I love mirrors. Ha! All of my clients will tell you that I add at least 1 to every project I do. Mirrors reflect my clients (which makes me smile), mirrors often double the light in a space, and mirrors add shine and a bit of elegance. They often help make spaces appear larger, and oh, lots of other things. But you probably know all that. My blogs aren’t to “educate” you. They are to let you know what I am up to and to give you an idea of how I work.
HP Market in October is my biggest buying trip of the year. I leave behind the Lowcountry, and head to North Carolina to spend several days visiting my favorite vendors to see what is new. Yes, I check out what market trend spotters are saying about the industry in general, but it doesn’t drive my designs.
Here is one of my favorite mirrors from a Society Street house I did two years ago. The owner had the vanity, and I outfitted the powder room with faux leather walls from Thibaut. Thibaut Western Leather Metallic Gold from the Texture Resource 5 collection. This is a great performance paper that can be wiped down. Critical, since this downtown Charleston home has small boys in the household!
Photograph by Patrick Brickman.
I loved the mirrors I found this market. We have had a few years of coastal, farmhouse, and industrial looks in mirrors and that really limited traditional options. This market I saw a lot more clean edges, but still with traditional elements. Definitely, there was a strong trend of antiqued mirrors. A few years back, antiqued mirrors were everywhere, but with heavy, traditional frames that usually do not work in Charleston. As crazy as it sounds, I usually don’t want to use antiqued glass in older homes, because it can look a little creepy.
Non-creepy antiqued mirror.
It was SO fantastic to find antiqued mirrors with clean edges and often, frameless. Rather than using heavy, ornate frames, vendors are applying traditional elements directly to the glass with etching or paint. I saw painted urns, Greek keys, laurel leaves, and all sorts of architectural motifs. Here are a few of my favorites:
Yep, me again, working with my rep. Ed still managed to catch me in the shot.
Antique brass or brushed brass frames were everywhere. Antique brass has been a trend for years, and it isn’t fading away. The key is to always use items with clean lines when adding antique brass. I saw this by Mary McDonald at one of my favorite vendors:
And, yes, that’s Ed again. He’s such a good sport.
Of course, I always love the inlaid mosaic frames that hail from the Mideast. Two of my favorite things: contrast and shine! All in one item. Gotta love it!
Here’s a great header with a leather strap and polished brass wall bracket, instead of a typical wall cleat we use to hang heavy mirrors. This mirror is truly custom. You pick the metal finish, the frame finish, and the leather. It’s made in America.
There are still a few rustic looks I like, but notice the lines are still traditional and there is contrast ( dark nailhead on bleached wood). Check this one out:
A heavy frame with simple lines and a highly polished finish show off a beautiful wood grain. I can’t remember the wood type. I’d love to see this on a dark wall in a masculine room.
You can still never go wrong with a really good sunburst mirror. But never settle for lower quality where you have light. Light draws your eye, and of course, mirrors reflect light. I always invest in mirrors and lamps. Trust me.
Yes! That is Thibaut Volar Wallpaper in Neutral from the Modern Resource collection in the photograph below.
FYI: I think this is the most my photo has been taken—EVER. But my husband is my market photo taker, and he likes to get me in the mirror shots. I let him because he is a great guy. You won’t see a bunch more photos of me on my blog, except when I sit in the upholstery. I like to do that to show clients relative sizes of the seating.
After all this mirror talk, it was great to come home to Mt. Pleasant. I used Thibaut Shang Extra Fine Sisal in Winter Sea in a fun gal’s foyer. She had an old mirror she wanted to use, but it was a little dated. So, she cleverly added a gold faux finish, and voila! She had a like new mirror.
Here’s a close up:
I think she did a great job!
And just one more….this was a great mirror that I used a lot a few years back. It worked in a lot of different spaces…Enjoy!
Chris Smith Photography