We all dream of having an abundance of natural light and in our homes—but that's not always the case, especially in smaller or compartmentalized spaces. Enter: Glass partitions, interior windows, and doors. They're the designer-approved solution that won't interrupt visual flow while still separating it so each area serves a distinctly different function, with plenty of sunlight pouring through. Not to mention, interior glass elements add a ton of architectural intrigue, even in spaces that initially look like a plain white box.
And while classic glass doors are gorgeous, innovative designers have been iterating on the look in new, creative ways, like adding punch and personality (and in some cases, more privacy) with textured, frosted, and colorful plexiglass (this also saves money!). Ahead, we've highlighted five fun interior glass trends that take the whole glass partition solution to the next level, both formally and functionally.
In this transitional space designed by GRT Architects, the fluted glass partition separates the hallway from the staircase. The grooves add textural intrigue and privacy, obscuring the adjacent areas without completing obstructing them. And good news! Bendheim Glass assures us that "textured glass, such as fluted glass, is one of the most affordable ways to introduce a decorative element to doors." The unexpected lavender trim also keeps the hallway youthful and playful, contrasting with the traditional area rug and built-in console.
For a little more privacy than fluted glass and also more shared light than you'd get from an alternative material for a door. These tend to be a little more costly because they require a layer of transparent glass with a frosted film added to both sides. But "plastics and privacy filters are often used to mimic the look of decorative glass on a lower budget," Bendheim assures us. If you go this route, just keep in mind that they aren't quite as maintenance-friendly or durable as glass. Studio DB used them for a glass door in this home office, but they'd also look beautiful as a partition between the sleeping and eating area in a studio apartment.
Stained glass, but make it 21st century. If you live in a space that has quirky interior windows (fun fact that I learned at the Tenement Museum: Many old apartment buildings have them because they were built to increase air circulation as a preventative measure against tuberculosis), here's how to make them look intentional and incredibly stylish. In his Brooklyn apartment, Crosby Studios designer Harry Nuriev now gets to look through a rose-colored window every day. He used cut-to-size plexiglass from a shop on Canal street, according to Architectural Digest.
Designed by Moscow-based Maltsev Design, this boudoir is made even glitzier with a glitter-flecked glass pocket door. Pocket doors with glass windows allow for shared light to flow throughout the space while also creating separation. And even better, they slide right into the wall when not being used, taking up much less space than swinging doors. Of course, working with glass doors like this is a much more specialized and technical process. But the glittery result can be well worth it if you want to set a glamorous scene (and live in one).
In tinier spaces, sometimes less is more. Read: An entire glass partition will just make it feel smaller. So take note from this kitchen instead, where the glass archway opens the space and it makes a space lighter. "I was inspired by the idea of what Gabrielle Chanel's kitchen would look like nowadays if she was still alive," Nuriev tells us. He used interior glass to section off the dining nook inn this eat-in kitchen. The transparent archway allows for shared light while striking a balance between classic and modern.