We went through a period where glass was used extensively in built in entertainment units, however recent trends have seen glass being used more sparingly in entertainment units. In saying that, glass still has its place in many designs.
The entertainment unit or centre has become the hub of most homes. Read on as we take a look at the key elements found in modern designs.
What makes up an entertainment unit?
As always most living rooms have a television as the focal point. In recent times televisions have become just one part of entertainment units that make up a larger feature in modern homes.
Flat screen televisions dominate most entertainment units. When first released 42-inch screens were considered large but in recent times 65, 75 and now 85-inch displays are common. These new televisions can span anything between 150cm to 200cm wide. To keep these large screens in proportion everything around them has grown as well.
Here we will outline the key components of entertainment units and how they add to the visual appeal of any home.
Common items found in an entertainment unit
- Televisions – Large wall mounted screens are common
- Storage – Drawers and cabinets
- Devices – Playstation, Xbox, DVD players, TV receivers
- Art – Paintings, prints and sculptures such as glass art
- Photos – Family portraits and photos of key life moments
- Lights – Small lamps to offer mood lighting
- Indoor plants
- Books and book shelves
- Speakers – Portable audio units such JBL’s are replacing large speakers
- Home automation – Google Home and Amazon Alexa
Components of entertainment units and where glass is used?
Many bench tops incorporate storage in the form of drawers or cupboards underneath. The overall size has increased to offer space on either side of large televisions. Most are elevated on small legs or fitted directly to the wall to provide a floating effect.
Current trend have seen very wide but shorter in height bench top units, which adds to a feeling of space. Fully enclosed designs have made way for more open designs with offset features, moving away from fully enclosed square or rectangle layouts.
Glass for bench tops
Some entertainment unit bench tops have a protective layer of glass. This could be as simple as sacrificial clear piece of glass or a coloured panel, which adds another element to the design. Most coloured glass is painted like kitchen glass splashbacks. Almost any colour is possible to blend in with other interior design elements.
Toughened 6mm glass is the preferred option, offering a durable and safe glass product.
In keeping with the floating effect, many entertainment units feature shelving with concealed or hidden fittings. Standard floating shelves are made from melamine or MDF, which has a laminated or painted finish.
Glass shelving for entertainment units
As with bench tops glass can be added as a protective layer or a feature. Thicker glass can be used to create shelves only made of glass. Floating wall fittings are available for glass or alternatively shelf brackets or shelf supports can be fitted as another element of the design.
The following example is a cantilever design that can be screwed to existing structures. This concept can be integrated into wall paneling without the aluminium fitting to offer a true floating effect for glass shelves.
Glass doors for built in entertainment units
Frameless glass doors can be added to open shelf units to protect delicate objects. Toughened glass is recommended for frameless doors as they are only supported by small hinges.
Blum are the manufacturer of the most popular glass hinges. Their latest design is the elegant Blumotion Cristallo, which are adhered to glass via UV curing glue.
Alternatively, some manufacturers are opting for aluminum frames that support clear and sometimes frosted safety glass.
Some designs can include timber framed doors, which incorporate glass panels to display objects within cabinets.
Mirrors can be fitted directly to bench tops, doors and drawers or at the rear of cabinets to add an element of depth and space. Completely covered mirror furniture is not as popular these days.
Many interior designers are choosing to use large mirrors in other areas of homes to create the illusion of space.
Glass shelving and glass doors are the most common elements in built in entertainment units that consist of glass. These products fit in with current open plan designs and provide a timeless look that doesn’t date over time.
The use of coloured glass is not as popular but can be used as a splash of colour, while mirrors are being utilised in other areas of homes. Overall glass in entertainment units isn’t a dominate feature, rather smaller elements that enhance the design.