Thursday, November 15, 2012

Mirrors: Functional, Flexible and Fabulous

A mirror from the Horchow catalog
I've always felt that mirrors have magical powers in the way they capture and manipulate light, extend and enhance space, create a mood with their sparkle that adds intrigue and delight and lifts the spirit. Mirrors are nothing new. They've been around in one form or another since cavemen and woman admired themselves in pieces of obsidian, or pools of water. Glass mirrors can be traced to the first century CE in what is now Lebanon, and to Egpyt where they were backed with antimony, lead or tin. In the 1800's a German scientist developed a process for adding a thin layer of silver to a piece of glass, but in most of today's household mirrors, silver has been replaced by aluminum.

Mirrors continue to be popular elements in home decor because they come in all sizes, shapes and price points, and in all styles, from the most elaborate and traditional to the most sleek and modern. You can use mirrors for practical purposes, or for decorative ones. Such incredible transformative ability in a (usually) small object! 

Consider some of the many possibilities:

A Few Ways to Use Mirrors

  • focal point
  • work of art
  • to visually expand space, indoors or outdoors
  • add light
  • reflect light
  • utilitarian uses, such as applying makeup
  • enhance ambiance
  • sculptural element
  • light dark corners
  • as a backdrop
  • accentuate architecture - angle and details
  • as a collage
  • on a ceiling
  • tabletops
  • applied to furniture
  • divide long walls
  • back of bookshelves
  • line a tray
  • create a faux pond in the garden

Fretwork Mirrors from the Grandin Road Catalog

Creative Inspiration

Here are links to resources that will inspire you think about mirrors in new ways.

The Most Creative and Original Mirror Designs

Grandin Road Catalog

Designing With Mirrors

Another possibility is to add fretwork to simple mirrors (or windows, walls, furniture, etc.: 


Mirror Stickers

A Mirror Sticker From dezignwithaz
A recent development with endless potential, mirror stickers come in every subject and style you can think of. The ones from this company are created from a 100% mirrored acrylic/resin pvc material, and are lightweight and 1/8" thick. You can make a dramatic statement on a very small budget with one of their existing designs, such as the one on the right, or you can create your own.


For even less money, you could add a design with a stencil and change it easily when it was time for an update.

Are there any dark corners or design opportunities at your house? Consider mirrors. 

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