29.10.08

Mirror Magic

Not much has been written about the merits and sheer magic of using mirrors as focal points and works of art in rooms. So I would like to dedicate this post to the beauty, genius, and magic of mirrors. Everyone has either seen or heard of the famous Hall of Mirrors in the Palace of Versailles, built by Louis XIV in 1678. The principal feature of this famous hall is the seventeen mirror-clad arches that reflect the seventeen arcaded windows that overlook the gardens. Each arch contains twenty-one mirrors for a total of 357. In the 17th century, mirrors were among the most expensive items to possess and at the time and the Venetian Republic held the monopoly on the manufacture of mirrors. The expense in manufacture of mirrors has come a long way since those days.

Mirrors over fireplaces:
One of the places in a home most adorned with a mirror, other than the bathroom, is over the fireplace. It is the perfect focal point in a room to strategically place a mirror. Depending on the room and the orientation of the fireplace, a mirror hung over the fireplace can reflect other important areas of the room and create drama and atmosphere. In the living room below I used a laser cut mirror above the fireplace, which echoes the filigree pattern in the framed wallpaper panels on either side of the fireplace. I painted the wall behind the mirror a deep chocolate brown to further define the edges of the mirror. The curtains are the same rich chocolate brown color and are made of silk taffeta which further adds to the shimmery effect at night.

Patricia Gray Inc 

Mirrors in Bathrooms:
Bathroom mirrors come in every size and configuration. In my designs I try to come up with something unique, while still being very functional. In this bathroom my client wanted a 3 Way mirror. So handy if you want to get a 360 degree view of yourself. The mirror over the vanity is double sided circle, that echoes the shape of the matching back to back sinks. The mirror is attached to the ceiling and to the vanity at the top and bottom with clear glass.

Patricia Gray Inc 

What do you do if you have a window in front of your vanity? Below in my own bathroom I used California shutters for the window covering. I love the look and feel of California shutters. I designed the room so that the sink was centered on the length of the window. I had the stile of the shutters made to line up perfectly with the center of the sink, then I had my glazier design a special mounting that would allow the mirror to be attached to the stile, while still allowing the shutters enough space behind the mirror to open and close. The mirror appears to be floating in front of the shutters. 

Patricia Gray Inc

 

Mirrors in Dining Rooms:
This is a picture of the breakfast area in my own home. The mirror helps to enlarge this small space and bring in the view of the garden. By placing a lamp on the table in front of the mirror it creates the illusion that the room continues. The lamp also creates some drama and makes it a cozy spot to sit and linger in the evenings. You can read more here, where I talk about my Lucite lamp and mix of chairs.

Patricia Gray Inc 

The mirror I designed and had built for my client's dining room. It perfectly reflects the magnificent Murano glass chandelier hanging over the custom built large square dining table. It also captures views of the adjoining living room for people that are sitting with their backs to it. When you are making mirrors this large make sure that they will fit through the front door. I made that mistake once and that was enough to learn a very valuable lesson: check and double check every detail!! If it still won’t fit, I have the mirror made on-site. The draperies are made of chocolate brown silk taffeta with a padded valance, the ceiling inset is lit around the perimeter and painted with gold leaf.

Patricia Gray Inc 

Mirrors in Bedrooms:
In this bedroom I placed a full height mirror for the client to use as a dressing mirror.

Patricia Gray Inc 

PATRICIA GRAY INC is an award winning interior design firm writing about lifestyle and
WHAT'S HOT in the world of interior design, architecture, art and travel.
2011 © Patricia Gray | Interior Design Blog™

26 comments:

  1. Extensive and beautiful post! Your work is amazing! Your bathroom must be a beautiful place to start the day! I like the way you re-think the typical bathroom floor plan...

