The popular TV programs being made about people building their own self-designed homes are watched by millions. These buildings are typically shaped to fit the land they are located in or to meet the preferences and quirks of the owners, which can mean very visibly different houses. One thing that does appear to be a constant about these homes is that they almost always have a large amount of glazing, often employing large sliding windows which offer expansive views from the inside and which can be opened up for easy access to the outside space. These illustrative glazed areas are often the most expensive single item on the project, so why do people feel the need to spend their money in this way?
It seems fairly obvious that introducing more light into the home is something people feel is important and this is quite understandable as who does not feel better on a bright summer's day than on a rather dingy day in winter? Light is a precious resource and it is natural that we should want to maximize it to enhance our lives, however, building our own home with a wall entirely made of glass is not an option open to everyone, so what the less foster among us do? In years gone by, any aperture even if it was glazed was a sure way to lose heat from the house and before central heating keeping warm was a significant preoccupation for the residents. So the question was how to get more light into a house without compromising the need to keep warm.
One of the darker parts of any home is the upstairs landing as it normally has no natural light being merely a means of access to the rooms leading off it. You may not notice in older homes that there are often windows above the doors on a landing (known as fanlights) to allow light from the rooms off the landing to be introduced into what would otherwise be a rather dark and unwelcoming space. This was a rather limited way of creating more light but interior designers were constrained by the fact that glass was a potential hazardous material as it shattered it was dangerous to the occupants. The development of safety glass which is now used in glazed doors has meant this is no longer a constraint and more light can now be bought in through the glazed panel in the door, which is much more effective than a fanlight!
The creative use of glazed inner doors in many homes has meant that not only is more light introduced but it can be done with style and as part of an overall design theme. Improvement production processes mean that glazed doors are within the pocket of most as is the opportunity of using them to enhance a home. The choice of glazing used to be clear or frosted, (usually for the bathroom) but now, there are a variety of glazing options to suit all tastes. Clear glass is still available but there is also bevelled, diamond cut and even etched patterned glass to make a glazed door really be a design feature as well as carrying out its main function of light enhancement.
The modern trend towards having a light and airy living space lends itself to having more glazing as part of the interior design. There are a lot of glazed internal doors in the market and suit both traditional and contemporary settings and can really open up a room and flood it with natural light, so there's no excuse for sitting in the dark!