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Home Design with Kevin Sharkey

Mirror, Mirror On The...

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Anyone who reads my blog on a regular basis and followed my apartment renovation knows that I love to use mirrors to bring in light and to add interest to a space.  The proof is in the many places I have installed mirrors throughout the apartment.

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The mirror that started it all.  I worked with Desiron (desiron.com) to create this custom Klar floor mirror that I had mounted on the wall outside my closet.   I loved it so much that I decided to have more made for other areas in the apartment.  You can see my blue painter's tape outline in the background for the one I wanted above by my desk.

1 The mirror that started it all. I worked with Desiron (desiron.com) to create this custom Klar floor mirror that I had mounted on the wall outside my closet. I loved it so much that I decided to have more made for other areas in the apartment. You can see my blue painter's tape outline in the background for the one I wanted above by my desk.

Inside the closet, in the corners on each side, I had Junior from Narcissus Mirror and Glass install strips of mirror to open up the space and give the feeling that it goes on forever.

2 Inside the closet, in the corners on each side, I had Junior from Narcissus Mirror and Glass install strips of mirror to open up the space and give the feeling that it goes on forever.

I also mirrored the back of the lowest shelves on each side of the closet.  They bring so much extra light to the space.

3 I also mirrored the back of the lowest shelves on each side of the closet. They bring so much extra light to the space.

Another custom size Klar floor mirror from Desiron in my dining room.  Just beautiful.

4 Another custom size Klar floor mirror from Desiron in my dining room. Just beautiful.

The finished product.  What was once a tape outline is now a reality.  I love how it reflects the river outside.

5 The finished product. What was once a tape outline is now a reality. I love how it reflects the river outside.

I did a series of custom Klar floor mirrors above and below the wall mounted cabinet in my living room.

6 I did a series of custom Klar floor mirrors above and below the wall mounted cabinet in my living room.

The mirrors in this tear sheet, space designed by Karl Lagerfeld and shot by Francois Baudot, were my inspiration for the living room mirrors.

7 The mirrors in this tear sheet, space designed by Karl Lagerfeld and shot by Francois Baudot, were my inspiration for the living room mirrors.

In my powder room, I decided to remove the standard, installed medicine cabinet and replace it will a floor to ceiling mirror behind the sink.

8 In my powder room, I decided to remove the standard, installed medicine cabinet and replace it will a floor to ceiling mirror behind the sink.

In my main bathroom, mirror installed under the sink and below the shelf helps to brighten up the space and dark floor.

9 In my main bathroom, mirror installed under the sink and below the shelf helps to brighten up the space and dark floor.

Another great trick is to back the inside of a medicine cabinet with mirror.  It's an easy project with a big impact.

10 Another great trick is to back the inside of a medicine cabinet with mirror. It's an easy project with a big impact.

I did the same in my bath supply cabinet.

11 I did the same in my bath supply cabinet.

Even utilitarian spaces can benefit from mirror.  The dark closet where my washer and dryer are located is now a bright workspace.

12 Even utilitarian spaces can benefit from mirror. The dark closet where my washer and dryer are located is now a bright workspace.

I needed a smaller size mirror for my entryway to fit the space between the sconce and floating shelf and found a great option with the Infinity mirror from Room & Board (roomandboard.com)

13 I needed a smaller size mirror for my entryway to fit the space between the sconce and floating shelf and found a great option with the Infinity mirror from Room & Board (roomandboard.com)

A while back, I was in my office looking through a book on Jacques Émile Rhulmann, one of the most celebrated Art Deco interior and furniture designers of the twentieth century.  An image in the book really caught my eye and got me thinking about a new project for my apartment.  The image shows a indoor pool.  The water is so still and reflective that I thought it was actually mirror installed on the floor until I read the photo's caption.

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This is the image from the Florence Camard book, Ruhlmann, that got me thinking about installing mirror in the cove ceiling in my living room.

1 This is the image from the Florence Camard book, Ruhlmann, that got me thinking about installing mirror in the cove ceiling in my living room.

For some time now, I've been trying to think of something interesting that I could do in that space.  What about installing mirror there?  I contacted Junior, my friend at Narcissus Mirror and Glass, to come down to the apartment and talk about my idea and take some inital measurements.  A few questions came up during the visit.  Would the mirror reflect into the open space between the cove and ceiling?  If so, that wouldn't too be pretty.  Was there lighting originally installed in the cove?  That's a question I have for my contractor, Bob Tobin of BC Interiors, Ltd.  If there is wiring for lighting up there, it would be great to reconnect it to illuminate the ceiling.

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The cove ceiling in my living room.  It would be a great opportunity to do something really interesting in this space.

1 The cove ceiling in my living room. It would be a great opportunity to do something really interesting in this space.

This is the view from the front windows.  As you can see, it's a substantially sized space.

2 This is the view from the front windows. As you can see, it's a substantially sized space.

Another angle.  Whatever I decide to do is really going to change the look of the space.

3 Another angle. Whatever I decide to do is really going to change the look of the space.

I scheduled a visit with Junior to come in and have a look at the ceiling.

4 I scheduled a visit with Junior to come in and have a look at the ceiling.

One great point that he brought up was that if there is mirror on the ceiling, it would reflect whatever appeared in the cove.

