You may think I’ve gone nuts. How can glass block basement windows possibly be sexy?? If there is a definition of YUCK it’s got to be basement windows. Most existing metal or wood framed basement windows are nasty. In almost every case when I – or a member of our company – visits someone’s basement to look at a project they say, “Sorry for the mess down there! Do you want me to clean off the dirt and cobwebs from the windows?” Yes – existing basement windows are anything but sexy.
So how can replacing a metal or wood framed basement window with glass blocks add some sex-appeal to your basement (if that’s even possible)? How can they make you happy taking trips to your basement to do the laundry or hang out in the rec room – or at least make it a bit less depressing? Read on and see.
Controversy and debate seems to follow glass blocks and glass bricks like a bad rash. Some people give them an enthusiastic Siskel and Ebert inspired two thumbs up. Others say – yuck – I wouldn’t put those 80’s glass blocks in my home if you gave them to me! As someone whose been in the glass block biz since 1985 (yes – I’m dating myself here but I like to tell people I started at the age of 11 – a BIT of an exaggeration but I’m going with it) it’s easy to see that building material trends are changing constantly and that has impacted how people feel about glass blocks.
You see some stuff which was hot in the 80’s not being used any more. With glass blocks there are styles, product and installation systems which are popular today most people don’t even know exist. Most people think of glass blocks as one wavy 8” x 8” unit stacked on top of another.
So, before you say whether glass blocks or hot, or not, read on to see what k options others are finding to be inspired ….and also what products and systems are just “old-school.” At the end of the article I’d love to know whether this post has changed your opinion or not.
How do you know when your clothes or home have gone out of style and you need a makeover – BAD? You may ask a trusted consultant for their honest opinion. Someone who will not beat around the bush. I remember doing this during my early days as a professional speaker. I approached Danielle Turcola (a national image consultant) about how I was dressing and she said, “Mike – it’s time to ditch those button down shirts. It’s way too middle-manager looking for a professional speaker.” While it hurt to get Danielle’s “give it to you straight” advice she was spot on. I listened.
In many cases we’re oblivious to our own fashion – whether it’s in clothes (do you have any family members who are stuck in the 70’s with long hair and groovy outfits?), or in home décor (the wallpaper in their homes looks like Marcia and Greg Brady could show up any moment!).
Such was the case for Lilly Epstein of Orlando Florida when she brought in Interior Designer Laurie Lake with Floor to Ceiling (a contractor and interior design firm) in Winter Garden Florida. Laurie came originally to look at upgrading one of Lilly’s floors. While Lilly’s home was hot (it won the Best Home in the 1989 Orlando Parade of Homes) it’s current décor was stuck in a bit of a fashion time warp. As Lilly said to me, “I didn’t realize how dated the home had become until I saw the before and after remodeling pictures!” The reality is time moves on but sometimes we become oblivious to our own surrounding and sense of fashion (I would still be wearing those button down shirts if Danielle had not set me straight!).
If you look at your home today is it looking a little long in the tooth? I can still think back to the “June Cleaver Kitchen” my wife and I inherited as a young couple when we bought our first home (many people today probably don’t even know who June Cleaver is!).
Do you need help transforming your “much-too-long-absent-from-remodeling” home into one which looks like it belongs in a magazine (and not a magazine from 20 years ago sitting in your old dentist’s office?). If so, the time may be right to enter the “5 step program for non-remodelaholics” (i.e. those people who have waited too long to update, redecorate and remodel their homes). Join the meeting – now in session- to get 5 key steps to remodel your home out of a fashion time warp.
Boring. Mediocre. Run of the mill. In a nutshell that’s what most glass block shower designs are like. Get one standard 8” x 8” x 4” wavy glass block, stack it on top on the next block, lay them up in a straight line, stick a door on the other side and call it done. Now you have your plain Jane shower. Woo hoo!
When I was growing up my Dad Joe would say the word “mediocre” was a dirty word. He challenged me, my brother Frank and sister Venera to be the best we could be. He wanted us to become the best version of ourselves and do it with with “personopoloy.” You may ask what is “personopoly?” It was my Dad’s funny made up word to us to lead our lives with our own unique personality.
In the article below I’d like you to go on a trip with me to see 5 ½ incredible glass block shower designs (our company had the pleasure of working on) which certainly aren’t boring or mediocre. These designs are distinctive because their owners were not afraid to let their uniqueness and “personopoly” show. They used persistence to find the right suppliers and contractors to make their dream showers a reality and wouldn’t take no for an answer!
Yes – I’ve heard the arguments that glass blocks are dated or that they are an “80’s” product – but I’m not sure people who make this claim are aware of how this material has evolved. The article below will explore 5 design ideas to modernize a glass block wall or window which are unique to this modular glass building material.
Straight and curved colored glass block walls with blue acrylic shower wall panels
Fun colors are not just for dresses and sports cars anymore! The bathroom – which for many people is the bastion of blandness and functionality – can now be transformed into a vibrant and easy to maintain space with the use of colored wall panels and color glass blocks. Learn more about the benefits, options and installation of these products below.
Creating a spa like experience in a 5′ x 8′ bathroom using glass tiles, glass blocks and nice cabinetry
When Susanne Nonekowski walked into her old “master bathroom” she knew something had to be done! As Susanne said, “What kind of a master bathroom has a linen closet instead of a shower, no natural light (just dim amber colored lighting from two sconces) and an entry which doesn’t even come off of the master bedroom!”
The design, function and aesthetic just didn’t work for Susanne and Jeffrey Nonekowski. This is where the preparation and inspiration began to convert this 5’ x 8’ half-master bath into a luxurious spa-like experience. Learn below how preparation, inspiration and a bit of improvisation turned this half bathroom (n the Oregon suburb of Toledo Ohio) into a high-style bathroom you might find in a hotel.
Robern wall mounted cabinets with Lighting and mirrors
Product selection can make or break the feel and function of a small condominium bathroom remodeling project. When Erna Hammer (of Cleveland Heights Ohio) decided to take on remodeling one bathroom and creating a second half bathroom the trips she would take to Welker McKee Supply (working with Cindy Wildman) resulted in her transforming her old bathroom into a sleek, functional and retro-inspired work of art!
Old vanity before bath remodel
Learn below about Erna’s cool and bathroom-changing product selections.
A closet turned into a cool retro half bathroom in Cleveland Heights
When Erna Hammer purchased her 1,350 square foot condo in an older vintage building in Cleveland Heights she knew she would have some remodeling projects ahead. One of her goals was to expand her single bathroom condo to a 1 ½ bathroom unit but to do it in a fun and functional way. Learn below 9 product and design tips that were used to transform this 3’ x 6’ closet into a cool and useful half bath.
When Bob Dewitt of Collins Georgia noticed the shower wall separating from his baseboard and noticed a spongy feeling in the shower of his log home he knew he had a problem. As Bob said, “After I investigated the problem I uncovered a 3’ x 3’ area under the shower which was badly rotted and action needed to be taken!” Bob’s existing acrylic shower base and pivoting brass finished door system did an OK job for many years but it was time for something new.
Before – Acrylic shower base and pivoting door system
Learn below how Bob combined several new contemporary features in glass block walls and barrier free shower bases to create a functional, contemporary and open-design look in his rustic log home.