Mirror is a unique and fascinating object. Wall mirrors not just reflect, but transforming
reality, creating an illusions, adding mystery, accentuating beauty.
Mirrors in our homes are usual objects. In a front of the mirrors we are fixing
ourselves in the morning, glancing in the mirrors while living the home, we are
using reflective qualities of the mirrors as part of the daily routines, often,
without realizing importance of the mirrors in our interiors. You can think of
mirrors as they an extension of your home, after all, mirrors known for they
qualities to visually expend existing space, and, by reflecting light, mirrors
softly illuminate space.
The process of choosing style, shape, size, and frame finishes of the mirrors
should be taking seriously. While choosing mirrors you always should keep in
mind how a specific mirror will affect an overall filling of your space
and what kind of the visual affect is desired. For example, a long oval vertical
mirrors (like on Italian style cheval mirror ) visually extending height of the
room, while similar horizontal mirrors will make the space appear wider.
Decorative mirrors are more purely about style and less about
function than almost any other object in a room. Regarding style and function,
it is not that one is more important than the other. It's more that one makes
the other more significant. But it is curious that wall mirrors are one of the few
decorative items with no obvious esthetic value,
but if mirrors have a hand crafted frame, they instantaneously becoming a
masterpiece. Framed mirrors are just
like paintings, composition of which depends on the reality in a front of them.
Mirrors and Interior Design
There are places in the house where quality mirrors are not only functionally appropriate,
but can be a focal point of an overall design.
How gracious it is to enter or leave a house that has a large mirror in the
entry hall. The formality and beauty of framed decorative mirrors with gold leaf
finish are very appropriate for entries. Do not be shy while choosing mirrors
for this area, after all, your entry creates the first impression of your home.
Horizontal mirror looks great when placed above tactfully accessorized consul
table. Astonishing compositions can be created by combining vertical mirror
with couple of decorative wall sconces.
How important it is to have a full-length mirror in the dressing room.
Mirrors are useful as special devises. But if the impulse to hang mirrors
happened to be purely functional one, mirrors would be confined to the bathroom, the dressing room, and entry hall,
and the littlest darkest rooms, which of course, they are not. Elaborate mirrors are used liberally
as purely decorative ingredients in living room, dining room, bedroom and den.
Scattered throughout the house in various sizes and shapes, in many styles of frames,
mounted high and low on the wall, as an aperture into a world, mirrors truly are magical objects.
While we live with some wall mirrors that are extremely useful, when mirrors are employed in a living room or over the fireplace mantel, they
are generally picked for there visual delight and aesthetical value. Decorative
mirrors can enrich a room in a lot of different ways. Mirrors can punctuate the symmetry of
a room, they may be used in the center of a group of
wall-mounted objects like pictures, plates or brackets to ground the arrangement. Mirror frames can add clarity to the decoration.
Italian decorative mirror ensures a certain formality.
French provincial mirror assures a lived-in casual, attitude. A
carved wood framed wall mirror underscores the decorative scheme of a room when it is hung above a Morris chair.
To spice up and add more character to interior decor designers sometimes use the
"factor of unexpected", and often mirrors are part of it. For example, if
the overall design of a room is modern, with clean lines and contemporary
furnishings, the addition of a stunning large ornate period mirror will be the special unexpected
touch. This addition will turn a room design from typical to personal, from
usual to exiting.
Use of Mirrors in Interior Decorating
Skillful use of mirrors will create harmony in your homes interior.
Lately, antiqued mirrors have become very popular. Unique mirrors in antiqued frames
have a sense of history, they carry a certain quiet charm and at the same time
add sophistication to a room. The antique finish on the mirror's frame
highlighting its design, bringing alive even a smallest details, and making an
overall appearance of the mirrors more elaborate.
Some decorative wall mirrors have not only an antique finish on the frame, but an antiqued glass
also. Antiqued mirrors draws us into the room much the
same way that light coming through a window from the far end of a room does.
Antiqued mirror glass is very seductive.
