Monday, July 12, 2010


These days, mirrors can be found throughout most every home in the world, but they were not always as accessible to the masses. Mirrors date back as to the ancient Greeks and Romans. These first mirrors were simply highly polished disk of bronze, silver or copper. These mirrors would be small, usually with a decorative side opposite the mirror and with a handle for holding.

Seated woman holding a mirror. Ancient Greek Vase, ca. 470-460 BC, National Archaeological Museum, Athens

The first glass mirrors known to exist have been found in 2nd and 3rd century Roman graves, these being shards of glass with lead applied to one side of the glass. Mirrors were made throughout Europe using different methods with little success until the 16th century Venetians perfected coating glass with an amalgam of tin and mercury. This process, besides being highly toxic, was very timely to produce thus yielding an item only available to the wealthiest.
When Versailles was commissioned to be built in the 17th century, the French Minister of Finance Jean-Baptiste Colbert from 1665 to 1683 under the rule of King Louis XIV, enticed workers from Venetian factories to come to France and make glass and mirrors at the Gobelins Factory. The famous Galerie des Glaces, or Hall of Mirrors is one of the most recognizable rooms in the world. It consists of 357 mirrors lining the 239.5 ft × 34.4 ft × 40.4 ft space. The technological innovative process of high temperature melting of the glass, allowed for such large pieces to be created for the first time.

Galerie des Glaces (Hall of Mirrors), Versailles, France

The next major innovation in mirrors was in 1835 when German chemist Justus von Liebig created the process of silvering glass. His method placed silver onto the glass using the chemical reduction of silver nitrate. This method now allowed for mass production, allowing greater availability of affordable mirrors. Modern household mirrors are made simply by coating a thin layer of molten silver or aluminum, poured onto plate glass in a vacuum.

Mirrors have many functions in today’s society, from telescopes to automobiles, but their household use still ranks number one. In addition to mirrors being used in functional design such as in bathrooms, decorative mirrors are all the rage in design. They are used to create dramatic spaces, reflecting light and often making a room seem larger. Frames are available in a plethora of styles, materials and finishes. Mirrors are also used to create dramatic furniture, floor screens, lighting and a variety of accessories.

I use mirrors in most every design that I do and encourage you to do the same in your design. Below I chose mirrors in a variety of applications that I LOVE! …REFLECT!

Axis Floor Mirror by Z Gallerie

L'Oreille Qui Voit Mirror #3 (Philippe Starck) from Made In Design

Red Metallic Mirror from Plantation

Bamboo Mirror from Global Views

Taffy Mirror from Artful Home

Wood Floor Mirror by River Mirrors

Fulton Burlwood Mirror from William Sonoma Home

Bolinas Mirror from Z Gallerie

Pierre Mirror from Z Gallerie

Large Shatter Mirror from Exclusive Mirrors

Laden Mirror from Uttermost

Trapini Mirror from Uttermost

Verona Screen from Cyan Design

Avidan Screen from Uttermost

Classic Screen from Oriental Unlimited

Grand Venetian Mirror Table from Versailles Showroom

Trousdale Coffee Table from Woodson and Rummerfield's House of Design

Directoire Table from Global Views

Mirror and Red Leather Armoire from Versailles Showroom

Mirrored Armoire from Lyle + Umbach

Bubble Edge Dresser from Furniture In Fashion

Mirror Cabinet on Stand from Peyton Home
Pagoda Console from RKF

Empire Sideboard from Porada Grey69 Sideboard from Gervasoni

Deco Mirrored Console from Furniture In Fashion

Grayson Chandelier from Oly

For more information on any of the above shown items, please contact me at: tm@terrancemasoninteriors


  1. Great article Terrance! I appreciate the history behind the design, and I think your selection of mirrors and mirrored products is fantastic. Loved the pictures! Keep up the great work!

  2. oh, i like the river mirrors. it looks like a passage way to another room...nice article btw...
    here's something else i forgot to mention to you

  3. What a great post Terrance, so informative. Seeing the Galerie des Glaces was one of the most memorable of experiences for me. I loved all your examples of bringing mirrors into your home decor. I love using them & often have to say enough. I don't like looking into them but love the bright light that bounces from them, opening up a space. ZGallerie is always a tried & true source for mirrors with great price-points aren't they? Thank you, I enjoyed your post very much.

    Cheers ~

  4. Fantastic! Complete information on mirrors is provided here. The Fulton Burlwood Mirror and wood floor mirrors are really fabulous and has all that required. For decorating home with beautiful mirrors my friends usually refer universal furniture mirrors who are very much professional.
    universal mirrors

  5. Very nice...
    All designs of mirrors frame and decorative mirrors are looking very good. Specially Grand Venetian Mirror Table is awesome. It will look very beautiful in drawing room..
    Scavenger Hunt Idea


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