Has ever happened to you
to see people in the street as if they had just woke up, didn’t have time to go
through the daily ablutions and catapulted themselves into a new day? It has
happened to me. I think those people are afraid of mirrors and the revelation
they could experience if they see their image reflected through the
Fashion, always aiming to
new experiences, has determined the style of an era, its colors, shapes and
forms, sometimes through the invention of many accessories of minor importance.
Some of the accessories considered “amusements”, were in high demand, highly
paid and sometimes reputed indispensable.
All those secondary
accessories that fashion has created through the centuries, we still find them
attractive today and have transferred them into our homes. Mirror is one those
(Photo right: The book “Le Bon Genre" was published 1817 .
Vyvyan Holland, Hand Coloured Fashion Plates 1770 to 1899, p. 51)
From the 12th century to
17th century mirrors took a stage in women fashion. With the invention of the
glass soon followed the invention of mirrors too. By applying a heavy coat of
aluminum or silver to the backside of one sheet of flat plate glass, the
reflective surface was invented.
The most preferred
mirrors were the hand mirrors and the pocket mirrors. Women carried mirrors on
gold chain as necklaces, or tied to their waist and even attached to the middle
of their hand fans. Made of highly decorative materials as ivory, or
tortoise-shell frames, embellished with engravings on silver with a gold tone,
mirrors taught women the art of vanity and coquetry.
Looking at oneself in the
mirror became such an important practice of vanity that mirrors became larger,
oversized and made to hung on walls to get the full effect of the entire body.
And that is how kings and queens, castles and aristocratic homes decorated at
least one of the many rooms as the “Room of Mirrors” generally used for grand
gala and dancing halls delighting us with their beauty to these days.
(Photo: Genova Royal Palace Museum -Museo di Palazzo Reale on TripAdvisor)
Many artistic craft shops
were born through the centuries to keep up with the demand of several fashion
accessories, some of which have unfortunately disappeared to give way to mass
In Italy it is very
common to hear people since a young age speaking of beauty: “bello” – “che
bello” – “come e’ bello” – “che bellezza” – “che finezza” – all adjectives that
show how appreciative people are about beauty or fine things and how much they
like to fill their own life with these objects.
The purpose of mirrors is
to reflect and to double any image.
They should be placed
anywhere they can reflect and double the beauty, therefore carefully think of
their placement when you hang mirrors on the walls. If placed in a corner they
make the opposite corner look larger, especially if in the opposite corner
there is a light source nearby, the lighting reflected in the mirror will
illuminate the room in such a way that the space will appear visually larger.
As a designer, I can
create the unexpected by placing mirrors in strategic places and I am not
afraid of placing them in uncommon areas. By grouping many together, regardless
of shapes and forms, I can recreate the large window effect in rooms with only
one small window, thus reflecting the natural light coming from that one
(Photo right: http://foter.com/explore/trestle-console-table)
To turn the area under a
staircase into a lively area, I can place mirrors with lighting shining into
with the aids of plants disguising the fixtures.
In the summer time, when the
fire is off, a fireplace is beautiful with a mirror insert and lights inside.
The fireplace will no longer be a black hole, but a transformed tri-dimensional
Tall mirrors placed
vertically on the walls can also reflect heat. Sun reflected in mirrors
produces heat and then fire, be careful not to burn the house down.
Composition of mirror
with frames of all shapes, sizes and color look stunning together and they are
The “looking-glass” will
tell the truth about ourselves. Before I speak to an audience, I go to my
favorite mirror and question it. I see how I look, what aspect of myself to
improve, what gestures to do or not to do.
(Photo left: Venetian mirrors from Wisteria)
Let the looking-glass be
your friend, it will keep all your secrets and it will tell you all your
mistakes, then it is up to you to fix them.
In most cultures there is
a common belief that when breaking a mirror, seven years of bad luck await for
you and if you believe, it will happen.
Let me help you with all
your decorating or remodeling dilemmas. Together we can go further and my
designing adventure can continue on. Love to hear your comments. Ciao,
My Video on Affluent Living
Copyright © 2010 Valentina
Cirasola, All Rights Reserved
Valentina Cirasola, is a trained designer and =owner of Valentina Interior & Designs in business since 1990. She works on consultation and
produces design concepts for remodeling and new home designs for interiors and exteriors. She also provides consultation on décor restyling and
home fashion. Valentina has been featured in Italy on: “Vogue” magazine and many
prominent publications in California. She also has made three appearances on T.V.
Comcast Channel 15.