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Posts Tagged ‘Bow window’

The bow window has always struck me as a wonderful architectural feature. I love its curve within the four or five panes that typically make up a bow window. The curve adds a visual softness to what is so often an angular and straight lined building. The “bow” or curve feature allows more light to enter the home and provides a wider view to look out upon.

I saw this home in St. Paul earlier this week. It not only has a bow window, but the upper panes feature beveled glass. Beveled glass has angled edges. One benefit of beveled glass is that the angled edges act as prisms in the sunlight, providing a spectrum of colors not present in regular clear glass. Imagine a rainbow of color streaming in your home through a beveled window! This color diffraction also highlights the beveled glass, making it more of a focal point within the room than other glass. An antique beveled glass window will give this magical effect with both natural and artificial light sources.

Most, if not all, beveled glass windows were made by hand in the 19th and early 20th centuries. There were many time-consuming steps involved in the process, thereby making this type of glass expensive. Even so, Americans embraced these visually stunning windows and, as such, our country produced the widest variety and best quality of these elegant windows. An antique beveled glass window is superior to a modern version due to the differences in glass composition, the thicker glass which allows for a more refractory surface on each piece, and the inherent extraordinary craftsmanship of a hand-made bevel that allows for greater prismatic light.

A bow window in a St. Paul, MN home

St. Paul, MN home with beveled bow window

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