Stained Glass Windows for the Home: Three Easy Decorating Uses for Colored Glass

Since its earliest uses in first century AD Roman villas, colored glass has created some of the most intricate and attractive windows throughout history.

Colored or stained glass is again enjoying popularity in homes, but with more contemporary flare in its uses. As true today as thousands of years ago, stained glass offers privacy without the elimination of natural light, making it a perfect choice in creating a highly stylized look in the home.

Stained glass infuses a space with both color and texture, and can create a stunning art dynamic within the spaces of your home as well as installed as one of your home’s windows as a unique architectural accent.

For a relatively inexpensive home improvement project, here are three ideas for creating big impact in a small space: 

  1. Transom window: Replace a plain transom window or one with divided panes with one of stained glass to bring an artful and colorful accent to your entryway.

2. Skylight panel: Add drama to a skylight by replacing old or dulling glass with a stained glass panel. For a bigger impact (and a bit more money and work) you can install decorative molding around the skylight opening and bring in wiring through the ceiling near the window shaft. Lay rope lighting in the molding to hide it; the roping will provide “up lighting” at night to show off the stained glass.

3. Room divider: Hang a panel of stained glass from eye hooks bolted into studs in the ceiling to create a decorative room divider; a horizontal window panel works great in small spaces where you need privacy, like a home office or to create separate spaces in adjoining rooms.

The addition of stained glass can enhance any space, but a great kaleidoscope of color is brought to the bathroom when stained glass is used to replace a standard window or existing shower doors. You’ll bring greater dimension to your bath if the room gets natural light from a window or skylight. Find a color or pattern that is prevalent in your decorating and explore stained glass styles that play off those features.

Stained glass can be a good choice for small windows facing neighboring yards or close-by homes, when curtains aren’t an option or space is limited.

For a quick and easy decor accent, mount a small stained glass panel in an easel that will hold its weight and light it from behind with a small light or candle.

Notable dealers of vintage stained glass can be found online. Here are a few:, the Architectural Salvage Warehouse at,, and Historic York, Inc. & Architectural Warehouse at

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