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Elegance etched on glass

Renovating your home does not have to mean replacing everything in it. You can work wonders with sand-etched glass in various hues

Photo: S. Gopakumar

UNDERSTATED ELEGANCE: A sand-etched glass door

WHEN SUMITHA Sujathan, homemaker, decided to add some pizazz to the plain living pad, she approached Susheela Nair, an interior decorator.

Sumitha had only one condition: The décor of her home should reflect an understated elegance. She did not want much of woodwork either.

The interior decorator suggested that Sumitha use sand-etched glass for her home. "Since I do glass paintings, I drew some sketches of the patterns that I wanted to be etched on the glass. I like geometric and abstract patterns and took care to avoid floral motifs," says Sumitha.

The end result using sand-etched glass is what Sumitha describes as "extremely satisfying".

Artwork on glass

Glass has been in vogue for a long time now, but it is the different kinds of artwork done on glass these days that has given it a new status.

Glass etching is a method in which graphic designs are etched on the surface of the glass, using sand or acid. Frosted patterns on plain surfaces are being increasingly used on windows, doors and tabletops. Glass is even used as room partitions instead of the intricately carved wooden frames.

Earlier, it were the upmarket restaurants, theatres and parlours that used a lot of glass to make their décor stylish. But today, glass has become the hot favourite of many an interior designer with clients clamouring for that elegant look in their living space.

The choice of the design depends on the ambience the client desires for his rooms. "Clients often consult with us about the selection of designs," says Ajith Natarajan, architect.

Glass can be used to spruce up the living room, wardrobes, shelves, bathrooms and even kitchens, says Rajenesh Clement of Hometech Architects and Interior Designers.

The designs on the glass may be shaded or in myriad hues.

Motifs

The most popular floral motifs are datura, lilies, morning glories and irises. Bigger motifs are used on glasses for windows and doors. Natural light filters in through the glass making the rooms well lit. Though huge glass doors look chic, they often pose a problem with regard to security.

"Our clients for etched glass are mainly commercial establishments," says Sooraj Kumar G., marketing executive, Glass and Glazing Systems Private Limited, Industrial Development Area, Kochuveli.

"It is easier to maintain etched glass partitions in rooms than the blinds and curtains," says Rajenesh.

Sceneries with pagoda, lotus, bamboo motifs and other tropical flora or designs of flowers in pot when etched on the glass partition accentuate the ambience of the room.

Selecting designs

If you do not have a creative bent of mind, browse through some of the magazines on designing and interior decoration. Select simple designs instead of loud ones, says Rajenesh.

Designs should be chosen to blend with the ambience. The colours used on the glass should not be garish but sober hues. "A lot of people who work abroad bring photographs of etched glass and ask for the patterns to be reproduced," says, Arif.

Etching ornate designs can be quite expensive. "Consulting with an architect can save the client a lot of money," says Ajith Natarajan. The cost of etching depends upon the design selected. The more complex the design, the higher will be the rates. "The rates start from Rs. 30 per sq. ft. and may even go up to Rs. 650," says Arif.

With clients insisting on quality, money no longer rules their choice.

M. S. VIDYANANDAN

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