If your vision for a light, bright, sun-filled home is falling short, a glass extension could be the answer. Our edit of stunning glass structures offers plenty of architectural inspiration for all property types and lifestyle needs
One of the most exciting ways to add precious extra space and to introduce more natural light into our homes is by adding a glass extension. A dramatic glass structure across the wasted space of a side return, a contemporary glass box or elegant traditional-style conservatory added to the rear all can revitalise the feel of our homes, making them more suited to 21st-century living. You might want to extend your sitting room, add a new kitchen-dining area, study or playroom. Done well, a glass extension can improve the flow of the entire ground floor and how the spaces are connected, allowing you to transform your living space with a more open and inviting feel.
1. Maximise space with a three-storey extension
This triple-height glass cube has been attached to an extension that is the same size again as the original house, and connected to it by an open-tread glass staircase. It creates volume, and as a largely glass structure, it bounces daylight around the rooms.
2. Blur the boundaries between inside and outside
Use an extension to continue your kitchen space outside. For a seamless connection between extension and garden, choose flooring that works both inside and out, such as polished concrete, and combine with discreet drainage and a flush threshold to avoid an awkward step. Here, glazing is streamlined and unobtrusive, and sliding doors with slim frames visually connect the spaces even when closed.
3. Make it open plan
This modern kitchen-diner extension has been designed with no awkward angles or inefficient corner cupboards, just practical ideas such as a simple worksurface that can be wiped from one end all the way down. Focus on adding a skylight. Skylights can be fitted from the inside or outside of a property, by a roofer, carpenter or specialist. You don’t always need to cut the rafters in a roof to insert a skylight.
4. Wow with a sleek, contemporary renovation
Be inspired by this spectacular double-height extension. These bespoke powder-coated steel-framed doors, which, at five metres tall, rise up to a mirrored ceiling above the dining area at first-floor level, offer amazing possibilities for al fresco summer dining.
5. Go for something dramatically different
Glass is now a very sophisticated material. Glass-to-glass technology and double glazing has moved on so much that it is now possible to create very dynamic structures made almost entirely of glass. Modern ‘glass box’ structures are favoured by English Heritage for use on Listed Buildings, as they make a clear distinction between old and new. Constructed from structural glass – you can even stand on the roof to clean the glass if desired.
6. Opt for style and substance
This striking extension boasts a terrace and staircase as well as a room for lounging. Long panes of structural glass cut a dash in this modern garden room. The sliding doors are on a two-track system with one sliding and the other fixed, plus minimal framework to maximise views.
7. Play with materials
Traditionally, an extension was designed to blend in with your existing property, but a more ‘honest’ approach is becoming de rigueur with today’s homeowners. Differentiate between old and new with contrasting styles and looks. It’s important to try new materials while continually reinventing the way we use the old ones.