Decorating with mirrors – then nd now.
Paintings of grand European residential interiors in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries depict rooms with mirrors built into the decorative structure. Important rooms were designed to incorporate architectural elements like doors, windows, and fireplaces into an overall scheme, where all the elements conspired to create a whole.
Full-height windows, tall doors with decorative panels over them, columns or pilasters, and chimney breasts were the vertical elements in the room. Horizontal elements like crown moldings, beamed or coffered ceilings, chair rails, and wainscot, were used to connect the vertical elements.
Assuming that the room was rectilinear, the overall effect was to create a kind of grid, which, in turn, created a paneled decorative structure for the room. The nature of the grid and panels may be particular to the exact moment and location-a French room decorated in 1810 may look considerably different than an English room of 1750-but all the elements would have been geometrically organized.
In many cases, some of the panels in the room would be mirrored. If the chimney breast is mirrored above the fireplace, it is called an overmantel mirrors. If the space between the windows is mirrored, it is called a pier glass, referring to the structural pier mirrors between the windows.
The most extravagant example of the architectural use of mirrors maybe the Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles in France. Though these examples may seem like they are from the distant past, far removed from our own houses, they are still active precedents for decoration. It is still true that the first place we think of placing a mirror is over the fireplace and the next is between two windows.
From a practical point of view, distorted mirrors in your interior are absolutely useless. However, not every designer or decorator would agree with this statement.
Some professionals believe, that by incorporating in a design decorative convex mirrors, or “special effects” mirrors that are made by using deformed sheets of polished metal, you can create quite unique interiors. After all, the reflection in such mirrors is as unusual and impressive as if it would be a surreal piece of art.
Using this method, the endless composition can be created. By using different shapes of mirrors, dramatic or whimsical effects can be accomplished. Talking about the fragments, some of today’s innovative mirrors designs contain several differently shaped mirrors (round, oval, square, or odd-shaped) assembled together. This type of mirrors combinations are unconventional and can have an impact of authentic artistic expression.
Another popular method of decorating with mirrors – fragmentation. This method is based on arranging mirrors in certain order near each other. For example, if several long and narrow mirrors are placed near (not against) each other, it will not only elongate the appearance of the wall but also creates a comforting repetition. Reflections in the mirrors will capturer, not a continuous view of an interior, but fragments of it, creating a unique effect. If the same long mirrors are located in a vertical, but in a horizontal pattern it will make a wall appear wider.
One of our favorite old tricks – shelving with the mirrored back. A dingy, purely lit wall can be brought back to live with mirrored shelving. You can attach mirrors to the back of any shelving unit, and place it against the wall then you can decorate the shelves with your favorite crystal accessories, or other home accessories with a reflective surface. This method will not only brighten up a space, but add interest to the overall room decor. By placing live plants on the shelves, the amount of flowers will be doubled by their reflection in the mirror, and you can create blooming parodies in your room.
Another decorative trick used by designers and decorators – angling mirrors. When mirrors are situated on an angle toward each other, the reflected image “brakes” into several parts, while reflected objects do not appear distorted. It creates an artistically appealing mosaic effect. This method of decorating with mirrors is widely used in hotels, restaurants, stores, and some times incorporated into residential interiors.
Lack of lighting is a common problem these days. Dark unused corners and nooks often become a challenge to decorate. Long mirrors placed in such places will do the trick of expanding a space and bringing in more light. The combination of wall mirrors with soft lighting (indirect lighting, electrified sconces or candle sconces, candles arrangement) increases this effect.
44"H x 32"W x 1"D
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