Guest writer Robin McGarry (a respected professional in the design industry) and I share many preferences; we both love bold colors, layered interiors where both style and comfort have been addressed, as well as rooms where the interior designer displays a sound understanding of the principles that enable the production of good design. We are fond of rooms where the selection and placement of ART has been successfully addressed, as we feel that this demonstrates a thorough exploration and utilization of both the decorative and fine arts, and makes for a more memorable experience (as well as a more complete interior). We both lament the current trend of the ubiquitous use of mirrors. In the essay below, Ms McGarry shares her thoughts (on the subject of mirrors).
Once upon a time mirrors were not just the pretty faces at the party. They were expensive and showed one's status, but they also served a purpose. Windows were small, because in some countries they were taxed at a high rate, and were not the grand expanses of glass we enjoy today. Mirrors served the household by magnifying the existing light -- be it bits of sunlight coming in through small windows, or provided by the fire, or candle-light. From grand pier mirrors in ball-rooms to the small strips attached to the back of tin candle-sconces, they made the existent light source that much more important, and made the home that much more livable. Now, with the advent of electricity, they serve primarily as a decorative element. As the pretty faces in the room, should they not be given something worth looking at? Not an expanse of bare wall, nor a cluttered room, and certainly not another mirror; for what's to see there except yourself? And a multiple reflection of yourself?
It is so easy to cop out and ' put up a mirror ' instead of trusting oneself to find a piece of art that wows, a wall hanging or piece of sculpture. How about enjoying a beautifully textured, painted, or papered wall. Even a bare wall upon which one can enjoy the shadows cast by plants and furnishings. Dueling mirrors, why? Unless you're setting up an art exhibit and want to see all sides of an object, or trying to set the back of your hair when grooming, what is the fascination with mirror, mirror(s) on the wall? I believe that when placed to capture a beautiful view, that in turn makes a person turn to see its origin, or placed to reflect the glow of candle-light or a chandelier, then it serves its true purpose: to enhance beauty. Propped against a wall because you've seen some designer or stylist employ thus . . . It's been done. Enough already!!