I was looking at the work of Robert Passal, a new find, and came across a design he did for a dining room:
I adore this shocking orange, what a kick it gives to the room. But what really got me thinking was this mirror detail. It made me think about mirrors in general and how I use mirrors in particular.
Many people have heard why its good to use mirrors in design. They open up a space. Very true. They lighten up a space by bouncing light around. Also true. And they can act as windows themselves. In fact, if you don't have a window, but feel you need one, putting a mirror there can help. So can putting a mirror across from a window. This again acts to lighten a place up. For me, they also have a kind of mystical quality. Depending on their height and placement and the viewers placement, differnent scenes will appear in the mirror. So they are a changing scene, like a painting that constantly changes, and I think thats kind of magical.
Here is my living room:
There are two ways I used mirrors here. One way is the starburst mirror over the mantel. A mirror over the mantel is very traditional and always a nice design statement. The sunburst shape was particularly helpful in dealing with the oddly trapezoidal shape of the fireplace. I painted the mirror white. What is so funny, is that it almost seems like its a hole. It creates this cool illusion of there being a strange depth behind the fireplace. Its like a porthole on a ship.
The second way I used mirors was by putting them being the glass doors of the shelves on either side of the fireplace. Below is a before and after.
As you can see, this really opens the space up. Instead of being drawn back into the bookshelf, the mirror pushes you out into the space. Because its reflecting the space, it seems to enlarge it as well. Also, the reflection is indirect, so it is not just a copy of the space, it is its own viewpoint in a way, so you see a unique vantage of the space you are in. It brightens and livens the room immensely.
I want to go back to that sunburst mirror. It used to be gold and it used to be in Mom's bedroom. Here it is:
It was a view onto the mural wall that the person on the bed could have, without having to turn around. But also, it was like a window, in that the wall it was on was so different from the wall it was reflecting, so it seemed like a window out onto a different world, when in fact it was a window into the world of the room itself. Its just fun. And don't worry, the mirror has been replaced, now in fact by a much larger mirror, and therefore an even bigger window world.