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In with the new universal shower design, out with the old.

April 1st, 2015

semi framelessHow many of you currently have or used to own a shower stall that looked more like a closet than a open area where you can wash in comfort and style. That claustrophobic design is now being replaced with a more universal concept that will work for everyone regardless of age, ability and changing needs. Sounds amazing, right? Well, what are you waiting for? Get started on adding a universal shower to your bathroom today.

According to HGTV, there are several features you want to include to make sure that the shower can work for everyone in your home for years to come to allow aging-in-place.


    • Seating – Some people need or prefer to sit while they are showering. By adding a bench or a fold down seat, all your bases will be covered.


    • Spray controls – Using an adjustable handheld shower spray will allow for flexibility since it has the ability to move to where the person is, whether they are sitting or standing. If you have children, it is best to install an additional overhead spray so that they don’t have to reach for the hose.


    • Flooring – To create a non-slip floor, use a non-glossy ceramic tile. Using glass mosaics with grout will work great.


    • Walls – Glass tiles all the way up the shower walls will keep the area clean, especially when the handheld sprayer tends to shoot water sometimes.


    • Lighting – The best place to install overhead lighting in the shower is where the person bathing won’t block the light, which means that it may not be directly centered over the shower stall.


  • Grab bars – This is especially important if there is a senior using your shower. Place them at the shower entry to prevent falls.

Get inspired by checking out our shower and tub enclosure gallery. If you are interested in planning how your universal shower would work, contact us at 301.977.3020 or visit our showroom.

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Use Glass Elements to Make Your Kitchen Feel Bigger

March 18th, 2015

Do you feel like your kitchen is dark and confined? Don’t worry, there are plenty of ways to add light and create a more airy feeling by incorporating glass design elements.

Adding Glass to Cabinet Doors in KitchenSwitch out your cabinet doors for glass.
Changing the faces on your cabinets to glass will provide an open and airy feeling. Glass cabinets trick the eye into thinking a space is bigger than it really is since the eye can see past the cabinet door and deep inside of the space.

To achieve this effect, it is not necessary to change all of your cabinet faces to glass. It could be over-kill depending on the layout of your kitchen. But if you choose 3-5 cabinets that are strategically placed around the space, it will open up the kitchen.


Floating Glass Shelves in the KitchenAdd glass shelving.
To complement the glass in your cabinets, try installing a few floating glass shelves to display your china or spice jars. Open shelving can add a visual contrast to a traditional kitchen and it is a perfect way to break up stainless steal elements. Check out this large glass-shelving unit that makes the kitchen feel very spacious.


Add larger windows to kitchen to bring in more natural light

Make room for natural light.
A great way to make your kitchen feel larger is to incorporate more light. If it is possible, consider enlarging your kitchen window either widthwise or height wise. If you have a window over your sink, bringing it down will provide a sense of spaciousness. If adding or increasing the size of windows is not an option, try adding lighting that goes under your cabinets or shelving.

Glass Breakfast Bar

Use glass on your tabletop or breakfast bar.
Similar to using glass in your cabinets, being able to see through your tabletop or breakfast bar will make your eye see to the ground or countertop and it will make those areas feel much larger.


Colored Glass Backsplash

Pick a reflective backsplash.
You can make your kitchen appear larger by choosing a glass backsplash that reflects light, which will brighten up the space. Depending on the aesthetic you are going for, you can use mirrored, frosted or colored glass to bring your kitchen to life.


If you are interested in adding any of the elements listed above, contact us so our helpful staff can give you everything you need to understand your options and really get started.

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Making The Impossible Possible

February 20th, 2015

impossible glass breakfast barYou remember that amazing glass breakfast bar we did in Columbia? Well, we had such a great time working on this project, we wanted to give a little overview of how it happened.

