When we renovated the master bathroom in our 100 year old house, we created a lovely bathroom out of an eyesore of a bathroom. In that new floor plan for the master bath, I designed a separate toilet room space. However, the only window in the bathroom with natural light is in that toilet room, so instead of closing off the toilet room space with a solid door and wall, we opted to use lots of glass in the design, with a stained glass interior window and door with glass. Here’s what we did…
First, we were fortunate to have a ‘leftover’, original to the house, door with a glass window in it from the hallway renovation. It originally was at the top of the back stairs. Though the previous owners had closed off that back stairway, from the kitchen, we re-opened the stairs, and for sure didn’t need this door at the top any longer, so perfect for the toilet room door.
(By the way, click here to see the post from last week when I wrote about the rolling barn style door we installed dividing this master bathroom from the master bedroom, it also shows greater detail about the previous hideous bathroom…)
After we determined the door for the toilet room, I went in search for a antique window to use in the wall, to let in even more natural light flowing from the window to the main part of the bathroom.
This is what I found on Craigslist! It was really the perfect size for the space and in a heavy duty steel frame. (typically though, Craigslist doesn’t have a plethora of options for antique or vintage stained glass windows, I lucked out on this one. Ebay has way, way better selections for stained glass windows, I’ve actually purchased several over the years from Ebay, I’ve so far I’ve not had a single issue with breakage during shipping)
An important thing to consider when shopping for antique or vintage stained glass windows is what condition the lead or metal strips are in that hold the cut glass pieces together. If they are loose, bowing or crumbling, you may want to pass on the piece… or be prepared for an extensive repair job. I haven’t bought any windows with the leading in poor condition to repair because there are plenty of beautiful windows out there in fantastic shape at good value.
This particular window has really wide, solid strips. I liked that it was mostly clear with just a small element of colored stained glass detail.
But like most antique pieces, it was not without any imperfections. The frame had a few layers of paint on it, with some coming over onto the actual window, but that didn’t bother me at all so I left that as is.
One thing I did address was this:
On a couple of the stained glass pieces, in one area of the window, there are a few cracks. (probably a baseball or something that smashed into the window when it was still an exterior window) Even though the glass seemed to be holding in totally secure, I could feel the edge of the cracked glass with my finger. It probably would have been OK just left as is, since it’s an interior window, but I was concerned that someone, mostly one of our grandchildren, might rub their hand across it and get cut. So I smeared clear silicone caulk over the cracks from both sides of the window. It’s nearly impossible to see the caulk, however, it’s doing its job of sealing over the cracked glass. The cracks are still barely visible, but no sharp edges.
Of course from inside the toilet room in the day, the flow of natural light doesn’t make the same impact as from the main part of the bathroom, but it’s still very pretty.
From the main part of the bathroom with the natural light flowing through the stained glass, it’s a very lovely view.
To mount the window, we had the advantage of building the whole wall for it due to the major renovation of the room, but if you were installing it in an existing wall, you could do it, it’d just take cutting a hole in the wall and installing a header and framework to hold the window.
Then we, (well, actually our carpenter) installed the trim around the window frame. I primed and painted the trim before he then installed the antique stained glass window. The window is held in place just by sandwiching it between the trim you see on the main bathroom side and the trim from inside the toilet room.
The natural light really does pour through the stained glass interior window beautifully.
I love interior windows. I’ve designed and created many different varieties and styles, both using antique windows, antique glass, new window sashes and specialty glass. I love the character they add to a space, and the light they allow to pass through into adjoining rooms.
Below are a few examples of what you’ll find:
This was a beautiful antique glass window I found on Ebay.com (it really is such afantastic resource for stained and leaded glass, both new and old, and with very competitive pricing!) for the master bathroom in our former house.
I loved that it had different kinds of frosted or pebbled glass, but it was all without color. We installed it in a wall we built dividing a 2nd vanity from the clawfoot tub. It allowed natural light to pass through, yet gave such a beautiful focal point in the room.
In the same former house,
in the master bedroom, between the bedroom and walk-in closet we installed this little antique stained glass window.
Doesn’t this one below sort of remind you of ours in our bathroom now?!
Even though this particular example isn’t an interior window, it was installed after the original house was built, when the innkeepers were renovating the place.
I’m sure that when I was designing our bathroom renovation, somewhere in the back of my head I was inspired by this gorgeous example that I saw while we stayed at The Rivertown Inn bed & breakfast in Stillwater, MN. Click here to see what I posted with a few more details about that B & B a couple years ago.
To see even more examples of ones I’ve designed, installed and written about, be sure to click here to see the full page of interior window from the ‘Details’ page.
So how about you? Is there a spot in your space that needs more light or character that perhaps installing an interior window in could beautifully solve the problem? Just check out these beautiful, and sometimes very cost effective stained glass windows on Ebay, it may just inspire you to think of a place to use one! 😉
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