Welcome to Tumbleweed Tidings! You may have wondered where I’ve been, as it’s been a few weeks since I posted. Well, long story short, I came down with the flu about two weeks ago, and it wasn’t pretty. The fever, chills, congestion, ache everywhere kind of flu that I haven’t had for years. But I’m back to almost full steam and today I’m looking forward to sharing a little about mirrors.
One funny aside: As I was photographing some new shots to add to other mirror pictures I had in my media library, I realized that mirrors are not always easy to photograph. At least three of the pictures, upon closer inspection, had my face, hand or camera in the corner:) Those didn’t make the cut, but something to be aware of when photographing mirrors!
First, let me just say that I love mirrors! Round, square, octagon, gold, silver, wood, metal, I just love them all. I am not a vain person who spends much time in the mirror, but as a decorating accessory, they are wonderful in so many ways. Mirrors can play an important role in your overall home décor, and when used properly, they can be a secret weapon in your decorating arsenal.
Besides the obvious reason for having a mirror, like checking out your latest hairstyle, there are many other purposes for mirrors that have little to do with the reflection of oneself.
First, mirrors can be used to expand a space. In a narrow, shallow, or overall small room, a large mirror can visually make the room grow in size, making it feel more spacious.
Mirrors can also be used to make an area feel lighter and brighter. When placed properly, the mirror can reflect light from a window and direct it towards a darker part of the room. This concept was used in a recent condo I staged up, where a mirror was strategically placed to capture the beautiful mountain views and bring them into the living room. It worked like a charm.
The great room in our home has four mirrors in it of varying shapes and sizes. This room already faces north, and is then made even darker by a large covered patio overhang. These mirrors help bounce the light around, bring some of the light in from the back yard, and make the room seem a little lighter. In the evening, the mirrors reflect the light from the lamps and candles, and really look nice.
You need only look at popular catalogs or home décor magazines to know that mirrors can often be a decorative part of any wall vignette, adding a hit of sparkle and interest amongst other framed objects and art pieces.
Mirrors are also a decorative item that look great when used repetitively. Sometimes less is more, but sometimes the power of numbers, especially in mirrors, can have a wonderful effect. Like a gallery wall of photographs and artwork, a full wall of mirrors in the right location can really pack a punch, widening a hall or creating a focal point in a room.
This can be done very effectively by curating a grouping of mirrors that have disparate frames in various sizes. It can also be done as a mirror installation where the frames either have the same type of frame or are painted the same color, and then pieced together to create the impact of a larger looking mirror. This works particularly well in a dark hallway. However you use them, mirrors can be manipulated to overcome flaws in an area and ultimately enhance your space.
One of the nicest things about mirrors is the fact that they do reflect. Unlike a photo or artwork, this allows them to double the impact of a beautiful chandelier, the outdoors, or even candlelight.
Additionally, mirrors provide a great way to anchor a dressing table, buffet or entry table. Functionally speaking, placing a mirror in a guest room provides your visitors with a place to get ready if the bath facilities are occupied. A mirror by the entry is a great place for a “last check” before heading out the door.
So how, you may ask, do you start amassing a mirror collection? A great place to start is at flea markets, antique stores and garage sales. Those are the places that will have older, more interesting versions that probably weren’t mass produced, and will be more affordable than retail. Once you have exhausted those resources, it’s time to check consignment shops and national discount retailers who often get leftovers from your favorite decorating companies. Once you start the hunt for mirrors, you will find them everywhere.
I have mirrors in almost every size, shape and material from wood to sterling to cast metal. Do not discount a mirror in an ugly frame that can be painted, gilded, stripped, or whatever. If the mirror is in good shape, that’s half the battle.
Another way to get an interesting mirror is to take an old (or even new) picture frame and have a mirror put in it. This is cheaper than you would imagine and is a great way to have a one-of-a-kind mirror to add to your collection.
My mother had my senior picture put in a beautiful gold frame. It was lovely and too nice to throw away, but after 20 years, it was taking up space in a closet. So, I took the picture out and had my local glass company install a piece of mirror in its place. For a whopping $18, they transformed this unused item into a real treasure. Obviously, in today’s dollars it would be more, but there is something rewarding when you can upcycle an unused item into something that can be enjoyed every day. You too, may have old frames lying around that could become your next mirror.
So mirror, mirror on the wall; who’s the fairest of them all? The answer just might be mirrors!