reflections of light

freestanding mirrors
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freestanding mirrors
mirror in a shimmery frame
mirror with delicate frame
multi panel mirror

by Catherine Adams

Artful mirrors chase away winter gloom

Mirrors started out as a utilitarian way to see and groom ourselves, hanging above bathroom sinks, full length upon bedroom walls, or in entryways for that quick doublecheck before leaving the house.

“Today, mirrors are a designer’s best friend,” says Patti Stivers of Stivers & Smith Interiors in Santa Fe. “It is astounding how the addition of mirrors can transform a space and there’s a myriad of ways that mirrors can be used.”

Mirrors enliven a space by redirecting light and inviting you in. They can move you, literally, through their powers of reflection, enticing you to meander through the house. But how and where mirrors are used makes all the difference and deserves thoughtful consideration. Their reflective powers are wasted when merely echoing a white wall or the tangled cords behind a television.

Placement is key
“You don’t just stick a mirror on the wall to fill an empty space,” says Dana Stringer of Dana Stringer Interiors in Albuquerque. “It’s important to consider what the mirror is reflecting. Especially when there’s a million-dollar view outside!”

“Sometimes I stand a huge mirror right on the floor where it takes
center stage.”
— Catherine Gammon

A mirror can also serve as a focal point, drawing the eye to itself, establishing a sense of order. “Sometimes I stand a huge mirror right on the floor where it takes center stage,” says Catherine Gammon of Catherine’s Custom Interiors in Santa Fe. In an open floor plan, this can delineate a distinction. “By reflecting the living room furniture, it visually reinforces that this room is the living room.”

A matter of style
Mirrors can also reflect personal and regional styles by the nature of their frames—a driftwood frame for the beach house, a barnwood frame for the ranch house, a Victorian frame for the country house, a minimalistic frame for the penthouse. Territorial and Southwestern styles are popular around New Mexico, so Artesanos Imports Co. of Santa Fe features mirrors framed in copper, pewter, tile and tin.

“All of our mirrors are handmade and one-of-a-kind,” says Fernando Gomez, who now owns Artesanos, the family business. “We can also customize a mirror if you see one you like but it’s the wrong size. If you couple a mirror with a matching light fixture, like in the bathroom, it changes the whole room. It’s a cost-effective way to make a big difference.”

Brightening up winter
Mirrors can brighten up the winter months by infusing shorter days with more light, especially when candles, lamps, and fireplaces, flicker and glow within their reflection. Should cabin fever start to set in, mirrors can lend a sense of depth to small spaces. People even say they add energy.

“In Feng Shui we use mirrors as they embody the element of water, which is formless and takes the shape of the container it is in, and they invite energy into your space,” Stivers says. When someone asked her, as an interior designer, what element she’d like to be in a room, she said: “An old, beautiful, vintage mirror hung in a fabulous place that has been taking in and reflecting everything in that space for many years—oh, what stories I could tell!”

Artesanos Imports Co.

Catherine’s Custom Interiors

Dana Stringer Interiors

Stivers & Smith Interiors