Bring light, space and tex­ture to your home with col­lectable mir­rors in all shapes and sizes.

Flea Market Décor - - Contents - BY JESSIE YOUNT

IT’S AL­MOST IM­POS­SI­BLE TO WALK THROUGH A FLEA MAR­KET AND NOT SPOT DOZENS OF MIR­RORS IN VARY­ING CON­DI­TIONS—AND prob­a­bly at least one you thought about tak­ing home. But what to do with it? Thank­fully, there are sev­eral ways to style mir­rors, so you don’t have to hide that col­lec­tion that’s been slowly build­ing in your closet. Here you can brush up on their his­tory and dis­cover a few new ways to style them.

Through­out his­tory, mir­rors have been used as both func­tional tools and dec­o­ra­tive ob­jects. The first man­made mir­rors date back to 6000 B.C. in Turkey, where mir­rors were cre­ated with pol­ished stone, such as black ob­sid­ian (a shiny vol­canic glass). Sim­i­larly, the an­cient Egyp­tians made mir­rors by flat­ten­ing and pol­ish­ing sheets of metal. And the Ro­mans are cred­ited with be­ing one of the ear­li­est cre­ators of glass mir­rors. How­ever, most of these mir­rors were hand­held and used strictly for beau­ti­fi­ca­tion pur­poses.

Years later, as mir­rors be­came larger in size, peo­ple be­gan to use them as dec­o­ra­tive items in the home. In the 16th cen­tury, Vene­tian mir­rors were in par­tic­u­larly high de­mand. Lo­cal ar­ti­sans cre­ated dec­o­ra­tive, high-qual­ity glass mir­rors us­ing Mu­rano glass from the re­gion. Fast

To­day the mir­ror is one of the most ver­sa­tile dec­o­ra­tive ob­jects around.

for­ward to mid-19th cen­tury Ger­many, where the mod­ern day sil­vered-glass mir­ror was cre­ated. A Ger­man chemist de­vel­oped the tech­nique by ap­ply­ing a thin layer of metal­lic sil­ver on top of glass.

To­day the mir­ror is one of the most ver­sa­tile dec­o­ra­tive ob­jects around. First, con­sider your needs. Do you want to ex­pand a nar­row hall­way or fill an empty wall? Do you want to add a glam­orous or vi­brant ap­peal to a rather drab space? Do you want to com­ple­ment a laid-back farm­house style or en­hance an eclec­tic aes­thetic?

Once you’ve es­tab­lished your goals, there are so­lu­tions aplenty. A gallery wall presents a mul­ti­tude of op­tions, while a floor-to-ceil­ing mir­ror can be used to am­plify its sur­round­ings and en­large a space. Mean­while, plac­ing ar­ti­facts or an­tiques in front of a mir­ror can help spread col­ors, tex­tures and vibes through­out the house. Also, keep in mind that mir­rors can make a big im­pact— and it’s okay to dec­o­rate with small, hand­held mir­rors to min­i­mize the ef­fect.

BE BOLD, be dar­ing and try the un­ex­pected. In this liv­ing space, a thick, dark-rimmed mir­ror draws in­ter­est and im­me­di­ately catches the eye. Although a dark frame can be over­whelm­ing, in a room with white walls and bright dé­cor, it can pro­vide the per­fect bal­ance of color.

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