Glass adds a touch of class to your building

Glass houses are a new phenomenon that most able bodied house developers are seeking to try out. But while you admire that glass house, carefully weigh the pros and cons. Photos by Godfrey Lugaaju

What you need to know:

Mary Namukose, an interior designer, says glass has become trendy and most people are opting to use it since it gives them a number of options

Usually, glass is used to seal areas that bring light to a room. However, it does more than that and the main thing an individual opting to use glass should know is the appropriate part to place it.
With its delicate nature, a lot of care is needed while handling glass to avoid breakage and the cost of replacing it.
Mary Namukose, an interior designer, says glass has become trendy and most people are opting to use it since it gives them a number of options. She adds that much as it is expensive, it is also long lasting when handled well because all the owner needs to do to maintain it, is polish it often.

Becky Nakaweesi, an employee at Glass Inspirations in Namuwongo, says glass has different kinds of thickness and is measured in two, three, four and five centimetres. She adds that a customer is charged according to the thickness and size of the glass they are buying.

Making it safe
Nakaweesi warns that carelessly fixing glass can cause harm to the people who may come in contact with it because just like a knife, the sharp edges of glass cut.
“After glass is cut, its sides are polished so that they are made blunt and therefore unable to cause harm to the person handling it,” says Nakaweesi. She adds that they also use strong glass glue to stick the glass designs together so that they do not easily go off glass or other surfaces.

“In order to stick the glass together, glass glue is used and this and the glass materials are imported. When glue is used, there is little or no chance of glass falling off and causing harm which also makes it safe for a home,” says Nakaweesi.
Lester Onzima, the owner of Glass Fascinators and Creators in Luzira, Kampala, says glass not only makes your house look classy, it also keeps it safe.

To emphasise and showcase a dining table with an interesting base, choose a transparent glass top.

Room for creativity
Paul Iga, the founder of Glass Inspirations in Namuwongo, says glass leaves a lot of room for creativity. For example, he says, clear glass can be manipulated to form different designs. He adds that most of the designs come from the way a person uses art to join the glass, the reason in most cases their customers order for what they want and it is created. He says the art of joining glass is called joinery.
Also, lighting can be added to glass and because it is transparent, it will reflect depending on where the light is placed in the house.

Iga says an individual can have a bathroom made out of glass in their house and this can be left transparent or a blind can be added using sandblast and personal designs.
“Usually, while doing this, the engineers work hand in hand with the glass cutter because they need to give the measurements so that all the glass cutters do is bring the materials and assemble the bathroom,” says Onzima.
He adds that this will usually cost between Shs2m for the material minus the labour and transportation but all together, an individual might pay Shs2.5m. However, the cost might go up or reduce depending on the location of the house.

House boundaries
Onzima says creating house boundaries is done in several ways depending on what a person needs and the area they need to place the boundary.
He adds that you can order for door hangings that will act as a curtain but for this, a sum of Shs1m should be paid and also the design needed should be chosen. For the others, you can have a door or slide placed but having it sandblasted is an individual’s choice.

Nakaweesi says from glass, a person can also have photo frames made and this does not only make the photo clearer with a classy look but also adds beauty to the house with its simplicity.
“Apart from photo frames, a person can also have a wall hanging made with either a portrait painted on it or have words printed on it and dedicated to a specific person,” explains Nakaweesi.
She says having glass hang on the wall does not need a lot of creativity since it is usually simple. All an individual needs is make sure it is hang in a place where it cannot reflect light since this may make a person it is reflecting to feel uncomfortable or even fail to see what the glass has to offer.

Table poles
Nakaweesi says another thing that can be made from the glass is table poles, especially for those who want to have it mixed with other materials such as wood and granite, among others of an individual’s choice.
On the other hand, Ketrah Alikol, the owner of a furniture showroom, says for one to have a table with glass stands, the material should match the glass and it should not be heavy.

Ketrah says glass tables are not new but make a room look beautiful and classy. Nakaweesi says for a table to be made, the person needs to come up with their design or buy an already made one and the cost ranges from Shs500,000 to Shs600,000 depending on the size.

Onzima says your home bar too can be made out of glass right from the counter to the shelves adding that since both the liquor and the shelves are made of glass, they would blend well. He says glass leaves a lot of room for creativity and this is done basing on an individual’s needs.

Apart from having your photos taken and placed in a frame, Iga says with glass you can have your photos directly placed on the glass using the sand blasting method.
“The best thing about this is that it is unique, artistic, permanent and it also beautifies your space,” says Iga. He further says that on this same portrait, you can have words of affection to the person painted on it or even different designs drawn aside from choosing the colour it.

Glass can instantly elevate the look of any bathroom, whether the décor is modern, contemporary, rustic, or elegant.

Iga says from the glass, you can also get a mirror designed to suit the place you want it to be placed in the house. He adds that in most cases, these mirrors are placed in the dining room, bedroom or bathroom but if it is to be placed directly on the wall, an expert should do it so that it is placed neatly without it breaking.

Onzima says unlike the doors in the past that had plain transparent glass, nowadays, you can have them sand blasted so as to create more privacy in the house.
He says with this, you can have patterns or even images drawn on the glass to add beauty to it.
Although he advises people to be very careful with the patterns they use because there are different designs for specific places such as church, bars, homes, palaces and the wrong choice may leave your home looking uncoordinated.

Creating boundaries
Iga says glass can also be used to create a room or boundary although for one to do this, it should be indicated on the house plan to avoid ruining the design of the house. For the house to look good with such boundaries, Namukose says images or patterns should be avoided while sand blasting but rather go for a plain look.

Namukose says glass should be cleaned with a soft cloth so as to avoid scratching it.
She advises those who have glass in their homes to polish it occasionally so that it can maintain the shiny look and its brightness, warning that if ignored, then the top coating will wear out with time. She adds that using a clean cloth to dry the water off the table will leave it clean without lines or marks that will make it easily gather dust.

Defining Space
If you live in an apartment or a smaller house, you may have to get a little creative with your layout. Everyone wants an open floor plan, but you may want to consider defining specific spaces in a way that does not close them off. Glass walls or clear shelving can allow you to do just that. Using elements such as these will make a room feel more outlined while still maintaining a connection with the rest of the home. Being able to see through these walls or shelving units will make the entire space seem large while making sure every space is as functional as it should be. Plus, they will provide an abundance of light and a feeling of opulence.

Catherine Muyinda, an architect with K.K Partnership, says there are several factors that home developers are supposed to look at before setting out to build that glass house. Muyinda says, you need to first figure out what you want. She advises that before you set out to build that glass house, you need to first study your environment. And such includes factors like the location of the house, the type of glass you are going to use, the direction of the sun.


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