I love mirrors! This has nothing to do with narcissism (Narcissus, who fell in love with his own reflection in a pool, not realising this was but an image of himself, could not tear himself away – and gazed unmoving at his beauteous image until he faded and died!)
No – I love the way a mirror can bring light into a dark corner, can play tricks on the eye, can visually extend space where there isn’t any. And carefully placed, you need not be disturbed by never-ending reflections of yourself.
Here, a mirror has been placed on a sliding door into a garage. The garage door opened immediately to the left of the front door, along with a staircase heading down and a passageway to the right. The space felt compromised by so many doorways and openings. Covering the door with a mirror doubled the space visually making it feel more welcoming. It also enhanced the light so that the hallway feels well-lit and bright. Finally, it provides a convenient place to check ones appearence before heading out. It was a very easy solution, as the sliding door and door frame already existed, framing the mirror beautifully.
Mirrors behind shelves can add space and vibrancy to storage. Glass jars in a kitchen are backed by a mirror that makes the alcove look larger and offers glimpses of the garden outside. Mirrors and glass often complement each other and usually a successful match.
This can work in an alcove too. Putting a mirror in an alcove immediately brings light into what will naturally be a darker part of the room. It can also offer different views and perspectives on the room and be used to reflect an attractive aspect. Here, a stunning antique gold screen is visible in the mirror. Mahogany shelves in front of the mirror prevent it dominating.
The strong vertical lines of the mirror add height to a room that needs help in this respect. The panelled frame of the mirror adds architectural interest which is again, lacking in the room, and creates an exotic note that works well with the screen.
Most houses already have a number of mirrors. Usually, there are mirrors above handbasins in bathrooms – but all too often, these are terribly functional. This is a great opportunity to add some real character and panache to a room!
Below, a pair of ornate, vintage mirrors offset two very modern, sculptural basins on a simple wooden shelf. The juxtaposition of the clean lines with the ornate frames sets each off beautifully. A plain unframed mirror may have led to a more sterile feel to the bathroom.
In this unlikely pairing, a very simple wall-mounted basin is topped with an antique mirror, studded with tiny ceramic medallions, mounted in brass and each hand painted with an individual scene. Most bathrooms, these days, are well ventilated and therefore don’t need specially manufactured frames that can withstand very damp environments.
Finally, another mirror in a bathroom at the end of a corridor. A carefully placed long mirror casts back an image of the passage, making it look as though it doesn’t end, and teasing you with an entry into another world.
Alice through the Looking Glass, eat your heart out.