July 10, 2013

Furnishing your New Glass Extension

Written by Rebecca Clayton

How to Improve Natural Light in Narrow Properties
Homeowners often feel that space and light are lacking in their homes, and ways to resolve this concern are increasingly being sought. Top of the list of solutions for style aficionados is the glass extension. Not to be confused with conservatories of old, the new breed of glass extension is sleek, modern, and sans wicker furniture.

Advances in glass technology make it possible to use glass in new and exciting architectural ways. Glass cube extensions are becoming popular as homeowners recognise the benefits they provide. Not only do glass extensions increase interior floorspace and flood light into the home but also create a seamless connection between the interior and exterior spaces.

Many types of glass extension exist, from budget-busting two-storey designs to more modest affairs. Traditional and modern architectural styles can be successfully combined; this is particularly true with Victorian terraced houses, where glass side return walls can be installed to utilise redundant space. Many glass extensions are assembled using an invisible framework system, which maximises light levels and looks stunning when viewed internally or externally. Smaller projects such as glass ceilings, partially glazed extensions and roof lights are becoming popular, as the flexibility of glass is becoming more widely appreciated.

Glass extensions are suitable for most rooms. A layout of combined kitchen and living space is frequently used, as natural light and added space make this a great place to socialise and relax. When the extension borders the garden, it makes sense to install bi-fold or sliding doors to invite the outdoors in.

Furnish a new glass extension with care, choosing pieces that reflect the contemporary mood of the space. Antique, overstuffed sofas in chintzy fabrics will look out of place; it is far better to opt for the sleek lines of leather sofas and chairs. Wooden furniture such as dining tables and chairs should be selected with colour in mind. Although dark wood finishes can look attractive, be wary of the sun fading dark surfaces. Play safe and choose pale woods that will not be washed out by the sun's rays.

For colour schemes in glass extensions, there are no limits. Many homeowners choose to maximise the light by opting for pale walls and furnishings, adding accents with rugs and feature walls in more vibrant shades. Avoid fade susceptible richly-coloured upholstery, instead going for pale colours and added shots of colour with throws and cushions. The acoustics of a room can be harsh when all the surfaces are hard and unforgiving; it is a good idea to break things up with soft furnishings to absorb some of the noise.

When the walls are made of glass, privacy can be an issue. Create seclusion by the clever use of shelving and bookcases; break up the space with folding screens; and add blinds, shutters or curtains. Plants thrive in the conditions found in glass rooms and can lift an attractive room into the stunning category if chosen well. Add some Mediterranean warmth to the space with olive and lemon trees in sculptural urns, or trail a grapevine or bougainvillaea along wires across the ceiling.