Trumeau mirror with antiqued glass
are not only soften an image, it makes the image quite romantic as well.
We might even imagine that the aged mirrors are holding untold secrets from the past.
Mirrors are alluring. Mirrors seduce people to straighten up and cock their head slightly and feel a little more,
glamorous. If you ever sit in a restaurant with your back to a mirror and with your partner opposite, you begin, to
understand just how seductive mirrors can be. It's hard for your partner not to keep glancing into it, ever so subtly.
Decorative wall mirrors add style to any room by giving guests glimpses of themselves throughout the party - improving their
demeanor ever so slightly. Mirrors make a room seem friendlier. Classically designed mirrors have a quiet dignity about
them like a grandfather clock. Mirrors add movement to a room by doubling the movement of the curtain in the breeze.
Mirrors expand your view.
Convention tells us that mirrors should be hung in the center of a wall at head height.
No matter how decorative mirrors are we usually hang mirrors in places where we can easily look into them. We use mirrors to check
our appearance before we enter a room. We use quality mirrors to make a small space appear larger. We use mirrors to to announce
the arrival of guests before we actually see them in person. We even use them to cover up imperfections on a wall.
Using mirrors as purely decorative objects not reflecting anything in particular is a great decorating device. A mirror
can take the place of a painting in a wall arrangement. Mirrors can act as a foil for a beautiful frame
that you want to show off. You can hang mirrors high or low, or in multiples.
Mirrors Through the Ages
Sometime during the III Century B.C., the debut of a rounded, metallic implement
forever changed human civilization: the mirror was born. The earliest mirrors
were fashioned from bronze and silver, polished to a high sheen. Light bounced
off the glossy surface, producing the reflection. The effect the invention had
on these ancient peoples is a topic for speculation.
Seemingly, the mirror’s
arrival awakened something complex within them. These inner stirrings steadily
manifested into a preoccupation with personal appearances. Today, some scholars
draw parallels between the birth of the mirror and the acute development of
specific human traits and behaviors: vanity and pride. Perhaps this is the
reason ancient mirrors were often beautifully embellished with ornamentation.
Perhaps the desired outcome from looking at an embellished mirror was to behold
in it a reflection that was equally as easy on the eyes. These speculations
aside, the intended purpose of the mirror is clear: as an implement of beauty,
it reflects the image of the person before it, projecting radiance and vitality
Thus, the mirrors became an indispensable household item.
By I Century B.C., the Romans upgraded the reflective qualities of the mirror.
By applying liquid metal in thin layers to the back of a cut of glass, the
reflection produced was remarkably clearer than the reflections produced by the
earlier polished metal mirrors. This new technology also allowed the beholder to
discern more details in the mirror’s reflection, since the glass mirror
distorted the image than its earlier counterparts.
With this refinement in design, the mystique of the mirror elevated to another
level. The mirror became a symbol, sometimes attributed with mystical
properties, and often the subject of philosophical meditations. As one account
illustrates, the Greek philosopher Socrates, advised young men to stand before a
mirror and contemplate their reflections. Those who beheld handsome faces in the
glass should focus their energies on maintaining the purity of their souls. He
advised them to proceed with caution, and steer clear from life’s temptations
that lead weaker souls astray from the path to a higher existence. However, he
added, if a young man finds that he is not handsome, he should compensate for
his physical shortcomings, through his heart, and procure recognition for his
humanity and principles.
In the Medieval period, due to the mystical qualities they were associated with,
glass mirrors were banished outright. The motivation behind the banishment of
the mirror is understood through an examination of the cultural norm of the
time. During these Dark Ages, a primitive brew of fear and superstition steeped
alongside religious convictions. As a result, the mirror and the reflections
mirrors produced became associated with the concept of polarity. The mirror’s
properties illustrated duality, like good and evil or heaven and hell. The
allegory evolved into the belief that the mirror was a porthole, or a gateway
from this world to the netherworld, where just on the other side of the mirror,
Satan waits and watches the living. And so, the banishment of glass mirrors
forced the fashionable to revert to the more primitive methods of viewing their
reflections; returning to the polished metal mirrors or looking down into bowls
filled with water.
