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Reinvented Southwestern Style Kitchen

Southwest stained glass cabinet panel

Southwest stained glass cabinet panel

One of my recent customers has decided to reinvent her kitchen to a southwestern style and wanted to include one of my Southwestern style cabinet inserts.  She had chosen her color scheme of  chili pepper red, blue and green.  She had already purchased some televera handles for the cupboard doors.  The handles were framed in blue which would add spots of color through out the kitchen.  After looking through our stained glass designs she chose a wonderful style from our stained glass panel section that would really make the whole kitchen pop.  I had to add elements of design to accommodate the length she needed.  Additionally she chose some light fixtures that were also glass.  I matched the glass to these.

Although I envy the idea of a new kitchen I can also empathize with the strains and struggles of trying to get things done on time.   Has anyone ever gotten any kind of construction work done on time?  That is just a fallacy is it not?  She waited as we all do.   The kitchen was gutted and she was working with a crock pot and microwave in the sunroom.  Kind of a hassle, but I think it is worth it for a brand new kitchen.

The tile floors go in one week and the cabinets the following week.   After a few minor setbacks, everything is moving forward (appliances and lights installed).  The backsplash tile came in the wrong color, so the contractor had to get the right tile shipped overnight.  Whew. Glad it wasn’t me.

I fabricated the window and shipped it.  The client was very pleased.  Below is an excerpt from her Email to me:

“The panel arrived yesterday afternoon and it is beautiful! The colors are perfect. We absolutely love it. It matches the lights so well that I’m sure people will think they came as a set. Your workmanship is impeccable. Terry is already thinking about other projects.
I don’t remember if I told you that the woman at the kitchen design center asked me for your website, which I did pass on to her.
Thanks so much for your excellent work (I wish I had such talent!).”

Here is her finished kitchen!  Gorgeous!

southwest kitchen

Southwest Kitchen

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Designing Stained Glass Windows

Stained glass windows ……They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.  Glass is such a beautiful medium and at A Glass Menagerie we are working to push the boundaries of stained glass as far as they will glow.  The designs can be free-flowing, moving and everyday new ideas are being developed.  I often dream of designs, waking with only fleeting images left in my head.  They are sometimes hard to reproduce from such a split second of time in memory.  No matter how hard I try to remember the details of that design I am left high and dry by my own mind’s eye.  If only I could take a screen shot of my mind I could store it for later use.

The design of a stained glass window may be non-figurative (eg: flowers) or figurative (people); may incorporate stories drawn from the Bible, history, or literature.  Some religious traditions use the stained glass window art form to honor people and important events in their traditions. These windows are beautiful, intricate and complex and are most often associated with windows in Churches, Cathedrals and significant buildings.

I often get the question, “What colors do you have?”  That is a loaded question. There are a hundred types, styles and variations of “clear” glass, and made by many manufacturers. And, there are about 2,000 types of stained (colored) glass on the market today, as well.  Most artists and even most wholesalers can’t stock them all.  We typically order the glass from samples that are produced by the manufacturers.  It’s even hard to keep the samples up to date with new colors being made and old ones being removed.  I have a lot of hand rolled glass (expensive) that is no longer being produced.  Some of my favorites are no longer being made but that is the way of the world is it not?  Out with the old, in with the new.

Designs are only limited by your imagination and the colors well… there are thousands so anything is possible.

Stained glass Capuchin Monkey window

Stained glass Capuchin Monkey window

Stained glass colors from an interior decorators perspective.

Incorporating stained glass windows into your home may seem daunting.  It’s all about color and how you use it.  Here is an interior decorator’s perspective on it.

Many people design their homes with little awareness of the “proper order” of doing things especially when deciding upon their color scheme (and consequently, they try to choose paint colors first, rather than last!)  In actuality, this is more an art of applying simple math equations than it is getting every paint color right.  But, this also means knowing what colors you need in a space and in what proportions.  To establish a sense of continuity throughout one space, or even an entire home, it is always best to establish (what people in the design world) call “a leading pattern!”  Prior to selecting paint colors, it helps if you have something you love actually guiding your eye throughout the whole process, such as an area rug, an important piece of art, or perhaps even a wallpaper pattern.  This is very much like the artist’s paint palette that they would select to use prior to their work of art being created.  During this process, the artist “collects” or “visualizes” something that inspires their stained glass design.  When people try to select colors in their houses, they tend to see things in a disjointed manner which causes the spaces not to flow into each other well (much like your grandmother’s patchwork quilt!)

Consider a stained glass window as a perfect leading pattern.  Find a favorite photograph, an upholstery fabric, tile pattern, a beach scene or really anything that has several colors you love!  We can help guide your eye as far as your “base colors” as well as your “warm and cool accent colors.”  Colors in nature are usually the very best when it comes to creating successful interior color schemes.  Nature usually has a deeper earthy “ground floor” color, a “medium” wall color (thinks tans and greens in trees) and then the lightest “sky” color on the ceiling.  After deciding the neutral base wall colors and anchoring your design, you can then put in your accent wall colors along with accent pieces for exciting “pops” of color.  The more you are able to repeat these accent elements, the more your interior space will flow seamlessly from one space to the other.

So now….you now know a true “inside designer’s secret!”  A successful home interior  starts with one, great exciting “leading pattern” but the trick is perhaps finding it.

Browse our  Stained Glass Panels by Style.

stained glass blue bird panel

Blue bird & vines stained glass panel

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