WHAT ARE THE OPTIONS?
Popular from the 1860s to the 1930s, as a regular feature o n front doors and stairwell windows, stained glass has recently undergone a revival. Featuring traditional motifs, such as flora and fauna, as well as abstract designs, stained windows, also known as leaded lights, can be patterned, textured or bevelled and are used to diffuse light in the home while being a decorative object in their own right. Current trends have seen stained glass appear in more unusual domestic settings, such as internal doors and windows, roof lights or even as part of a feature wall. Simple, transparent leaded designs (where the panes of glass are supported by lead cames) and crisp geometrics can suit modern interiors. If you are keen to commission your own, start by considering the age of your home. Art-Deco styles suit 1930s interiors, while decorative fanlights and door panels complement Victorian and Edwardian homes. A reputable stained glass specialist can suggest a bespoke design or help you create your own.
RESTORING STAINED GLASS AND LEADED LIGHTS
Individual glass breaks can sometimes be repaired in situ, but when there are too many, or the structure of the lead is weak or bowing, the panel will need to be removed. A specialist can strip it of its lead structure and re-build the pane, using the same width and profile of the original lead came, reusing the old glass where intact and replacing breaks with the nearest possible match. Broken paintings can be copied and kilned in the same way that they were originally created. Expect the lead structure of a typical door panel to have a life span of around 30-40 years between re-builds.
- ‘Internal doors and areas of borrowed light require a more subtle design. Even a modest option consisting of a double border and a rectangle grid can be subtly decorative.
- Think about the amount of light available. If there is plenty, complex designs and strong colours can work well. Simpler designs, lighter colours and subtle textures will help maximise the amount of light coming into the room.
- Opting for traditional or a more modern design is a matter of the age of your home as well as personal taste. If the property is Victorian or Edwardian, it's a good idea to retain the original front entrance design or re-instate a sympathetic style if the original panes no longer exist.
- Resist the temptation to opt for too personal a design at your property's entrance, as it may affect future salability of your home. Personal designs suit smaller, more discreet windows better.
- Stained glass windows can be surprisingly affordable. For example, two Victorian geometric door panels will cost around £400 upwards.'
For more inspiration, visit 25 Beautiful Homes
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