If you’re looking for a way to embrace the environment and put your style stamp on your home in one fell swoop, look no further than recycled glass!
Now available in everything for the kitchen and bathroom from countertops and backsplashes to accent tiles and drawer pulls, incorporating beautiful recycled glass pieces into your home décor has never been easier or more eco-fabulous.
Here are a few suggestions to help set you on your path to an environmentally-friendly showplace using upcycled glass in exciting new ways.
Recycled Glass Countertops
These environmentally-conscious beauties are the ultimate in customization due to their unique nature; like snowflakes, tiger stripes and leopard spots, no two glass countertops are exactly the same.
Made from mixing 100% recycled glass bits and shards into a cement binder and then sealing everything with a resin coating, most recycled glass countertops are 70-90% glass.
And the glass comes from any and every source you can imagine: both pre- and post-consumer recycled glass products gathered from beverage bottles, jars, mirrors, demolished buildings, vehicle windshields and more. Since the original sources of the glass are made in every color of the rainbow, there is no end to the variety of custom creations that can result when the glass is mixed together.
You can expect to pay a bit more for these countertops than their non-recycled counterparts (approximately $50-$125 per square foot on average) but at the end of the day you are left with something gorgeous and show-stopping that would otherwise be wasting away at the bottom of a landfill. Win-win!
Glass Panel Backsplash
The perfect complement to your new-to-you recycled glass countertop is a new seamless, light-enhancing glass panel backsplash! Especially designed for those practical folks who want something easy to clean, these flat panels have no grout lines or seams. And since they are seamless, they present the ideal surface to reflect light.
Available in clear, frosted, patterned, tinted and fully-colorized glass, these panel backsplashes offer that sleek modern element that pairs beautifully with the textured appearance of your smooth recycled glass countertops. By marrying the two together, you have the perfect mix of “something old, something new” that you don’t have to be a bride to appreciate!
If you’re a sucker for a crisp, clean grout line in your kitchen and bathroom backsplash, consider opting for recycled glass tiles.
With the range of options available, you can choose from subway tiles, geometric tiles in hexagonal or octagonal shapes arranged in mosaic patterns that you can blend yourself, or even glass strips that are perfect for accent lines around a shower or kitchen backsplash edge.
These recycled glass tiles are easily one of the most sophisticated and green additions you can incorporate into your home and since they come in matte and glossy finishes, there’s something for everyone, no matter the look you’re going for.
Another perfect mix of old and new is cabinets with glass panel doors and recycled glass pulls and knobs.
Gone are the days when only museums and great-grandmothers could get away with glass cabinets and shelves. Now you can order custom-cut glass for cabinet doors, inserts and shelves in clear, frosted, patterned and colored glass that can make your kitchen and bathrooms even more modern and fabulous than ever.
And there’s no reason to stop there – you need a means to open these cabinet doors and drawers, right? One of the least-expensive and quick ways to upcycle any cabinet is to add recycled glass hardware.
Available in any color you can imagine and in as many sizes and shapes as their metal cousins, glass door knobs, drawer pulls and handles are another great way to do the environment a solid when it comes to incorporating stylish decor selections in your eco-friendlier pad.
*Bonus Idea: Install LED Under-Cabinet Lighting
As a final suggestion (and the perfect way to highlight your new green efforts), install a strip of energy-efficient LED lights under your cabinets to really make your eco-fabulousness shine.
Not only are these little lights a wonderful way to make your new glass surfaces pop, but they can really cut down your energy bill by minimizing the need for overhead lighting much of the time.
What are some of the other ways you have seen glass (whether new or recycled) incorporated into home décor?
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This has been a guest post for Easy Ways to Go Green by Shahab Shokouhi, a glass design expert at www.dullesglassandmirror.com, an innovative manufacturer of glass table tops, glass shelves, and all other glass and mirror products. Follow Dulles Glass and Mirror on Pinterest or on YouTube to see how they’re changing the way glass products are manufactured, customized and delivered. [Photo Credits: 1, 2]