Trends in Decorative Glass

The mantra of decorative glass is “new”. New products, new colors, new coatings, new textures, new applications.

Decorative glass projects include airports, hotels, office buildings, recreational facilities, schools and hospitals. There are a wide range of applications and exciting new products including digitally printed glass that can print near photo-quality images or replicate stone and wood. As architects and designers become aware that it is possible to print almost any type of image or illustration on the surface of glass, demand for digitally printed glass on the exterior facade has been increasing.

Aesthetics aside, the common threads continue to be privacy, color and daylighting. Light transmission is a big deal. Architects are also trying to balance daylighting and glare and have been successfully incorporating satin etch glass in vision and non-vision areas for glare reduction. Satin etch, also known as frosted or smoked glass, is often used in partitions, office enclosures, doors, conference rooms or anywhere someone would want daylighting to blend with total or partial and privacy.

Traditional applications for decorative glass are still strong. Hospitality applications tend to be shower doors or privacy partitions for restaurants and suites. Health care facilities utilize partitions for privacy that are passive in design so that they help people feel relaxed. Commercial projects typically include glass boardroom walls, whiteboards and sidelites. Public art is an area that is also growing.

There has also been growing demand for decorative glass in horizontal surfaces including backpainted countertops, tables, canopies, floors and stairs. Architects and designers gravitate to new and different designs because they are new and different.

Colored glass is in high demand. The ability to apply color to glass is what designers dream about. PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue, a familiar shade very close to one of Binswanger’s corporate colors, was recently selected as the Pantone Color of the Year. Over the coming year, expect to see Classic Blue in all areas of design including home & office furnishings, interior design and external facades.