Make mirrors reflections of each room

THERE’S always one.

That liar mirror somewhere in the house.

No matter how deep the bags or dimpled the flesh, that mirror vaguely under-lit with a caress of diffused light, and in truth bent out of shape with a slight concave, just loves and respects your every angle.

Mirrors are only as good as their situation.

With the exception of a vanity (designed to explode yours with horrendous HD lighting), ensure the reflection your mirror choices make are as pleasing and useful as the design of the frame is decorative.

Flashes of shine from a mirror or polished surface not only double up on light, but play the vital high-visual notes that make up the music of a gorgeous room. There’s simply no better way to pour a deep pool of light into any room than a well placed mirror of the right scale.

Think about mirrors as decorative windows you can put anywhere, opening up voids in walls and composing the content of what can be seen in them as you move from one side of the room to the other. Don’t be afraid to go as far as plate-glass mirrors with no visible framing for the right situation.

Used everywhere from a splash-back in a kitchen to covering large areas of wall in a reception room or bedroom, they can render a pinched space luminous with glamour. Consider taking a large plain mirror of this kind right to the ceiling in a thoroughly modern and economic over-mantle.

Large freestanding mirrors are a nostalgic addition to any room, and the first place the vain human eye will go. Leaning a mirror against a wall has a bohemian elegance. Double your money with the presence of any furniture and colours set in front of it from a pneumatic comfy armchair to a piece of sculpture.

Define a dining area in an open plan area with a massive mirror at the end of the table. Even better, the slight lean will eliminate any banal distant reflection that would be caught by a flat mounting, concentrating the focus up to upper sections of wall and ceiling. At the end of a hall a mirror will pull light down the space.

Try the wall opposite the largest window if you have a choice to multiply as much light as possible and paint light into dark corners. Secure the top touching the wall with a mirror plate, for safety’s sake.

Group mirrors as artwork but cover the space to suit — small mirrors on a gigantic wall will be lost. Stick to either square/rectangles or rounds and follow the theme in mismatched mirrors. Hand mirrors are especially fascinating hung together with their handles dangling like elegant stems or even swung around into a circle as a single blossom on the wall.

If you’re trying to elongate the space, stagger the mirrors side by side along the wall. Try climbing mirrors up the wall of a boring staircase pinching winks of light from the hall below. The looking glass attached to many failing dressing tables is worth salvaging. Re-hang three-part hinged mirrors as a triptych. With old mirrors with failing silvering, don’t attempt to fix this ‘foxing’ as it’s a part of the pieces patina and past.

Feng Shui practitioners treat mirrors in the same way as they would water, as they are deemed to have the same powers of light, flow and reflection.

In Feng Shui mirrors evoke calm and rejuvenation, just what we’re after.

Hang wall mirrors on the east walls to foster health, the southeast to make you richer and the north to guide your career path. There are some places where mirrors are not deemed appropriate, including opposite a front door, where it’s believed they reflect good energy right back out the door, and at the end of a bed where the energy is hitting back at you while you’re resting.

On the south side of the house, a wrongly placed mirror could leave your reputation in tatters. If you’re getting worried at this point, just pick up a concave mirror and hang it outside on the house where it’s said to act at a watchful eye protecting your home.

Think twice before flinging out any vintage or used wardrobe door with a mirror inside or out. With the hinges carefully removed, they can be easily up-cycled with a paint job as vertical or even horizontal wall mounted, over-mantle or leaning mirrors.

If the mirror is set on the door with screws, it can be taken off the entire framing wrapped in fabric, painted or gilded with spray paint (try Plastikote products) and the mirror replaced. Old flat picture frames can be wound in a fabulous remnant of fabric before inserting a simple piece of mirror plate to the reverse and securing with batons or clips.

Be careful not to chip through the backing of the mirror as you work. For the truly adventurous, follow the design houses and use an old but sound sash window, re-glazing it with mirror instead of glass.


Lifestyle

The Cork-led band played a superb gig in Dublin, writes Ed Power.REVIEW: The Murder Capital, Vicar Street

Lack of physical activity also causing disturbance of children’s sleep patterns.Under-fives suffering lack of sleep from extended screen time, doctor says

Kya deLongchamps despairs over the simple ways we can wreak havoc on our property's valueHow we vandalise our own homes

With the housing crisis, renovating a run-down property is worth considering if you have the inclination, time, funds and a good team of contractors around you, writes Carol O’CallaghanBehind the scenes in The Great House Revival

More From The Irish Examiner