Monday, November 7, 2011

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Let's start today by listing all of the mirrors that I would never befriend on Facebook:
1. My bathroom mirror first thing in the morning (surely no explanation is needed here)
2. The tri-fold mirrors in dressing rooms (Its bad enough seeing my "muffin top" from one perspective, but three???)
3. The walls and walls of mirrors at the gym (like I really want to watch the airbrushed, perspiration free, Nike model two elipticals down from me text on her iphone while she chews gum and sips on Vitamin Water)
4. The mirror in my car visor (why do stray eyebrow hairs wait until I am at a red light to show themselves? Cowards. . .)
5. And all of the mirrors in the Pottery Barn catalogs. . .I have no sob story for this one. I just despise them the same way I despise women that are skinnier, wealthier, and prettier than me. (just kidding...kind of!)
Ever feel this way when you look in the mirror? Meeeee too! LOL

Now here's the good news: Mirrors can do wonders for your house! There is no easier way to liven up a gloomy room than adding a sparkling mirror to a lonely wall. I like to have at least one mirror in every room of my house. When placed across from windows, a mirror can double the amount of natural light in a drab space and also bring some of the outdoors inside. If you don't have a good wall for a mirror across from windows, whichever wall you hang your mirror on should reflect something beautiful or interesting in the space. For example, seeing the reflection of a fresh cut flower arrangement or lamp is much more appealing than the reflection of your television or a closet door!

Let's face it, size matters! If you are hanging a mirror above a piece of furniture, you don't want the mirror to be wider than the anchored furniture piece nor do you want it to be less than two-thirds the width. If you have smaller mirrors, consider grouping them together which creates one large scale focal point. You can even mix mirrors in with other framed art or photographs on a collage wall to add sparkle and dimension.
Ok, so there is an exception to every rule. These mirrors defy the two thirds ratio rule. But they get a pass in my book because of their sporadic placement. some of the mirrors creep out past the edges of the console table, however, other areas do not. The installments organic shape (un-square perimeter) allows it to break the above rule. Its kinda the like the class pet.

Here is another example of grouping small frames together for large scale impact.

Larger mirrors can add height to a room when placed vertically. They create the illusion of expanse, as if there are more rooms leading off of the one you are in.
This mirror gets double the street cred. It incorporates natural light and the great outdoors (which creates movement and life) AND it adds the illusion of extra space by going vertical and reflecting an adjoining room! Brilliant!
I love how this mirror provides a backdrop for the gorgeous bedside table. It reflects the natural elements of the flowers, and the natural light from the windows. This arrangement is great if you have a small space, because it does double duty as art and a floor length mirror for checking your outfits 20 times when you are running late in the morning. (just make sure the pile of disguarded clothing is out of reflections reach; it will make your rejected outfits look twice as daunting!)
Immediately, your eye is drawn up with this showstopper mirror. Its placement in this room connects the two windows, which would have otherwise had an awkward dead space in between them. Result: One large, vertical, drool inducing focal point.
Doesn't take up much floorspace (an otherwise unused corner) and makes the room feel so much larger. Perfect! And who couldn't look at themselves in this mirror without saying "ooo-la-la!" Save the boy stuff for the Hermit Cave, Man Cave...whatever you call it. If you feel beautiful in your bedroom, I'm sure your honey will reap the benefits! =)

Now, don't get carried away and do floor to ceiling mirrored walls. Remember, your house is a beautiful space for you to relax in, not lift weights or practice your ballet routines. But DO consider hunting for interesting vintage frames at estate sales, flea markets, or garage sales. Keep an open mind. Frames that house a creepy picture of a clown, or a needle point "Home Sweet Home" may be purchased uber cheap and can modified to fit your style. Keep an eye on the clearance section at your local framing gallery as well. Frames that come in damaged or custom ordered frames that never get picked up will find their way to the clearance department very quickly. A local glass shop can cut a mirror to fit your new found treasure, and now you have an awesomely huge mirror that you would have paid HUNDREDS for in a store. (Plus you will have the personal satisfaction of creating a custom piece all by yourself. You go, girl!....or boy!) You can also ask for an "antiqued" finish at your glass shop if you want to make your treasure feel timeworn.
This may have once been a disguarded door panel. Take an ugly duckling and make it shine! Salvage yards are like gold mines for finds like this.

I betcha this was once a tacky gold mirror that survived the 60's. A little teal paint and brown glaze has given it a new life. Groovy, man. dreamy. And so old world.
We've talked about ways to ADD sparkle with mirrors, but what do you do when you already have sparkle...builder grade sparkle. I'm talking about those giant, unframed eye sores in our bathrooms. We all have them; we shouldn't be ashamed. But there IS something you can do about it! Add more sparkle!!! Slap another mirror on that bad boy and show it who's boss!
Ok, so this particular bathroom is hardly builder grade, but you get the idea!
Ooooo triple threat! Mirror on mirror with mirrored sconces!
I have a fever...And the only prescription is more mirror!
Every room needs some sparkle. Whether it comes from mirrors on the wall, glass apothecary jars, shiny silver photo frames, or antiqued mirrored table toppers (just to name a few). Look for pieces that will reflect light or have a fluid, watery appearance like clear glass to create this effect. Hunt for items that can be repurposed to create special, cost effective pieces. And carefully consider placement within the room to find that perfect spot that relfects beautiful things in your space. And most importantly, SMILE! That's the prettiest reflection you will ever see!

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