Why Glazing Is Vital To Your Kitchen Design
It goes without saying that there are an awful lot of elements that go into great kitchen design. Striking the right balance between these is not unlike cooking a delicious meal: you need all the right ingredients, and they all need to go together in the right way.
With everything from colour schemes to appliances to factor in, it can be easy to get bogged down in all the details. Yet there’s one vital element that might not seem immediately pivotal to your design: glazing.
It’s easy to forgo thoughts about windows and other glass installations in favour of focussing on the more ‘fun’ elements (who wants to talk about window frames when you’ve got a catalogue of surface finishes to browse?!). However, there are a number of reasons why glazing is a crucial consideration that can make all the difference in the success or failure of your kitchen design:
- Natural light is essential in a kitchen space
Any great kitchen design should factor in natural light. This might seem a little obvious, but there’s a lot to be said about how and why this is so important. It’s easy, when designing a new kitchen, to see natural lighting as simply a box to be ticked; a hurdle that’s easily overcome with the inclusion of a few windows. But there’s a little more to it than that.
Firstly, it’s important to understand just why natural light is such an important element in design. It might seem like it’s simply the best source of lighting both for aesthetic and practical purposes (which, to be fair, it is), but it plays a much bigger role in our lives, and actively contributes to our overall wellbeing. Natural light provides us with vitamin D, helps regulate our circadian rhythms (helping us get enough sleep), and can even make us more productive.
The average Brit spends nearly 6 hours per week in the kitchen – close to a full working day every week – and the inclusion of plenty of daylight in your kitchen design means these hours aren’t just a chance to prepare delicious meals: they could actually be beneficial to your overall wellbeing.
As such, carefully thinking about what types of glazing elements to include, and where they should go, can make a big difference. With new options such as frameless glass, minimal glazing, and much larger panels/installations than were possible even a decade ago, great glazing not only ensures that the space looks good, but one that makes you feel good, too.
- Glazing can link your interior and exterior spaces
In many traditional homes, the kitchen is situated at the rear of a property, in proximity to the garden. As more people embrace the trend of al-fresco dining, the right glazing installations aren’t just a way to let more light into your kitchen space – they can create a seamless link between your interior and exterior spaces.
With installations such as sliding or bifold glass doors and French windows, you can open your space up into your garden area both visually and practically. The key here isn’t just that you’re providing an easy way to link your kitchen space and outdoor areas, but that by using glass you’re creating an aesthetic link between your indoor and outdoor spaces. This creates a flowing, uninterrupted effect, which can in turn complement your interior design choices.
It’s also worth pointing out that in practical terms, glazing can offer some of the easiest and most usable ways to create an al fresco dining space. Technology including glass doors that open at the push of a button, and huge panels that slide completely out of the way, means that the days of tentatively carrying large bowls of salad through a thin patio door are over.
- Glazing can bring the rest of your kitchen design to life
While glazing might not be the number one factor when you’re planning a kitchen upgrade or extension, it can offer a profound benefit to your new space: bringing out the very best in the rest of your design choices. Often, the quality of light restricts the design elements available to us, with low light affecting the suitability of certain colours and aesthetics. Quality glazing design can put all these concerns to rest.
If you’re opting for a plain, minimal colour palette (such as a white paint scheme), the inclusion of a large glazing installation such as a glass roof or glass wall can brighten up an interior space, in a way that helps the other elements of your design ‘pop’. Similarly, the design of your glass fixtures themselves can help complement a design. Minimal, sleek glazing can work well with a modern aesthetic, and choosing framing (such as brushed steel) in line with your other appliances will contribute to a more complete, uniform aesthetic.
What types of glazing work best?
Possibly the biggest question when considering a kitchen upgrade that will include new glazing is ‘what glass installations should I actually choose?’. While this will predominantly come down to personal choice, it’s worth looking into a few of the best options that are available. In the past few decades, the possibilities of what can be achieved with glazing have escalated dramatically, and a few of these more modern options could feature in your kitchen:
As a break in tradition and a step up from the standard window, a glass wall is one of the most effective ways to create a visual link between the interior and exterior spaces in your kitchen area. Advanced glazing technology means that size is rarely a concern, and you’ll be able to install huge, crystal clear panels with relative ease.
A glass wall is also a great way to make the most of natural light – particularly if your kitchen is sun-facing, and has an unobstructed view of the outdoors.
Sliding glass doors
A little more practical than a fixed glass wall, opting for a sliding glass door is a fantastic way to open your kitchen up, and make al fresco dining completely effortless. Sliding glass doors offer all of the benefits of a glass wall, with the added practicality of both access and ventilation.
It’s worth point out that the key here is the ‘sliding’ bit. Glass doors have existed in one form or another for a long time, with the lasting favourite being the bifolding door. Sliding doors add the benefit of requiring less space on either side – giving you more space to work with in your design.
This might not be a possibility for every kitchen space, as it requires your kitchen to occupy its own space vertically – in other words, the roof of your kitchen can’t have anything else above it. If you’re planning a kitchen extension however, or if your kitchen just out or is a part of an annex, then a skylight could be a fantastic addition.
From simple, fixed roof panels to more elaborate opening systems, there are plenty of glass roof options to choose from; but a glass roof is arguably the best way to maximise natural light in your interior space. Even as the sun gets lower, a glass roof still reaps the benefits of natural light, which cascades down into your kitchen throughout the day. It’s a great choice if your design features an island, too, as it can provide an organic spotlight onto the centrepiece of your interior!
James is the chief content writer for Cantifix, a structural and architectural glazing firm based in London. They help homeowners and architects alike design the most efficient, practical, and visually impressive glazing installations in their kitchen spaces.