Regional Home Décor

How styles differ by region and how best to tailor steel to each style.

Each region in the UK has its own preferences when it comes to home décor; the shopping trends vary from region to region. For example, the South West enjoying a coastal appearance, London preferring a traditional/vintage look, Scotland liking a scandi design, and the midlands choosing a modern glam look.

This article explains each style and how steel-framed glazing can be incorporated into each successfully. Steel has an array of benefits, both aesthetically and performance-based. The strength of steel allows for intricate designs, smaller sightlines, and larger amounts of glass in the frame. additionally, steel has a large range of finishes and colour options. Steel can be the perfect option for almost all glazing installations if designed correctly to complement the existing space.

South West – Coastal

Slim Steel Framed System

The Southwest of the UK has a coastal style. Coastal décor is beach-inspired and relies on a soft neutral palette, with the addition of pale blues. It is also defined by incorporating driftwood and woven rattan furniture; striped details can be used simultaneously to create more of a comprehensive “beach” design. 

Another defining feature of Coastal décor is the reliance on natural light; the design is bright, clean and creates the illusion of a larger space. In addition, there is a focus on the use of natural colours, fabrics and designs.

Incorporating steel-framed installations into this type of design would require the use of large panes of glass; glazing bars would not be present.  As coastal décor focuses on natural colours and light, there are two main options to integrate steel successfully; the first would be to have minimal sightlines allowing for more glass in the frame. The Second would be choosing a neutral RAL powder paint coating for the frame so that the colour can match the room’s interior design.

London – Traditional

The traditional style takes cues from the 18th and 19th centuries; it incorporates furniture that reflects historical design elements using natural materials and colours, with warmer, darker tones. It is elegant, trying to highlight many of the most desirable styles that have existed throughout history. Regularly looking busy, the traditional design takes this inspiration from the Victorian era’s desire for decorative items as it reflected status. Large, heavy curtains are a classic design choice in traditional designs.


 Using steel frames in traditional homes will bring natural light into the darker space; as the design is busier, it allows the brightness to protrude into the space and open up the area. Lead glazing bars were originally used in windows as the glass panes could not be made very large due to the way glass windows were manufactured. Steel glazing bars imitate the lead glazing bars, breaking up the windows creating a more traditional appearance; these could be implemented. Using a dark RAL colour would benefit create a seamless transition from the traditional design of the room to the windows and doors.

Scotland – Scandi

Scandi style is shortened, meaning Scandinavian style. The main features that define Scandinavian style are muted, light colours, natural materials, clean lines and organic shapes. The use of Scandinavian style results in the space appearing brighter, lighter and overall, more sophisticated.  The use of light colours throughout the room allows for the illusion of a much larger space; the light can flow into the space and reflect off of the lighter coloured walls.

Interior steel framed partitions or windows/doors would fit well into this type of design because steel’s strength allows for large panes of glass and significantly smaller sightlines. The large panes of glass would elevate the level of light able to enter to room, working in conjunction with the light, mute colours to create an open and bright space.

The benefit of using steel is that there are almost endless options for the RAL powder paint. The array of choices available means that it can be tailored to the pre-existing Scandi-style throughout the rest of the property.

Midlands – Modern Glam

Modern glam is a toned-down version of Hollywood glam or Hollywood Regency style; it is less dramatic whilst having contemporary features and detailing. Most commonly, the furniture will have a minimalist twist with glam detailing. The use of jewel colours and gold accents are very common, as is the use of symmetry. The materials used are velvet, satin and silks; the texture is an essential feature of modern glam. The modern design aspects would be monochromatic colour schemes, clean lines, a significant amount of white space and geometrical designs.

As minimalist design is a prominent feature within the modern glam style, one way to compliment this style would be to maintain the minimalist theme with the steel-framed windows and doors. Large panes of glass with minimal sightlines would benefit the pre-existing design, allowing for a bright, open space.



Mondrian Glazing is passionate about creating bespoke, exceptional glazing solutions for both residential and commercial projects internationally. If you are interested in steel-framed glass installations for interior or exterior use, then please get in touch with the sales team at Mondrian today.


Arched steel exterior door on farm house Advice

What are the benefits of steel framing?

What are the differences between uPVC and Steel Framing?


One of the most popular framing materials for doors and windows on the market is uPVC. It has many great characteristics, but how does it compare to steel framing? This article will compare the characteristics of both framing materials. The characteristics that will be focused on are aesthetics, lifespan, accessibility and maintenance.

At Mondrian Glazing, we produce steel framing. Although we do not manufacture uPVC framing products, we believe that you deserve to make an informed decision about your windows and doors.

uPVC framing is a synthetic polymer and stands for unplasticised polyvinyl Chloride. It is a very popular option for framing because it is the most affordable option. However, it has fewer aesthetic options and has a shorter lifespan than steel.


uPVC can be found all across the UK; arguably they are the most common but monotonous window frame. uPVC has improved recently with the expansion of colour options but still does not compare to the vast array of colours available with RAL powder coat finishes on steel. The lack of shaped or asymmetrical design options further adds to the repetitious nature of uPVC framing.

Glass box extension in chelsea

Steel is significantly stronger than uPVC and as a result, the steel has much smaller sightlines which are more aesthetically pleasing. uPVC windows can have a bulky, large framed design that reduces the amount of glass and, therefore, the amount of light entering the property. The lack of strength means that there are much fewer shaping and design options.

Over time the sun may begin to discolour the uPVC – a white frame may become yellow. Unfortunately, altering uPVC with paint to prevent this from being visible can influence the efficiency of the window as the protective coat is sanded, it can alter the appearance (chipping or cracks), and potentially void the home insurance policy.

