An ornate, antique mirror in a contemporary bedroom. Jamie Drake design.
The mirrors used in ancient Greece or during the Roman Empire were slightly convex disks of polished metal, reflecting light. More modern version were mirrors, either made of glass or cristallo di rocca (quartz), that were produced in the 13th-century but only during Renaissance they became more common. Famous became the mirrors produced in Venice during the 16th-century, and after that the ones made in France and other European countries.
Royal palace in Genoa, the Sala degli specchi built around 1650.
So we talked about ancient Rome, Renaissance, Leonardo,Venice, France in the 17th-century, but now fast forward to how to use mirrors in our houses.
Here are some splendid examples of contemporary use of reflecting surfaces:
From House Beautiful: "I collect beautiful time-ravaged mirrors, and when I saw this one in an antiques store in New Orleans, I fell in love. When I went in, it was sold. I pined for it. I left my number and went in every week for six weeks. Finally, the shop owner said whoever bought it probably wasn't going to pick it up, and I could have it for $600. It's a four-panel screen and very heavy. The glass is fogged and splotchy, the way glass gets, and there's a border around each panel with painted birds and flowers, all worn away. Everything that's reflected in the mirror looks unbelievable, like a poeticized version of itself. It gives every view a history."
Josephine Sacabo, photographer.
Alessandra Branca, Interior Designer
Vicente Wolf, Interior Designer.
Some more examples of illusion that mirrors can give: in this flat of only about 500 square feet, in London, the use of reflecting surfaces can give you the impression of a much larger space, almost as doubling it.
Notice also there are no handles on cabinets, another trick for the eyes.
I can go on forever and I am sure you have many more ideas on mirrors but I will end with a cautionary note about mirrors above fireplaces, not my favorite place, in many cases mirrors there or above a bed as in the image below, reflect only a plain ceiling so I suggest you hang them not flush to the wall, to create a more interesting reflection of the room.
This is perfection…
Alex Papachristidis Interiors
©2012 Brillante Interiors writes about new trends, timeless decor, iconic pieces, design ideas, or at times just musing about "a certain Italian way of doing things".
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