Get creative with mirror placement
Eclecticism and asymmetry is in
MIRRORS can do much more than determine who’s the fairest of them all. Just ask an interior designer. “We use them creatively in every job,” says Randy McCoy of Retrofit Design. “It’s definitely something that’s always on my checklist for a room. It has a lot of artistic licence, (but) it’s simple. You can take a piece of mirror, you can buy it cheap, and you can put whatever you want around it.
“Immediately, you get a centrepiece that will add interest to walls, make rooms look bigger, and help bring light into dark spaces.”
“They catch movement, they catch light and they sparkle, so all of those things are what people are naturally attracted to,” says Adele Wilson, owner of Edmonton’s Parasol Interiors, which carries wall mirrors as well as mirrored tables, lamps and sconces.
Because of their versatility, mirrors are being used ever more creatively by designers, says Wilson, an interior and furniture designer herself. The standout piece in her showroom is a mirrored fireplace that features a decorative reverse-painted mantle of silver-leafed glass.
“I like the juxtaposition of it,” she says. “You’d probably have a stone hearth or something like that so it gives you the juxtaposition of a really sleek, cool surface with the mirror with something that’s really rough and rustic.
Even a mirror, as it is on its own, is rarely ever just a mirror anymore.
“People have moved away from perfect finishes and perfect surfaces,” says Wilson, and distressing and antiquing have become popular ways to add character. “A lot of people like things that wear well, that look like they have a little bit of age and atmosphere about them.”
McCoy adds that mirrors are now often designed to be modern takes on traditional forms. They reference art nouveau and art deco, but have contemporary features. Some, for example, are frameless, cut instead into vintage shapes by waterjet.
“It’s that classic postmodern way of doing things. You take an old form and use it in a new way,” he explains. “They’ve done something new and interesting with it, but you see the echo of that style.”
In bars, mirrors help to reflect lighting and create an action-packed atmosphere, but McCoy says those same effects, on a smaller scale, can work nicely in living spaces too, such as kitchens or entertaining areas.
If you want to make mirrors the focal point in a room, McCoy suggests getting creative with it.
“The one big mirror in the middle of the wall is a mistake these days — eclecticism and asymmetry is more in,” he says. “So instead of one mirror, get three together. Put smaller mirrors on top of bigger ones. Just add a little personality.”
“This was always something since its invention that’s used like art,” says Wilson. “So go ahead and arrange it like art, and use a variety of mirrors that share a common theme: the same shape, perhaps, or the same frame.”
“You can have fun with it,” says McCoy. “It doesn’t have to be wellplanned or genius. It can be like a little art project. That’s what we’re seeing and that’s what I like to do. Make each
Adele Wilson designed this reverse painted-glass fireplace using silver leaf to create a mirrored effect. There’s a dramatic contrast between the rustic stone inside the
fireplace and the delicate etchings of the mirror that frames it.