Harnessing light.

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We think that light is one of the most important factors to consider when building or renovating a house. We wanted as much light as possible when we extended our cottage a few years ago and as we also wanted to be as sustainable and eco-friendly as possible we decided to build sections of our walls from glass bottles and jars.

It is an easy, inexpensive and visually pleasing solution when maximum light and good insulation properties are desired.

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In the last few weeks we have had an upsurge of people from all over the world here on the blog, looking for information on how to build beautiful and practical glass bottle walls so we decided to write a bit more about the benefits and our conclusions after a few years of having these features in our house.

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First of all, if you are interested in the construction of the walls, please read these previous posts on the subject. No.1, No.2, No.3 and No.4.

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An interesting fact about the walls are that in summer, when the sun is higher in the sky the light hits the bottles at an angle and lets through a pleasing amount of light that is not too bright. As the year turns and we hit the darker days, the sun is lower in the sky and light hits the bottles straight on. This makes for maximum brightness in winter, a time when we all can do with as much light as possible. The light is also refracted and much brighter coming through the bottles than it is coming through the middle arched window.

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We like to incorporate as many old and found objects in the house as possible, so for months we trawled the local charity shops for old trifle and pudding bowls to incorporate into our designs. The light shines through the old patterns beautifully, creating a nostalgic feel that visitors always comment on. We picked up all our bowls for next to nothing and painted some with glass paint on the inside for an even more whimsical feel.

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If you are looking for a fun, easy and inexpensive way to bring more light into your intended build we highly recommend building bottle walls. The made up bottle bricks have great insulation properties, well above double glazing due to the volume of air and the thickness of the glass in the ends. You can make them very formal with say all green or white bottles in a grid or do what we have done and mix up colours and shapes. There is actually nothing to stop you from creating spirals, stars, flowers or whatever you like. We are pleased with the glass paint that adds so many colours to our walls as coloured bottles are difficult to come by apart from the obvious green and brown.

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We hope we have inspired someone to try this out, we have added walls made from bottles to our conservatory, bathroom and shed as well as our main living area. You will be pleasantly surprised if you do give it a go as it is easy and fun to see the wall take shape. Good luck!

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