Sherron Egner lights up her home with intricate stained glass decor |

Sherron Egner lights up her home with intricate stained glass decor

Sherron Egner with her handmade stain glass window in the greenhouse at her home in Alta Sierra.
Laura Mahaffy/ | The Union

There are countless baubles to decorate a home with — but something as simple as light may make the most impact.

It’s an overlooked element that when filtered and delicately manipulated adds an elegant luster.

Sherron Egner is somewhat of an expert in embellishing homes and their finer points with light. She’s been creating stained glass windows, doors and décor for more than 30 years.

While her work is beautiful and frequently a focal point, it is more often designed to enhance or camouflage a certain feature of the room.

“When you run out of places for glass, you cut holes in doors.”Sherron Egner

Most of the pieces she creates work in conjunction with a view — or lack thereof.

Intricate designs with darker colors may actually be blocking the view of a neighbor’s unsightly garage. Opaque glass may be hindering an outsider’s view into the home.

“Everything is usually designed for a specific place,” she said.

Egner began working with stained glass when she went to purchase an octagon window for her garden room and realized how expensive it was. Rather than purchasing the window, she went and took a class to learn how to make the stained glass windows and décor on her own.

She quickly excelled in the craft, and began creating more pieces for her home. When she ran out of windows and doors to replace, she moved on to cabinets. Then she began create new spaces for windows.

“When you run out of places for glass, you cut holes in doors,” she says.

Since she originally designed her Alta Sierra home 40 years ago, she and her husband were at ease making additions to the ever-growing home — adding windows wherever she wanted to include more light.

Nearly all the windows are now accented with some sort of color and/or design.

When creating and designing windows or hangings, she takes into account light, views and furnishings — like art or antiques that may need to be protected from direct or harsh sunlight.

She referred to one deeply colored window as the “sunglasses of the room.”

While people may consider stained glass dark or even limiting, Egner’s designs and ideas are far from traditional.

One of her favorite windows is primarily clear, with stained pieces framing the window — and subsequently, the view of her garden. This offers a stunning glimpse of a statue surrounded by lush greenery and carefully cultivated shrubs.

She admits that she’s done all she can do in her house, having integrated stained glass pieces into every room, including the gazebo and greenhouse via bowed windows, doors, skylights, cabinets, room dividers and hanging pieces.

Some of her work is large yet subtle, and some of it is found in small details.

Egner realized early on that her passion for stained glass could not pay for itself, so she began designing and making windows and décor for friends, peers, and referrals.

Most clients will install the window directly into walls, though she has created hangers that perfectly cover a window, eliminating the need for replacing an entire window.

She’s even designed windows for motorhomes that ensured privacy while retaining aesthetics and personality.

She collaborates with clients and visits the area where the glass will be placed, to consider the surroundings and goal of the window. Then she goes to work on a design that incorporates any number of colors and textures to achieve the desired affect.

Her work is intricate.

After meticulously sketching the design and all the measurements, she brings the glass to life with hours of cutting, sawing, soldering and grinding.

Egner was born in San Francisco and previously owned Diablo Manufacturing — making sterling silver belt buckles — with her family.

Her penchant and gift for design is obvious in all she does.

She essentially designed her home around a grand piano — on which she taught lessons and around which she often held small gatherings for chamber music.

She’s also an avid gardener, painter and a member of the local camera club.

Every detail in the home holds some kind of story.

The gate that serves as a room divider (that she adorned with small glass features) was bought and shipped from New Orleans. The front doors are adorned with 200-year-old windows from a barn in Pottstown, Pennsylvania. In her studio is a 50-year-old plant that lives on in the homes of numerous others from the countless clippings she’s passed on. And in the garden, which is meticulously nurtured, are roses from the town of Washington that now stretch above the rhododendrons — “reaching for the light,” she says.

Despite her many stories, travels and hobbies, Egner’s key to making a home uniquely personal is simple: Comfort.

Katrina Paz is a freelance writer in Nevada County.

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