The Draxls made an appointment with us as a last ditch effort after being told by two other companies that their vision simply couldn’t be executed. When they came in to the showroom they described what they were looking for – a glass top in front of a window with a “floating” look. We thought, wow this would be so cool but quite the challenge. The problem was that there was no “invisible” way to connect the glass top to the glass window. But, before we also told them it couldn’t be done, we asked for pictures of the area and started problem solving. We knew we could theoretically mount the glass into the sidewalls and make it work – the problem was finding the right bracket to execute that installation. Sounds easy right? Well, we quickly found that the bracket we needed didn’t exist. This small bump didn’t deter us though. We got to work designing a custom bracket that we knew could work in the space. We sent the plans to a metals fabricator, and they said they could make it for us. Once the custom brackets were completed we handed them over to the contractor to have him bolt them through the studs in the unfinished sidewall. Then he and his team finished the wall overtop of the bracket so you couldn’t see the mounting hardware.

From there, we made sure the glass was cut perfectly to work around the shape of the opening (which wasn’t perfectly rectangular and we had some grooves to work around). So we did a wood cutout (based on sizes we measured), set it on top of the brackets to make sure it fit and then we used that wood top as the template for the glass top.


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Design Challenge: Floating Glass Bar in Columbia, MD

November 11th, 2014

Floating Glass Bar, Columbia, MD


We love a lot of things about working at here at River Glass Designs, but there is just something so great about helping people complete a project that they didn’t think was possible. We recently had the opportunity to help a couple in Columbia, MD complete their dream kitchen.

When Marilynn and Hugo Draxl wanted to renovate their kitchen, they knew exactly what they wanted. What they didn’t know is if they were going to be able to find the right people to properly execute their idea. They wanted a space that would feel like a fluid area, and they wanted to bring the wonder of the outdoors, inside. Together with designer, April Pardoe the Draxls worked to create the perfect space.

They started with the windows – which were large enough to feel like the beautiful outdoor space was incorporated into the house. Once they decided they liked the minimalistic nature of glass – they knew they wanted to incorporate it as much as possible. This is where we came in.After the Draxls were told their idea simply couldn’t be executed, they came to us. We were tasked with the challenge of designing a glass breakfast bar that seamlessly hovered by a window, making it appear as if it were floating. This was a difficult project, but we love a good challenge. Our team came up with a pretty amazing design (if we don’t say so ourselves) that we were able to execute exactly as planned. We are so happy with the finish product and we are glad the Draxls love their new space. The finished breakfast bar turned out so well it actually appeared in the Baltimore Sun’s Chesapeake Home + Living!  Floating Glass Bar facing trees by River Glass Designs

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4 Uncommon Ways to Decorate With Mirrors

October 8th, 2014

Custom Mirror Ideas for Your HomeMirrors can be incredibly  versatile decorating tools. Often times, people think of mirrors as purely functional, so they only go in rooms for utility purposes, like bathrooms or bedrooms. But, mirrors actually bring function and beauty to every room of the house. Here are 4 uncommon ways to use mirrors in your home.

  1. Create Depth in an Entryway: Entryways are an underestimated part of your home. They are the first thing your guests will see when they enter your house and you want to leave them with a good impression. Make your entryway an amazing feature by adding depth and interest with an antiqued mirror. Not only will the mirror lighten up the entrance to your home, it will make the hallway appear bigger by adding depth.
  2. Lighten Up Your Room: If you have a room that lets in little light due to lack of windows, don’t worry. Mirrors create the illusion of light with reflection. Try hanging a large mirror to on the wall opposite to your window. Not only will it create light, it will be a beautiful focal point in the room.
  1. Use Mirror As Art: Mirrors are so beautiful, and can make an excellent replacement for a piece of art. There are many different things you can do to make mirrors into a focal point for your home. You can place a mirror behind reclaimed window panels for a shabby chic piece. You can arrange framed mirrors on picture ledges to create a gallery wall. Or, you can simple frame a large mirror in a beautiful frame – simple and elegant.
  2. Make A Room Larger: Like we mentioned, mirrors reflect light which not only helps to make a room appear less like a cave, but they can also make the room appear larger. Try adding one or several floor length mirrors to a smaller room to help create the appearance of continued depth.


No matter how you choose to incorporate mirror into your home, we are here to help.

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