Monday, July 20, 2009

Mirror Mirror on the wall

A very tall zinc-look mirror from Wisteria.  If they shipped to Canada, I would own this (heaven knows where I'd put it)!

One of my favorite design elements is the humble looking glass, which is simply that, a piece of mirrored glass.  Nothing could be more basic, yet mirror designs and styles are endless.  I am even more of a mirror junkie than I am a lamp junkie.  I immediately gravitate to mirrors, the more elaborate the better, the larger the better, the more "old world" the better.   I would love to have a grand antique mirror, particularly one where the old glass has taken on a weathered silvery patina.

My love of mirrors has nothing to do with vanity.  I don't care how I look in them - I love what they do to a room.  I love light and space and airiness and mirrors confer that on a room.  They expand a space and its light, mightily. 

Decorators and designers say that a mirror should only reflect what is already a wonderful view.  And I can't help but agree with them.  I find that mirrors look best in places where they can reflect the light from a window, or where they are adjacent to a window so that you see "outside" in them...trees, the sky...a doubling of the view. 

Below are a small selection of mirror photos I've compiled.

Though I was just chatting with a blogging friend today about the fact that I don't think a room always needs a focal point, I do think a great mirror makes a captivating feature in an otherwise simple bathroom: 
Images above from: Traditional Home, "Dwellings" by Stephen Sills and James Huniford, and Phoebe Howard 

There is also the ubiquitous over-mantle mirror, a classic look I never tire of.  One may love their art, but a mirror can be just as captivating.  And for the budget-conscious rarely tire of a mirror like you might a work of art!

This contemporary frame over a character mantle is from Martha Stewart:
And nothing says classic like this traditional mirror (below) from Australian House Beautiful (via Simply Natural):

Another old world charmer from Shoot Factory:

This room, with its rather traditional bones, is by William Hefner (via Things that Inspire...a favorite room of both of ours).  It looks crisp and fresh with clean-lined transitional furniture and a modern, nickel mirror over the mantle: 

Celebrated NY designer Christopher Maya agrees with the mirror over mantle approach.  Even harder than finding great art for this prime spot is finding a mirror this good!:

And you can't help but love an OVERSIZE mirror, leaning casually against a wall.  I really covet this gigantic architectural mirror, in Windsor Smith's California house: 
And this beauty, in a beautiful country living room from House to Home:

I also love the look of mirrored closets, which one does not see often enough (images from Shoot Factory):
Or how about a mirrored armoire, which isn't something you see every day?  It captures both the light, and your attention (image from Shoot Factory).  Note also the mirrored panel on the wall, adjacent to the armoire, which doubles the effect!:
I also adore trumeau-style mirrors, which have a carved panel above the mirror:
I snapped this photo (above) of a reproduction trumean in Paris at one of my favorite shops, Blanc D'Ivoire on rue du Bac.  Trumeau mirrors look especially nice atop mantles.  I am unsure of their origin or original purpose.  I wonder if they were used on dressing tables, or in hallways, or perhaps always used over mantles? 

Speaking of dressing tables, vanities are a wonderful location for a beautiful mirror (image below from Brissi UK).

Mirrors also look lovely above a headboard, and form a perfect focal point. Typically small mirrors work best (and are safest) over a bed.  I like this small but elaborate round mirror from House Beautiful (and would like to see it up close):

Mirrors are also the perfect complement to a console table, in a bedroom, living room, or hallway (images below House to Home and Country Home):

Another favorite image, which I have posted before, shows a classical living room with a note of whimsy in the selection of the modern chandeliers and the mismatched console tables, complete with mismatched mirrors and lamps.  The symmetrical arrangement lends a traditional air, but the owner clearly has a devilish streak (image House to Home):

I have many, many more mirror photos on hand, but these are some of my favorites.  

Which one(s) do you like best?


  1. I love all of them but especially love the photo of the mirror in the bathroom hanging from the pole - what a neat idea.

