designers stick to conventional white. I love white in fashion but rarely use it in decoration. I want the windows and architectural features of an interior to stand on their own. I rarely choose white in paint colour for window frames. You will see what I mean if you review the same image with a black or charcoal frame to a white frame and see the difference.

As a designer my role is to add to the design of the window or glass wall, creating a style that complements the interior space. It is important to get the design of a window right first, then look at the profile; the thickness of the trim around the glass, finally choosing colour and glass performance. Not quite as clear as glass as you first might think but choosing new windows with care is pure design.

Dr Vanessa Brady OBE, SBID President