Due to the contemporary appearance of uPVC, it is not very suitable for period properties, the design contrasts the dated appearance of the property. However, steel is a much better option with the use of glazing bars it can provide a vintage look for the framing system.



Indoor glass box, steel doors wine storage

One of the main benefits of uPVC is that it can be a suitable option for projects concerned about accessibility. uPVC is a lightweight material so it does not take much strength to open and close doors and windows. The use of uPVC means that if people have reduced mobility or strength it may not have such an influence on their daily life.

Steel is a heavier material, and although many argue that nothing beats the weight behind high-quality bespoke steel, it may be harder to open and close. Steel is still a suitable option for these types of projects as although steel may be heavier, by utilising modern advances in hinge and framing technology, our systems can still be opened smoothly and with ease.


uPVC is non-corrosive, meaning it will not rot or rust. It needs little maintenance – soap and water normally will be sufficient. Around the end of their lifespan, they will begin to crack or swell. The frames may show more subtle hints like the house being harder to heat and being able to feel drafts around the window.

Steel is very similar in the fact it requires very little maintenance, soap and water are all that is required. Although steel can be susceptible to corrosion, this can be prevented by adding a protective finish. The addition of a protective coating increases the lifespan up to 170 years.


Lifespan & Sustainability

The lifespan of uPVC is around 30 years; compared to other options like steel (up to 170 years), it is very short. The plastic can be recycled up to 10 times with minimal material degradation. However, as the uPVC needs to be recycled so often it is not as sustainable as steel.

Sash windows on a semi detached homeCheaper materials like plastics are more likely to be remade than recycled as there is not a significant difference in the cost, so just because it is recyclable, it does not necessarily mean it will be recycled as many times. The other reduction in sustainability can be accounted for by the recycling process, it requires high levels of energy consistently every 30 years.

Comparatively, steel is recyclable with almost a 100% material recovery rate. Steel is also more likely to be recycled as the raw costs of the metal are higher due to extraction and the formation process. It also needs to be recycled significantly fewer times in the same lifespan as the plastic from uPVC.

Both materials discussed have their benefits and setbacks; Mondrian Glazing offers steel framing and focuses on providing exceptional quality products that last a lifetime.


For those working on a budget, uPVC may seem like the obvious choice, but at Mondrian, we strongly believe that glazing is not something that should be sacrificed within a project’s budget as it can have a significant impact on the look and feel of the home, as well as the homes thermal efficiency and carbon footprint.

Steel may be more expensive initially, but the benefits of steel-framed glazing are well worth the additional costs.

We offer bespoke glazing systems for both residential and commercial products; if you are interested, contact the team at Mondrian Glazing.


Steel door system Technical

Thermally broken steel frame

What is a thermally broken steel frame? 

Steel is considered one of the most crucial materials globally because of its popularity in construction, architecture, and engineering. The popularity of steel can be accounted to its versatility and unparalleled characteristics. Steel is three times more robust than aluminium and has a melting point 900 degrees higher, totaling 1500 degrees. Due to its strength, it can be reworked many times, meaning it is more sustainable than other framing options like plastic. Steel is also non-combustive; this means it is incapable of igniting and burning when exposed to fire. It can also be subjected to weathering and survive for many years without buckling and warping. Granting it does need small amounts of maintenance to prevent chemical compound changes that cause rusting.

patinated antique look Windows

Steel framing has many fantastic qualities, including its strength, durability and resistance to fire. However, there is some room for improvement in regards to the natural thermal performance of a steel frame due to steel’s low thermal mass.

 A low thermal mass means that the material is heat conductive, gaining and losing heat very quickly. Heat loss can happen through convection, conduction, radiation, mass transfer, or any combination of these.  As much as 49% heat lost during winter and up to 87% of heat gained during summer comes from the windows/doors. Even with double glazing, the conductivity of steel framing hinders the system’s overall performance (The Uw value).  With the costs of energy increasing and modern thermal performance requirements/ building regulations changing, people are striving to become more energy-efficient.

So, how do we improve the thermal performance of steel in consideration of its conductivity?

Architectural Bronze Patination - Shopping centre AntwerpThermally broken steel framing is the answer to this issue. A thermally broken frame divides the steel frame into two pieces, separating the interior and exterior, joined with a less conductive material. This material is most often reinforced polyamide or polyurethane plastic which is significantly less thermally conductive than the steel frame, (insulating 500 times better than aluminium alone). The polyamide barrier reduces temperature transfer across the steel framing and ensures the system achieves modern thermal performance values. A thermally broken frame should be used in conjunction with an insulating glass unit with Ug value 1.1 W/m2K as a minimum.

Another benefit of thermally broken framing is the prevention of sound pollution. The break in the frame allows for less sound to travel through the windows and doors, meaning a quieter interior. It is especially useful if the building is close to a busy road or school, for example.

What are the issues of using Non thermally broken systems?

internal glass pivot door with slim steel frames

The use of a non-thermally-broken steel system for an exterior window or door can lead to both freezing in colder months and condensation build-up internally on the cold metal surfaces. The build-up of water residue can lead to mold and damp issues on the internal building finishes, such as wood flooring and curtains. Mold exposure not only damages the interior of the building but also leads to an array of long-term health issues if not removed. Thermally broken steel framing prevents mold-induced health problems and prolongs the system’s life while being more energy-efficient.

Non thermally broken steel-framed glass structures do have their uses in the internal spaces of a building. Many prefer the heat being able to travel through the inside of a building which non thermally broken frames are perfect for. The windows are also a great alternative to walls, as they allow more light into rooms. They work very well in commercial projects like offices or restaurants.

If you’d like to find out more about our Mondrian Glazing thermally broken steel framing for windows and doors, contact us.