Mirrors are a brilliant way to instantly inject style, personality, elegance, decadence and indeed light and reflection into your home.
The options are literally endless. Mirrors come in different shapes, size, colour glass, bevel edges, convex, concave, frames etc. Ways of presenting them are also limitless. You can lean, prop or hang them high to catch the light or a particular feature of a room. Some people arrange mirrors like artwork on a wall. They are far from just being something with which to gaze at your beautiful fizzog or check your lippy on the way out.
We are lucky enough to live in a beautiful Edwardian house. The rooms have such lovely traditional details, such as bay windows, high proportions and cornicing that I was quite keen to stay on the traditional side of the fence with mirrors. Some of my decor is quite quirky so I wanted the mirrors to retain the rooms sense of grandeur and history.
A great source for inexpensive, but expensive looking ornate French numbers, are auction houses. Things swing in and out of fashion but if you know you own mind you can ignore all the fads and bag yourself some real bargains. Both of the ornate gold mirrors that hang above the mantlepieces in my dining and living room came from the Criterion Auction house in Islington. They cost around £100 each, well under what you would pay in any retail establishment.
To be honest these types of mirrors come up for sale at auction all the time so don’t get carried away with bidding. It is probably always a good idea, if you can, to go down to the auction house in person and look at anything you are planning to buy. Pick it up, weigh it, look at the back, front, check for cracks etc. If you care about whether they are the real-deal antique it is normally pretty easy to tell in person if it is a reproduction.
People have said that they scared of bidding at auctions. They find the set-up unfamiliar and intimidating. Don’t be. It is great fun. You can always bid online or leave a best offer bid with the auction house ahead of the sale. But if you can do go. it is great fun and you will almost always find people helpful and happy to talk you through the bidding process. You register your details, get a number, sit in any one of the sofas and seats selling that day and raise your hand if you want to buy. More to come on mirrors soon.