Mirrors are known to date back to at least around 5900 – 6000BC. Archaeological digs in Çatal Hüyük, modern day Turkey have found highly polished obsidian – a volcanic stone – in the graves of women that date back to this time period. Other stone-age techniques for creating mirrors include utilising flat pools of water and polishing various stone surfaces. The technique for creating mirrored surfaces has evolved over time. These evolutions include mankind developing the ability to work copper, then bronze, and later to create small glass mirrors backed with lead, tin, and antimony.
Fast forward nearly two millennia to 1835. Justus von Liebig developed a technique for depositing silver on the rear surface of glass—creating high-quality optical mirrors. This process (once refined) formed the basis of modern mirror making. It is also the reason mirrored glass is still commonly referred to as silvered glass (even when silver is not always used).
Moving beyond its use as a looking glass, mirror (or silvered glass) is a popular interior design element. This is due to the range of benefits it provides. It is important to consider what you want the mirror to do and then choose the right spot to place it. Here are some examples of how interior designers use mirror within their projects:
Mirrors as a statement design feature
A large central mirror or mirrored artwork has a large visual impact. This geometric clear, bronze, and sandblasted mirror design was created for the Brooklands Hotel by Daedalian Glass Studios. It creates an element of interest and dominates the room it is placed in – an area that would otherwise be a relatively sterile waiting area.
Mirrors to amplify natural light
Mirrors are integrated into the exterior of the shower cubicle in this en-suite bathroom design. They serve the purpose of reflecting natural light around the corner of an L shaped room. Furthermore, they create a sense of space and natural light in an area where it would be otherwise lacking.
Mirrors that create a sense of space
For this project, Daedalian Glass Studios were commissioned to install a partition wall of laminated fabric. This separates the swimming pool from an area that would be used as a gym. In this new gym area, we also created and installed floor to ceiling mirrors. These make the small workout area feel double the size. This mirror technique is also popular in gyms because it allows the users to see the results of their hard work whilst working out!
Mirrors used as a decorative surface finish
Mirrored surfaces can also be used as a decorative finish. This image shows glass created by Daedalian Glass Studios for the Lanesborough Hotel, London. These glass beveled clustered pelmets, pilasters, and capitals were all been antique silvered by hand.
If you would like to view a selection of the silvered and mirrored glass finished created by Daedalian Glass Studios, visit our silvered glass samples page.