A lot can be read about us by the very look at our personal spaces. Our homes are reflections of who we strive to become. People spend many sleepless nights over making a single decorating decision, convinced that it is their home’s task to render vivid to them who they might ideally be. And they are absolutely right! Our homes have a memorising function, helping us remember what we hold important in our lives. That’s why interior design and decorating are so crucial to our wellbeing. But whatever interior style attracts you the most, your life can sure benefit from a touch of glamour and elegance in your home. And nothing says it better than a vintage gilt mirror.
A beautiful gilt mirror can be one of the grandest pieces in a room. It is a true game changer whose value goes far beyond a handy surface to reflect upon on your way out. Mirrors can be highly decorative, make the room feel brighter, and help us trick the eye into seeing some added visual height when space is at a premium. But gilt mirrors even tell a more impressive story!
Synonymous with luxury and royalty, gilt mirrors are a timeless choice for bringing in a touch of drama into the space. But it wasn’t long ago when just about any mirror, regardless of its frame, was an epitome of opulence. Two centuries ago, mirror glass was worth its weight in gold and only royalty could hope to get their hands on it. Even though the mirror glass is no longer so precious, the symbolics remains to this day when we are starting to cherish lavish ornate golden frames instead.
The styles and sizes seem endless. So, mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all? You tell us!
Image source: @tonekrok
Antique gilt mirrors
An antique mirror is a classic choice for infusing some frill into your space. It makes a fabulous focal point in any room and invites you to be bold and dignified about your decorating choices. Once associated only with traditional interiors, gilt antique mirrors are now popping up everywhere from the maximalist to the Scandinavian style. Here at Vinterior, we feel particularly drawn to eclectic spaces with lots of Mid-century designs and fiercely oversized antique mirrors. Like the one you can see below.
Image source: Christine Dovey
These mirrors are heavily carved and decorated with flowers and cherubs in their gilded, intricate siding. They are flashy and unapologetic about their royal background, so naturally, they make a fabulous focal point, but also inject a sense of history into the space.
Image source: @tonekrok
A lesser known alternative to a classic antique mirror is Rococo’s favourite – the eglomise mirror. If you are into French interior charm and enjoy the raw look of these mirrors (the back side of the glass is gilded and then etched) consider adding them into the build. Paired with other antiques or mid-century pieces, an eglomise mirror will anchor the room and provide it with layers of interest.
Just remember, eglomise mirrors are not the best solution for bathrooms, hallways or any other space where you need to check yourself out.
Image source: Randi Garrett Design
Often associated with the Mid-century modern aesthetic, gilt sunburst mirrors actually date way back to the 15th century. Their distinct frames radiate from the centre like a shining star, making them impossible to ignore.
Their eye-catching character and the fact that they work well with numerous styles propelled them to become a huge global buzz a couple of years back. But this raging trend is hardly just a fad, so don’t be afraid to experiment with it as it won’t go away anytime soon.
Golden sunburst mirrors can be used to complement a fireplace mantle, as a standalone decorative piece or as part of a larger gallery wall arrangement.
Even the smallest of them all will surely make a grand impact.
Reflect what you hold dear
Place the mirror opposite the light source to trick the eye into thinking there is an additional window in the room, or use a statement mirror to highlight an exciting architectural feature.
Image source: @madogbolig
And here is another, lesser-known decorating trick you need to know about:
By hanging a strategically selected petite mirror high on the wall (like seen in the image below) you can reflect a statement light fixture and double the light in the room.
Image source: @aglassofbovino
Let the eye catch some rest
Break a visually busy surface by introducing an oversized gilt mirror. It will add depth and calm to the space, and make the room feel complete.
Image source: @oliverthomasesq
But the same is true for the gallery walls. A well-chosen gilt mirror can be such a hero piece for grounding the layout and giving it a noble twist.
Image source: @interior_alchemy
Think outside the box
A large ornate mirror will bring any bathroom from drab to posh and create a lush environment for your everyday bathroom routines. Gilt mirrors feel homely in traditional interiors, but don’t shy away from introducing them into more modern bathrooms to give them an edge.
We often struggle with the lack of space in our kitchens, so why not play with gilt mirrors to open them up a bit and splash out on the character? Hang a gilt mirror above the sink or stove, or place it on a shelf or the wall and watch as the room comes together.
Image source: @james_coviello
How do you feel about antique gilt mirrors? Do you have one of these sophisticated beauties in your home or are you looking to adopt one soon?