    Leeann x

  2. Wonderful photos! I agree with Fabulously French - the one with the black sink and the mirror hanging from the rod is my absolute favorite! In fact, I have added it to my idea files! Thanks, Terri!

  3. I've been looking for a new mirror to go over my fireplace- the one I have is just a tad small. This is a great collection of inspiration pics for me, thanks!

  4. Mirrors bring in the light and I crave light! Always so have shared many wonderful examples! Thank you...
    Take care, Laura

  5. Great post! I just hung a mirror in the hallway in our basement last week, and have been so amazed at how much lighter it looks down there - the mirror reflects light from the windows waaaaay at the other end of the hallway, and it just brightens the entire space. Amazing. Thanks for the gorgeous pictures!

  6. I love the first one (so unique!) and the one from Shoot Factory. They're beautiful. I think the mirror hanging from the rod is neat, but it would take me a while to get used to.

    I'm always surprised when someone's home doesn't have a mirror in the bathroom. Don't they know we need to check our teeth? ;)

  7. Congratulations on your mention in the Washington Post Blog watch!!

  8. Where have I been? I did not see this post - and I love it. Love it! You know I share your love of mirrors, and I feel inspired every time I see that William Hefner room. On his web site, that same room is shot from a different angle with a photograph above the mantle, and it the room looks so much prettier with a mirror.

    How many mirrors do I have in my home? Too many! I am not allowing myself to purchase any more. I really need to get some good art to balance out all of the mirrors - but it is so hard to find a painting that I truly love, and so easy to find a mirror that captures my heart.

    Congratulations on the WP blog watch! Very exciting, and well deserved.

  9. Was so excited to see you in the Washington Post today!!!! congrats & well-deserved!!! love so many of these mirrors!!

  10. Just got back from Texas to see you're in the Post. Congratulations!! yeah!

    Love, love the black sink you have featured in the one pic.

  11. Wow! You featured so many beautiful mirrors. It is impossible to pick a favorite.

    Congratulations on the mention in this week's Blog Watch!

  12. guess we think alike, check out my link!

  13. I, too, love mirrors in a room, especially when they are part of a trumeau. Your picture selections are wonderful... Loving your blog... found it through The Washington Post At Home section! Lucky you!

  14. All photos look lovely and it is not easy to pick just one... But... the most beautiful mirror is the one from the Australian House Beautiful.

  15. I love mirrors, Terri. I'm actually searching for the perfect mirror for my powder room. I found a silver French silver leaf mirror in Atlanta that I'm thinking of using. I'm going to post about it in the next couple of days. I'd love to get your opinion.


  16. Me too!!!! I love mirrors and these photos are gorgeous! I love so many of them. I really love the mirror handing over the black sink!

  17. Anonymous10:02 am

    Your blog is absolutely beautiful and I love your posts. Congrats on the Washington Post nod!

  18. First time visit to your blog. Enjoyed this post on mirrors. They can really influence the design of a room.

  19. Great post... a really thorough assortment! I'm having a mirrored closet doors vs mirrored armoire crisis in my bedroom right now... can't decide which to add!

  20. Love mirrors, and like you not for vanity, but for the sparkle. I have a rather narrow hallway and have hung a collection of mirrors on both sides. It always makes me smile to see the light coming in through the beveled glass door and sprinkle rainbows around. Lovely post and congrats on the Washington Post mention.

  21. Hi Wind Lost
    I enjoy your blog and appreciate your sense of style. Thanks for all the inspiring things you post. Since you have a love for mirrors I thought you might like to take a peak at one that I turned from trash to treasure and put it in my master bathroom. Your right mirrors are beautiful and a wonderful way to refect light and beauty. The post is Mirror Mirror on the Wall. Take care

  22. Hi good day ! nice post you have . It's very nice , I have plan to setting up my garden can you give me an idea or steps on how to make it beautiful. i have heard some garden accessories such as garden spinner , wind chimes , wind spinners and many more . I want to try this things in my garden but i don't know how to get the right accessories . I hope you can help me . thank you .

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