    Ciao,
    Michelle

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  2. brillante home decor29/10/08

    Detailed, professional,interesting Blog as usual.
    I particularly liked the use of mirrors in your projects, 360 degrees, a mirror in front of shutters...all quite creative.
    Mirrors are really magic (even though I find lately that when I use one my face looks older, I guess they don't make mirrors like they used to in the old time!)
    Regarding your gorgeous house: How civilized to have one more "piece" in the bathroom. Why Bidet has a French name? I have not seen many in France, while in Italy every single house has one (even if I have not been to every single Italian house,yet)
    My first Canadian Bidet created many jokes while it was being installed,more than 20 years ago, but it was worth every moment of embarassement.
    Grazie e arrivederci,
    Albarosa

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  3. I forgot my URL, here it is

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  4. Inspirational yet again! Receiving one of your blog posts in the morning is a perfect way to start my day! I should have commented a year ago -- so finally doing so -- your blogs are a fabulous source of inspiration! Please keep them coming. My one question to you -- how do you find the time to do them?

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  5. oh my goodness.......your client homes are just so stunning. And what you have done with them! It must be so inspiring to work with such a level of taste!

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  6. I can't remember who said " A mirror gives a room a soul" but I've always taken that mantra to heart. A mirror confirms your presence in the world and is a magical element when used properly. Love this post and thanks for the peeks into your inner sanctum - gorgeous!

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  7. Cara Patricia,

    What an extensive post. Professional works! I particularly fancy the bathroom décor, since I am a minimalst myself. Buon week-end and bacione! Ingrid

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  8. Loved each and every picture in this post.
    Impeccable taste.
    I love large mirrors and try to use them & design them whenever possible where ever they would fit.
    Thanks Patricia for this nice post.

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  9. I love this post so much because it shows so much of your work and your home especially! Love the lamps on your desk that you won !!!! remember!!!??

    just beautiful.
    Joni

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  10. Dear Patricia,

    I have searched google for lucite lamps such as the one in your breakfast area to no avail. Do you have any idea where I can buy one?
    Love your blog especially the ones on Italy.

    Thanks,
    Lee

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  11. Hi Lee
    I have recently seen a similair Lucite lamp at Restoration Hardware.

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  12. Very nice work. Beautiful and professional blog. Love the focus on mirror placements as well. Thanks for sharing your experience and designs.

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  13. Patricia! I just love your work. It is such a wonderful combination of old and new. I never tire of seeing it.

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  14. Hi Patricia,

    Love your work in the top photo!

    May I ask where you got the white sofa and chairs...we have a client looking for a sofa with a clean tight back and I think they'd like that one...

    thanks!

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  15. Hi Jessica
    The sofa and chairs in the top photo were custom made.

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  16. Interesting and magical post ! I love all the pictures about your work

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  17. Thomas29/12/08

    Your designs are very original.

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  18. Anonymous29/12/08

    I just have to tell you that your bathroom is the most beautiful I have ever seen.

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  19. I just love those rooms, its amazing how a mirror can change the look of a room completely, in a room that is a little smaller a mirror can give the optical illusion that it is far bigger than what one sees almost playing games with the lookers eyes

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  20. I think the versatility and limitless design possibility makes mirrors a blast to work with. Beyond that there is so much depth behind a mirror itself and the things it reflects. Mirrors are used to avert the evil eye and are also associated with vitality, magical protection, beauty, the mystical, as well as being a reflection of reality. Whats great is that they dont just have to be hung, either. I love Lost City's hand-embroidered "Mirrors" throw pillow collection, for example
    http://www.lostcityproducts.com/index.php?q=shop-hand-embroidered-pillows-mirrors

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  21. Gorgeous pictures and ideas. I love using and decorating mirrors.

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  22. Anonymous8/1/11

    HI Patricia,

    Great pictures your work is inspirational.

    I've been looking around for a similar fixture as the one you've used above the square dining table (italian designed lighting fixture) - any idea where I can find one? I've been looking everywhere but no luck.

    Thanks,
    Sam

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  23. Thanks for sharing. Nice blog. Great !

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  24. Bathroom mirrors and wall mirrors can enhance the look and feel of your room as well as the decor of your house. They give your room an illusion of space, and allow you to reflect light on focal points in your room. Thanks for posting.

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  25. Anonymous8/3/13

    Hello Patricia, I have just discovered your blog, as a Canadian living in Perth Australia I am interested to keep up with the rest of the world. Your design concept is inspiring and I relate it to my own. I would like to incorporate a 2nd mirror into my white on white bedroom. Can I have a large mirror opposite another large mirror? They are on opposite sides of the room approx. 10 - 15 metres apart

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  26. Love this interior designs, inspiring and moving.

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