As the sun’s glory fades and dips lower in the autumn skies it sheds a most beautiful light into our Hampton’s homes; clear and sparkling, into every forgotten nook and cranny so far unseen in the dazzling brilliance of the summer sun. Time to call the window cleaner and spruce things up a little before the nights draw in and the smell of wood smoke hangs in the evening air.
The changing light in these past few weeks brought on a mirror cleaning frenzy in my home and made me remember how important a decorating feature they are in any space. (Always try to clean mirrors and glass when the moon is waning and the air is light and warm, best of all when the moon is in a water sign, but figuring that out might prove difficult!)
Mirrors in entrance halls, big or small, are welcoming and set the tone for the home overall. They also allow the occupants a quick last look before they face the outside world. The mirror above, framed by a warm, carved wood frame serves to anchor the occasional table below and lets visitors understand they are entering a cozy but elegant home with a period feel. Be very aware that the placing of mirrors must take into account what it is they reflect. Here a charming stained glass, mullioned window can be seen in its reflection as well as the graceful arch.
As with the hallway table, the mahogany dresser in the soft green guest bedroom is grounded and offset by the simple addition of a feminine, Venetian style mirror. All of a sudden the arrangement makes sense and has rhythm. Here, again, functionality also plays an important part for the guests.
One of my favorite mirrors is a heavy, gold leafed glossy black one which sits over a sideboard in the dining room. It comes into its own during the Holidays and at dinner parties when candles, crystal, silver and low lighting add to its drama and grandeur. Rescued from a consignment store when it was bone colored with silver highlights and quite insipid, it came to life after a few coats of black paint and the easy application of a hand rubbed gold leaf from a local framer.
Large mirrors are excellent in small spaces as they seemingly push out the walls to give the illusion of a larger area. You look through and beyond the wall instead of being brought to an abrupt halt. Pictures perform a similar function and always prevent walls from closing in but mirrors go further by reflecting light and offering breathing space.
A room without mirrors is like a house with no windows…somehow blind. A key element to all my work with homes is to bring in the light in as many ways possible which means reflective surfaces abound. They give rooms vitality and are uplifting to the occupants, which is what it’s all about. Happy, harmonious Hamptons homes make for happy, harmonious citizens living productive lives. We like that.
Helen Lind is an interior decorator, organizer and home stager working in Long Island and Manhattan. You can contact her at (516) 922-3518 for a proposal or consultation, or visit her www.englishivyinteriors.com.