The Tribune - Spectrum

, June 9, 2002

Home Space

Let the home mirror your creativity
Chetna Banerjee

HOT summer months induce one to spend a major part of the day indoors, away from the soaring temperatures outdoors. And if the interiors, instead of appearing cramped and restrictive, give the feeling of openness it feels so much more comfortable and cooler. One ploy to enhance or create this feeling of openness inside a house, howsoever small it may be, is to strategically place mirrors in a way as to create the illusion of space and depth.

Framed hues:
Framed hues: A huge mirror not only enhances space in a room but also creates a vibrant interplay of light and colours

Undertake an unusual activity this weekend—that of rearranging or installing mirrors in your home in a way as to highlight the plus points and camouflage the negatiive features. Play magic with mirrors and see the dramatic effect they have in making your humble or not-so humble abode look roomier. And be in no doubt, mirrors may actually change your point of view!

So, here’s to hunting out any fancy mirrors that you were gifted and you stacked away for lack of use or randomly hung up on some obscure wall. And if you don’t already have decorative mirrors lying around, scout around for some massive ones in unusual shapes or with interesting frames and use a Sunday afternoon to give your home an ambience that literally reflects your creativity and imagination power.


Versatile accessory

The interesting thing about this versatile accessory is that you can experiment with it in practically all rooms of your house, from the living room to the kitchen. Here’s how:

  • Use large mirrors to add a sense of space and light to a small or congested drawing or dining room. Sometimes a dividing door between these two rooms is not frequently used. Instead of hanging a curtain over it or leaving it shut as it is, affix a long mirror on it. This will not only give depth to the room but turn this into an interesting focal point.

  • Some houses have sliding doors to partition the formal zone from the informal, family area. Hanging huge mirrors on these sliding doors can create the illusion of space yet retain the sense of continuity between the divided rooms.

Glass apart

  • Stained glass is the in thing these days. If you use a huge mirror with eye-catching stained glass painting on it in a dark, cramped living room, it will not only add height and architectural drama, but also lend a touch of elegance and uniqueness to your interior.

  • Hang a pier mirror, also called a fisheye mirror, between windows to give a room added depth.

Small pier mirrors placed between windows were used by 18th-century French designers to visually minimise massive walls.

  • If your prized coffee table is badly scratched or the edges have chipped off and you don’t have the heart to discard it, pause and reflect. Cover the tabletop with a mirror of the same dimension and viola! it will add a new view to the decor. Besides cleverly covering the damaged portion of a favourite table, a mirror saves one the expense of repairing or refinishing the piece of furniture.

  • Using a mirror on the ceiling of a foyer creates the illusion of a skylight. A glass ceiling enhances the feeling of depth.

  • Use movable mirrors to alter your view . A freestanding mirror at your writing desk or computer table can be adjusted to give a more pleasing view.

  • When arranging a group of mirrors on a wall, begin with the largest, add a smaller mirror of similar shape, and end with a mirror of unusual shape—such as a sun mirror. Mixing shapes and sizes adds interest. Space the mirrors evenly to create a cohesive grouping.

Food for reflection

  • Most people use highly ornate or elaborately carved wooden screens eithher as a style statement or as room dividers. Instead, if a glass-faceted screen is used, it will not only add light but a touch of class to your interior. If you have a split level house, mirrors can diffuse the darkness in a lower-level dining room.

  • And you can carry the magic of mirrors right up to the dining table. Instead of replacing an old-fashioned, unwanted dining table, get a mirror fitted on its wooden top to create a variety of light-catching effects. It will give you enough food for thought and reflection!

Shelves with a view

  • Install mirrors on the ceilings of kitchen cabinets to help you see what's on the top shelf.

  • An interesting idea is to line the wall between your kitchen shelves and the working slab with mirror instead of tiles. This will make a kitchen look larger. Since this can be a costly affair, another variation of this option is to use a sprinkling of tiny mirrors in between the tiles in place of those painted, decorative tiles that are used in most designer kitchens these days.

  • Consider decorating with mirrors in the kitchen. A mirror with a wrought iron frame can serve a dual purpose in a kitchen—that of enhancing the sense of space while the frame can be used to hang knick-knacks like oven gloves, kitchen napkins, notepads for shopping lists, etc.

Mirrors offer possibilities unlimited and you can use them to mirror your personality and tastes. Happy reflecting!

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