5.01.2009

Mirror, Mirror...

In theory, mirrored furniture is a brilliant idea- it's very glamorous and it creates some wonderful lighting effects.

The Horchow "Claudia" Chest is a shining example.

Beautiful, yes- but let us reflect upon the upon the inevitable consequences.  Can you imagine frantically rushing around your house with windex on fingerprint patrol?  Hiring a white-gloved mirror maintenance staff?  Tragically succumbing to a nervous breakdown after seeing your own face reflected in a smudgy chest of drawers?!?  The horror.

So, you know, being totally realistic... it's just not a practical option for those of us who want to hold onto our sanity.

Here's how I'd capitalize on the best qualities of mirrored furniture AND dress up this weeks' fantastic Craig's List Find.

A little more personality, no?

To start with, I'd darken the wood to a deep espresso with a glossy finish.  (Truthfully, I'd probably paint it black, but I know there'd be an outcry from all of you wood purists out there.  No solid cherry was harmed in the making of this completely imaginary make-over!)  Of course, this is all a matter of taste- this look would work well with any wood tone or paint color.  Bright white... pale yellow... distressed pale green or gray...

Next, I'd have a handy friend with power tools remove the inner panels from each of the doors (my DIY experience does not cover sharp objects).  Replace them with fitted mirrors under pre-woven cane (painted or stained to match the wood).  This will add a lot of sparkle and textural interest on this big piece.  Plus, since the mirror is under the caning, it's unlikely to get smeary!

To finish it off, replace the dull knobs with some more attractive hardware.  I love the flash of gold on these ebonized pendant pulls from House of Antique Hardware.

I think the result is a piece of furniture that can become a visual focal point in any room.  I know that those of us with small budgets tend to buy small pieces- so there's something to be said for bulking up our anemic decor!  We also need to escape the mindset that a big piece is a burden.  An armoire is actually a very flexible item- it can hide ugly electronics, house clothing or linens, adapt and become an enclosed office... 

For some delicious armoire eye-candy, check out this post by the Material Girls.  I think we're definitely on the same page!

4 Have Spoken.:

Ann said...

I like the idea of having mirror under caning (although I'd probably personally choose wirework) quite a lot, actually! I am NOwhere near neat enough to keep mirrors nice, but protecting them from myself would be a fantastic idea.

Anonymous said...

I love it! Completely inspiring; makes me want to re-imagine my place. You have such an incredible eye for color, and think through every detail. Keep posting and I'll keep reading!
-Rosie

ShockTheBourgeois said...

Ann- Wirework is an excellent idea! Even a perforated metal would be neat. I've been holding onto a catalogue from McNichols forever now, wondering how I could use some of their products in a decorative fashion... I'll admit though, the woven cane is fairly predominant theme in my apartment!

Rosie- You are much too kind. People will think I bribed you to say that!

Lori W said...

Awesome idea - I'd never thought of anything like that. I need a TV armoire (I'd like to cover the TV) for my family room. I think it needs to be fairly large, and I was thinking about colored distressed paint - shaker style. This treatment gives me second thoughts...