Mirror, Mirror


Today I thought I'd focus on one of my favourite easy ways to create impact in a space:  The use of multiple mirrors.  This is not a new or original idea - flick through a handful of interiors magazines and you are bound to find at least one example - and yet, when you go into peoples' homes, you rarely see them.  I'm not really sure why that should be as people are always in need of good ways to fill blank walls and mirrors are an obvious choice.  Perhaps they are afraid of being thought vain, as if mirrors were just for looking in and not for their many other functions, such as reflecting lighting, adding impact, injecting glamour and creating another dimension in the room.

I'm not talking about investment pieces - the mirror over your mantelpiece should usually be the best you can afford - I'm talking about mirrors that can be quite humble and inexpensive but when used in a group become much more interesting.  

When I first moved into this house last year I had a lot of empty walls (still have a few) and was keen to fill most of them with things I already owned.  One such space was the section of wall you see when you look up the stairway from the front door.  I got together a little group of five mirrors that I've used many times before in different spots and arranged them in the way that looked best from below.  The result is an arrangement that is pleasing to look at as you pass by and gives the impression that the upstairs of the house is also interestingly decorated - only partly true so far!

Below is a photo of the mirrors at the top of my stairs.  You'll notice that the group is now 4 mirrors and a clock.  This is because I pinched one of the mirrors for another grouping I wanted to create and filled the gap with what was to hand.  I hadn't planned this ensemble but I rather like the effect.

Another little grouping I have used in this house required a little bit more work and planning and a small outlay.  I pinched one small arched mirror from my mirrors on the stairs and bought two mirrors on Ebay that were horribly painted but beautifully shaped including a lovely bevel on the mirror plate.  I painted all three black (well, Farrow and Ball's Off-Black actually) which immediately made them look more contemporary and expensive - black can have that effect on things that are a bit ropey or dated.   I hung them on the wall facing the window in my sitting room where I think they look quite smart and, of course, help to bounce the light around the room.

I came across the image below from our old house taken in 2003 (that tv is definitely from a different era).  I think for this one I'd "borrowed" a couple of lovely original French Louis Philippe mirrors from my stock and picked up on the arched shape with the third cheapy purchase - now painted black in the image above.  

I've created similar walls of mirrors to those shown below in the houses of a couple of clients.  This look is easy to achieve because the mirrors are relatively easy to find, generally not too pricey and it is hard to hit a wrong note with frameless mirrors.  The look can go from very nice to pretty fabulous depending on the shape of the mirrors and the variety of the design in the bevelled edges.  If you are local to Wilmslow in Cheshire you might find some good examples at The House Next Door on Piggenshawe Lane on the road from Wilmslow going towards Hale - a nice place to check out anyway.

Image above taken from Remodelista from the portfolio of Catherine

The possibilities for combinations of mirrors are endless.  If you have any spare odd mirrors knocking around, why don't you try laying them out on the floor and see how they look.  They could perk up a dull landing or other neglected space.  The only pitfall you really need to avoid is reflecting something you don't actually like - you won't want to see it twice!

For inspiration on interesting shapes check out these links:

I'm just about to get the go-ahead from a client to create a wall of a dozen mirrors using newly-framed antique mirror plate.  I shall try and get an image of it to show you when it's done.

Bye for now,

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