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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Mirrored Walls

Mirrored walls were popular in the 1960's and 1970's but loathed thereafter and generally regarded as examples of bad design.  I think we can all agree that done poorly, mirrored walls are reminiscient of a bad 1980's beach condo.  But done correctly, they are so stylish and add another dynamic layer to a room.  So what separates the good from the bad?

Antique Finish
The antique finish on this paneled mirror lends sophistication to the room.  It serves as a reflective surface, but it doesn't look like you just windexed it the moment before you took the picture.  The antique finish makes it seamlessly with the other antiques in the room.

Rectangular Panels
The rectangular panels of this mirrored wall add architectural interest to the room.  The sofa and chairs are curvy and round, so the straight lines of the mirrored panels add angles in contrast.

Hanging Art
Hanging art over a mirror adds depth and style to a room.  I do imagine that this could be tricky, though, because if the art wasn't hung perfectly flat and flush against the mirror, the mirrored wall could reflect the unsightly hardware used to hang the mirror.

Beautiful Views
Meg Braff's West Palm Beach condo is one of my favorites, but I have to admit that I had to flip back and forth through the Coastal Living pages several times to figure out the layout of it from the pictures.  The mirrored wall here provides such a clear view of her gorgeous view of the Intracoastal Waterway that I didn't even realize it was a mirror at first!  Her room is a bit narrow, and because it is a condo it has a wall where she would probably prefer windows.  So Meg decided to create the illusion of a window by mirroring the entire wall.

Ornate Details
I'd be willing to bet that this particular mirrored wall is out of reach for most of us.  The ornate beveled panels lend opulence and sophistication to the room (as does Miles en flight).  It feels like a lounge in a fancy French hotel (in a good way, not an hgtv "I want my bedroom to feel like a hotel room" way- I will never understand that). 

Small Spaces
This tiny kitchen featured in House Beautiful a few years back has always been one of my favorites.  They used mirrors as a backsplash around the entire kitchen, to make it feel larger than it really is.  Brilliant.  I love the white cabinets with malachite green countertops and brass hardware.  I am going to use that combination one day!

And just for fun, an example of a REALLY BAD room with a mirrored wall.  Just looking at the picture makes me sneeze!

Would you consider using a mirrored wall in your home? 


Melissa said...

I've always thought about using a mirrored wall in our dining room-- it seems like it would help the long, narrow room with three doorways opening off of it. The first image is the one I have in my head for what it could be. Maybe some day I'll pull the trigger.

Kerry @ Design du Monde said...

I can't remember where I saw it but mirrors about 1 foot wide as a door surround, turned a normal door into an archway to the eye.

Lacquered Life said...

Miles Redd's bathroom walls were actually salvaged from a turn of the century estate outside of Chicago, and installed in his apartment. Really cool way of keeping the past alive.

Jessica Rowe {The Aestate} said...

I would love a mirrored wall in my home! I don't think there's a room that doesn't benefit from the use of large mirrors. And I am partial to the antique finish...

PS- Don't forget to enter 'The Perfectly Imperfect Home' book giveaway on my blog!

ArchitectDesign™ said...

LOVE mirror in the right place and have used it in a few projects actually. It really helps widen a small vestibule or hallway for example. For awhile now I've wanted to mirror my backsplash and also the window jambs (like lots of NYC apartments) to magnify the light. We'll see!

kayce hughes said...

I love them done well and have been wanting to do one.

Splendid Sass said...

Beautiful! Love the mirrored walls.
Can Miles do wrong? Not in my book!

Pigtown*Design said...

Funnily, my friends salvaged and installed Miles' bathroom. I hear it's amazing, but I couldn't stand it.

My cousin had a fabulous flat overlooking Baltimore's harbour, and the wall facing the windows was mirrored floor to ceiling. It was gorgeous.

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