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Glass storage adds light to home's interior

DULUTH - Does your house feel walled off, dark or cramped? That's likely because a significant part of the overall square footage is dedicated to closets, cabinets and other storage spaces.

Rather than compromise valuable storage space, why not consider adding some storage you can see through? Glass shelves, glass room dividers and glass-front (or see-through) cabinetry can create an effect that is at the same time decorative, visually expansive and often brings in additional outdoor lighting that can open up a dark or small room appreciatively.

According to designer Amy Renea at, a dividing wall of cabinets between the kitchen and living areas can make the cook feel isolated and the room look boxed in.

"Don't rip those cabinets down and lose the storage," advises Renea. "Open them up and enclose them in glass for see-through storage that keeps the view open, the light flowing and the storage intact."

Such a storage area would be a great place to showcase serving pieces or store dinnerware that can be accessed conveniently from both sides.

Designers from Better Homes and Gardens suggest that using glass fronts on a few of your kitchen cabinets can add texture and visual interest to a kitchen and helps break up expanses of cabinetry. Further, glass-front cabinets mixed with open cabinets keep everything you need in plain sight, open up those dark corners of the kitchen and keep brightly colored cabinets from seeming too overpowering.

Mounting two-sided cabinets up against tall kitchen windows can create a stunning visual effect that brings the outside in, lightens up a north-facing exposure, and makes your kitchen seem larger and airier. Better Homes and Gardens experts say glass-front cabinets also help brighten the space by reflecting natural light around the room.

Further, glass-front storage cabinets can keep your cherished dishes or collectibles dust-free but out where they can be enjoyed and appreciated.

A series of glass shelves at one end of your bathtub can create decorative and useful storage space for soap, towels, bubble bath, loofas and candles.

Customizing the glass in your cabinet doors and shelves can also be a powerful decorating element that compliments the style of your home.

Better Homes and Gardens suggests that traditional leading with textured glass can lend an old-world feel to your kitchen, while glass-front cabinets with cathedral-style mullions can create a formal ambiance. Curved glass inserts or fluted or reeded glass can create a modern effect.

The glass itself can be clear or frosted with various levels of opacity, and Better Homes and Gardens designers suggest using in-cabinet lighting and glass shelves when you want to show off your best glassware or most prized dishes.

Creating see-through cabinetry, room dividers and shelves can be as simple as building your own or even recycling old windows, or as sophisticated as having custom units created by professionals.

In any case, adding glass to some of your storage units can be an exciting design element that effectively brings that dark, walled-off room out into the light.