When I say, “decorative glass,” what is the first thing that comes to mind? Is it an etched bird on a front door? Leaded glass? Stained glass? Sure, all of these are decorative glass, but they have also fallen by the wayside. More often these days, we have been looking for more function over form, which isn’t always the prettiest option. So what’s new in decorative glass, and how should we view decorative glass in 2021 with this new change of taste?

Heads up, this is a really long blog post, so feel free to skip around for information!

Defining and Approaching Decorative Glass

“But Alex, if you look up the word that’s basically what it says.” Yes, I am aware, but functionality should also play a factor here. If you are looking for a new doorknob, will you go with the plain vanilla functional knob, or the purely ornamental decorative knob? Or will you split the difference and go with the decorative, functional knob.

This is how we need to approach decorative glass in 2021. Our choices no longer play into just how something looks, but also how it functions. Getting the best worth out of your purchases. Finding what both suites your design needs and fulfills a proper function.

In short, don’t sacrifice function for style, but don’t get something that you find to be horrendous either.

We can tackle comparing decorative glass in 2021 from the smallest of projects to the biggest.

Cabinet Glass

Back to the most basic and obvious when it comes to decorative glass – decorative cabinet glass.

Cabinet glass comes in a multitude of different textures, styles, and opacities. It can help light to pass through your cabinet doors and lighten the heaviness that solid panels can have or bring a texture into the space that ties in with your backsplash or countertop.

Clear glass in cabinet doors works for the light distribution, but it also comes with having to keep all of your dishware immaculately organized and making sure that you don’t end up with a kitchen that feels cluttered.

From frosted glass to antiqued, there are a range of options in deco glass that can help aid you in your design venture.

Mirrors and Frames

For some reason, I have it in my head that if you don’t have a piece of art on the wall, a mirror can go in its place. And while I love a good art piece, there are certain advantages to using a mirror instead.

Mirrors help to open up cramped spaces and redirect light. A mirror can make a world of difference between a stale, stagnant room, and a breathable one.

Mirrors are also not limited to just being a single piece of clear mirror on the wall. Mirrors in fact can be an art piece! Perhaps THE art piece if you are bold enough.

Mirrors can be cut into various different patterns such as argyle, herringbone, and Mondrian. Coloured mirrors and antique mirrors are also a creative way to create mirror features!

Here in Southwest Florida, we are no strangers to beautiful views. With some creative insight, the right mirror cut can help enhance and reflect your view to create its own magical art!

If you have existing mirrors that seem to be outdated or lacking in design, try jazzing them up with a frame or custom moulding! Mirrormate is a great website to check out for a DIY frame on an existing mirror, and they have a TON of options and finishes to choose from.

Antique Mirror

I just touched on antique mirror, but I think it deserves its own little category.

Antique mirror has all the benefits of mirror while also introducing some movement and texture for visual variance. It is also really effective when cut into shaped patterns or tiles.

Antique mirror also pairs really well with mirror rosettes. Think of rosettes as little accent jewelry for your mirrors to help accentuate them and tie pieces together.

We even have a shop site dedicated to shipping out antique mirror tiles and rosettes for you to install yourself wherever you are here in the US! You can visit Striptiles.com for more info.

Back Painted Glass

My personal favourite because I get to be super hands on – back painted glass!

What is really unique about our back painted glass here at Builders Glass is that it is completely custom. Because we hand paint all of our painted glass here in house, you can choose any Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams, or colour matchable object as an option for your project!

But back painted glass doesn’t just look pretty, it is also a really great functional option for both indoor and outdoor kitchen backsplashes. Because it’s glass, it’s really easy to clean. You don’t have to worry about grease stains or splatter marks, just give it a wipe and it’s like it never happened! It’s also resistant to dry erase marker stains making it easy to jot down your grocery list or recipe notes.


Showers? Really? Showers count as decorative glass? They can!

I love the look of a frameless shower, but sometimes they blend in too much with their surroundings. Especially when you use Ultra Clear Glass. Sometimes we need some extra privacy, or a stand out feature. Some people prefer making the tub the main attraction, but what about your shower?

We have all seen the decorative etched shower glass with the birds or the dolphins or – no, BAD. It’s pretty – pretty dated. But if you are looking for a way to privatize your shower with your own personal flair, why not try a film?

Films are a really great way to take an old shower and make it feel brand new. Films come in a variety of different patterns, textures, colours – there are a TON of options out there. And the best part is, if you hate it after a few years, you can change out the film instead of your glass. It’s also a cleaner alternative to having true satin etched glass, as we have found that frosted glass is susceptible to holding oil from finger prints and other solutions.

Showers can also be made to be a statement piece. Industrial grid showers have been a very bold choice in design lately just as much as their partition counterparts. Bathrooms tend to be very sterile looking environments, which often times leads to a very 2D and monotone environment. By making your shower a feature in the bathroom, you elevate and give the space dimension.

Wine Enclosures

Often referred to around here as, “wine jewel boxes,” glass enclosed wine cellars are really skyrocketing into mainstream home design. Flipping through the home magazines that feature us, I’ve noticed near every high end home is displaying a glass wine enclosure!

Wine features rank pretty high up there when it comes to decorative glass in 2021. A glass wine enclosure is a huge upgrade from the small wine fridge that sits under many wet bars and in kitchen cabinets.

You take your wine collection from storage to display!

So why does this make a difference?

Storage is what we do with our Christmas decorations. We store them away from view until we are ready to take them out and dazzle our guests. Some people approach their wine collection in the same way. They store their collection away in crates, or dark cellars away from view and bring out their favourite bottles on special occasions. It’s the old style, and it works, but if you are going to make a point to collect wine, you may as well show it off in the best way possible.

Glass wine features add another level of sophistication to a home. Whether a large, thousand bottle count storage display, or a small and classy feature, wine collections stand out above others. They exude luxury and elegance. Not something that most people want to hide.

My personal favourite type of wine display are the smaller statement features. Whether a small wine cabinet or open racking on the wall with surrounding mirror, I really like the concept of featuring your absolute favourite bottles of vino – whilst we drink the rest.

Decorative Glass in 2021 

To wrap up what is probably my longest blog to date (I’m sorry), there is A LOT going on with glass these days. And the best part is that most of it fulfills both our decorative and functional needs. It’s best to make the most out of the renovations we are doing these days, so for more information give us a call or come see us in our showroom! I hope this helped to get you inspired.