#whyitworks--mirror, mirror on the wall

I've never been inside a house without a mirror but I'm rarely in a house that uses a mirror as art. (Which is a shame because they can be GORGEOUS.)

So, here's a special installment of #whyitworks.

We'll look at simple and simply fabulous ways to use the work of one of my favorite mirror designer, John Linden, from Mirror Coop. Then, we've got an interview I did recently with John on what makes a mirror "art."

When people think about using mirrors in their house outside of the bathroom, it's usually to follow that often-mentioned design tip that mirrors make a space look bigger. Sometimes, this is true, sometimes, it just duplicates the stuff you have in a room and it ends up feeling crowded. So, proceed with caution. 

But, there are a few ways I like to use mirrors to make your space shine! 

1. Size matters

The scale of this mirror (its size relative to the pieces around it) makes it the clear artistic focal point in the space. But, they took it further, placing it where it replicated something beautiful from another part of the room and showing it to you from a new point of view. Two other smart choices? Everything in the space is clean and simple, so you're not distracted (or overwhelmed) by what's going on in the mirror. I also love that the mirror isn't where you expect it to be, in the center of the credenza.

2. Layer

Typically, we don't put things in front of a mirror because the point is to get a good look at yourself. So, what's one of the easiest ways to signal that you're going in a different direction? Layer pieces in front of or next to it. This mirror is part of a decorative grouping that gives it artistic context. And, it doesn't hurt that it has that crazy cool speckling, which obscures and softens everything it reflects, so you're focused on the art and not what the mirror shows you in the background.

3. Through a glass darkly

Full disclosure: I want this mirror in my house, like, yesterday. But, l digress.

If this was your everyday oversized mirror, this room would look like every other home catalogue in your mailbox. Cool, but not terribly artistic. Instead, the discoloration in the glass adds depth, color, and texture to an otherwise fabulously minimal space.  Not to mention the reflection it captures is beautifully mysterious.  Doesn't it feel like you would have found it in a dusty room next to a wardrobe with a hidden door to Narnia? OK, maybe that's just me...

Now, let's hear from John:

C: What makes a mirror more than just a mirror--What elements make it art? 

J: Mirrors are very functional pieces -- typically adding more light to a space or providing a surface for touching up. Yet clever designers blend that function with beauty. Any detail -- color, antique finish, or shape -- that a mirror has can add both add to ambiance and decor while still being a functional piece. When designing pieces we always to try understand where that balance of beauty and function is lies, and then create a piece that works for the client. 

C: John, tell me about one of the most creative ways you've used mirrors in a space? 

J: A favorite is still underway, but basically we used layers of shaped colored mirror to emulate a mountain landscape at sunset. This installation now lives in California at a very well-known hotel.

C: I've wondered for a while, what inspired you to make mirrors into art? 

J: You know, the biggest issue was lack of availability. I also work as a designer and the selection of interesting mirror pieces was nil. Most, if not all, my clients wanted custom pieces and I just had a terrible time sourcing reliable, interesting mirror and glass. Finally, I started working with a few mirror manufacturers for custom pieces and realized that people really gravitated toward the mirror and glass work we started doing. From there we just kept growing our client list and finally I was able to work nearly 100% on wall mirrors and mirror material. 

Hope you enjoyed the chat with John and feel inspired to try something new at your house. 

Want to give it a try or have a question? Leave a note in the comments section.

For more #whyitworks and a behind-the-scenes look at Niche, follow me on Instagram @camilles_niche.

A little peak at the fun we're having on Instagram :)

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