True to the standards of the vogue of the early 12th century, a fashionable lady
kept a small mirror on her person at all times. A woman of the times considered
her handheld mirror or pears mirror an essential item to carry on her person at
all times. Proper ladies wore gold embellished mirrors on a chain around the
neck or waist, with an inserted mirror into the fens. Like precious pieces of
jewelry, mirrors encased in specially crafted materials such as exotic turtle
shell or frames of elephant bone, and mirrors wrought from gold or silver, with
miniature engraved details illustrate the paramount regard ladies had for their
Glass mirrors returned to the masses during the 13th century, this time bending
slightly outward in a concave form. This resulted in a distorted reflection,
but, after years of peering into polished metal and bowls of water for so long,
it’s likely that the people of this period didn’t complain of the bowed image.
The mirror’s widespread popularity reached an apex in the year 1373, when the
first mirror manufacturing plant opened in Nuremberg, Germany. By this time,
people prominently displayed concave mirrors throughout the home and integrated
mirrors in all aspects of everyday life.
Three centuries passed before cutting edge technology revolutionized the mirror
on the Venetian Island of Murano in Italy. The mirrors produced from the skilled
artisans of this island took the world by storm and would become some of the
most highly sought after objects in history. To learn more about the colorful
history of the Venetian Mirror, click here. -
The Art of Venetian Mirrors
The passage of time has shown that history often repeats itself; and to study
the history of the mirror proves that the mirror is no exception. Interestingly,
the beliefs and concepts prevalent during the Middle Ages experienced a revival
in 17th century Russia. Suddenly, mirrors and sin were synonymous. In the year
1666, the Orthodox Church prohibited the possession of mirrors by its priests.
From that point on, superstition and speculation involving the ritualistic usage
of mirrors in witchcraft, was accepted as truth by the majority. Even soldiers
prescribed to superstitious notions; many soldiers carried mirrors as talismans
to reflect away death. One superstition with direct ties to this period of
history is the belief that a broken mirror will curse the clumsy person with bad
luck for a stretch of seven years.
It is obvious that the mirror’s original purpose, to provide a reflective
surface, is eclipsed by the multiplicity of uses peoples throughout the ages
found for it. The mirror proved itself a worthy object of scrutiny and
innovation. In the 15th century, a visionary named Leonardo da Vinci developed a
secret coding system, featuring a mirror as the key element. Basically, da Vinci
wrote script backwards in a “mirror reflection”. Without the aid of a mirror,
the messages seemed undecipherable. Because of da Vinci’s system, mirrors were
used as a tool in the coding and decoding of secret messages. Spanish and French
spies practiced the coding system for at least 200 years thereafter.
Mirrors possess elusive powers; the mirror’s reflective properties captivate and
enrapture us. Immediately after the introduction of mirrors to the world, the
mirror’s allure both enhanced and sometimes dominated human lives. The essence
of the mirror is in its honesty, allowing the person gazing into it to see
himself through the eyes of another. The mythology and folklore contribute to
the auras of mirrors; a recognized object of fear, mirrors were immortalized in
superstitions, legends, and folktales. Once elevated to that of a status symbol,
the mirror aroused acts of passion and greed, and mirrors became objects of
obsession. The mirror as a stimulant, acted as a catalyst, arousing creativity
In contemporary times, a mirror is a commonplace object. Today, the mirror does
not transmit a sense of intrigue or quality of enchantment to the one who stands
before it. The purposes of mirrors are mainly utilitarian; standing before a
mirror, you check your hair, straighten your clothes, and make sure there is
nothing stuck in your teeth before hurrying off to work. Sometimes, though, the
mirror tightens its grip on our gaze, holding our attention and turning it
inward. Perhaps your next encounter with a mirror will result in a moment of
contemplation, however fleeting. In your quiet acknowledgment, the mirror’s
mystique will be renewed, reinforcing the status of mirrors to that of the most
extraordinary common objects in the home.