The word mirror originates from the Latin ‘mirari’ and this translates as ‘to look in wonder/awe/admiration’. Mirrors existed as far back as the Stone Age when obsidian was polished to create a reflective surface. Later, Ancient Egyptians flattened sheets of metal (bronze, copper, silver, etc.) and polished them to create a reflective material.
Fast forward to the year 1835 and German chemist, Justus Freiherr von Liebig first developed a technique for depositing silver on the rear surface of glass. He refined this technique in 1856 and and it became widely adopted. The process has largely remained the same until the modern day for hand-silvered glass.
The industrialisation of the glass industry over the last century, and the adaption of the silvering process for mass production, has made it possible for larger panels to be created – increasing both availability and affordability. This has seen the practical uses of mirror increase. No longer an exclusive luxury product, mirror is commonly used in technology, art, medicine, optics and of course style.
Within interior design, mirror serves a variety of purposes:
Mirror as a Focal Point
Our geometric mirror project for the Brooklands Hotel not only gave a contemporary feel to the hotel but allowed the mood to change throughout the day. In daylight the antique and bronzed mirrored feature wall created a bright and open space. This welcomed guests into the hotel – as a modern day art piece and most definitely a focal point.
Throughout the day, the mirrored feature changed with the light. Come night time – when guests are heading out or even heading in – the mood changes and lights are dimmed. The mirrored glass amplifies the mood by reflecting the flicker of the candle light and the low glow of the artificial lighting.
Another example of mirrored focal features is the Majlis Wall of a Saudi Royal palace created by Daedalian Glass Studios. This project involved the design and manufacture of four tonnes of highly decorated glass. After a sectional build at our studios, this was shipped to the Kingdom and fixed on-site to a 40m/sq wall.
Mirror to Add Space
Above, the end section of a subterranean swimming pool room has been partitioned off to create a gym area. To create these partitions, Daedalian Glass Studios using a semi-opaque laminated sheer fabric. In this compact area, floor-to-ceiling mirrors situated along the main wall create the illusion of extra space. Additionally, this allows the user to view the progress of their health routine.
Mirror to Channel Light in to Enclosed Spaces
Mirror is used to transform dark, dull spaces and brighten them up. This decorative technique creates reflections and opens up a space by acting as a light source. In the above project, a penthouse bathroom in Kensington, London was limited in natural light. Mirrored surfaces set within a stainless-steel framework were utilised, reflecting light sources and illuminating the area further.
Another example of where Daedalian Glass Studios used mirror to increase light in an enclosed space is within our Secretcape Niche. This installation of glass pieces within the reception of Design Studio, Secretcape’s London headquarters was brightened up by the use of antique mirror as wall cladding. This both lightened the dark niches and allowed a 360 degree sight of the samples to be viewed.
Mirrors as Windows
Trompe l’oeil is an art technique whereby imagery is used to create an optical illusion and translates from French as ‘deceive the eye’. Mirrors can be used to deceive the eye by creating the impression of windows looking into another room. In the above image, Trompe l’oeil is created by mirrors supplied Daedalian Glass Studios to the Mandrake Hotel, London.
Mirror is so much more than the thing you place above the sink or in the hallway to check your reflection before leaving the house. Its uses are numerous and so is its ability to transform an interior design project. Click here to browse a selection of mirrored surface designs created by Daedalian Glass Studios.