5 One great point that he brought up was that if there is mirror on the ceiling, it would reflect whatever appeared in the cove.

I had to get up and see for myself what was in there.  Definitely not so pretty in there.

6 I had to get up and see for myself what was in there. Definitely not so pretty in there.

During my renovation, I think I remember that there may have been lighting that was installed in the cove but I'm not sure.  I need to ask Bob, my contractor.

7 During my renovation, I think I remember that there may have been lighting that was installed in the cove but I'm not sure. I need to ask Bob, my contractor.

A flashback of my entry hall.  The hall has certainly come a long way since this picture was taken.  This was the lighting that existed.  I hoping that's  the case for the cove in the living room.

8 A flashback of my entry hall. The hall has certainly come a long way since this picture was taken. This was the lighting that existed. I hoping that's the case for the cove in the living room.

Junior begins taking measurements to get an idea of the size of the space.

9 Junior begins taking measurements to get an idea of the size of the space.

Junior did a quick sketch of the space.

10 Junior did a quick sketch of the space.

Another important point to consider is that any irregularity in the space where the ceiling meets the wall will be highlighted once the mirror is in place.  Maybe the mirror is not the best option.   We'll see.

11 Another important point to consider is that any irregularity in the space where the ceiling meets the wall will be highlighted once the mirror is in place. Maybe the mirror is not the best option. We'll see.

In additional to installing mirror in the cove, what other options do I have?  We recently launched a new line of specialty paint finishes at The Home Depot.  One of the finishes is called Precious Metals and has a beautiful decorative sheen.  That could be really beautiful painted in the space .  I am also researching some metallic and reflective wallpapers that could also be another great option.

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This is the palette from our new specialty finishes project paint at Home Depot.  Painting the ceiling in either Mirror Glass or Tin would be a good solution.  It would add a beautiful sheen to the space without reflecting everything like the mirror will.

1 This is the palette from our new specialty finishes project paint at Home Depot. Painting the ceiling in either Mirror Glass or Tin would be a good solution. It would add a beautiful sheen to the space without reflecting everything like the mirror will.

So, what do you think?  I would love to hear your thoughts on what you think I should do?  Please comment and stay tuned in the coming weeks to see what I decide to do in the space.

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Comments (14)

  • Well....in my humble opinion: You have enough mirror in your space; it could become over-done. Nevermind the reflection of the cove mess, I don't think that reflecting the floor will be attractive, either. I like the 'Precious Metals' paints. I think that the use of Ice Floe will give the ceiling a look of sky, dissolving the ceiling into open atmosphere. That said, the ceiling surface must be as smooth as glass, or the imperfections will ruin the effect.

  • Hi. Mirrors are great but the dreaded cleaning of them comes with them. What products and techniques do you recommend? Thanks.

  • I would recommend painting first and living with it for a while. It may be just the touch you are looking for. If it is not dramatic enough and everything is a go for adding a mirrow you can do it then. Also, you could buy a couple of cheap square mirrors from Home Depot. Tape them onto the ceiling and see how that feels.

  • All of your mirrors are beyond beautiful but all I could think of --being OCD myself-was keeping them clean and the horror of walking around in the day light seeing any smudge or streak! So I say go with the "Precious Metals" paint. It kind of adds a new dimension that you do not yet have. Also wait until little Jude is walking around touching all those mirrors--ha ha I cant wait :)

  • Hi Kevin-
    Another option to get the sheen you're looking for is silver leaf paper. I think it's a nice alternative to the metallic paint because then you'd get a bit of texture (in terms of the lines that the paper would create as it's applied sheet by sheet). Love all your ideas for the ceiling, though and your work in general.
    Love your apartment...it's beautiful. Such a departure from your more traditional previous apartment. (By the way, do you ever miss the more traditional decorating that you had before?) Good luck with your final ceiling decision!

  • P.S. What do the different symbols (i.e. stars, crescent moons, circles, etc.)on the metallic paint chips mean?

  • Your roof looks almost like a frame! It's simply begging for something in the middle. I have seen mirrors been succelfully installed in roofs - but that was multiple smaller, antique finished ones set in a "boxed roof" if you know what I mean. They didn't reflect that much.
    For your roof I would prefer the metallic paint you considered. And you probably don't want this in your minimalist appartment - but I love a nice painting in a roof. Or perhaps a patterned textile? Something muted, that would still add a contrast without beeing to obvious.

  • The Precious Metals paint sounds like a wonderful option. That would be my choice. Kevin, I love love love your blog and MSL articles about your apartment. I've gotten so much inspiration from you in rehabbing my own apartment. Thank you and please keep it coming.

  • Kevin, love the precious metal idea. Ceiling mirrors remind me of the nasty old "over the bed" decor.

  • I actually didn't notice any mirrors at first. I couldn't get past the meticulously arranged closet. Jealous! I assume the 80's style mirrored bi-fold closet doors would not be an appropriate option? Ha. I do like the metallic paints.

  • I think a mirror may be over the top. Plus, isn't it heavy? Also, harder to change than paint.

  • No matter how well installed, I would have constant anxiety that the mirror would fall from the ceiling. When you first bleached the wenge wood floors I was kind of freaked out, as in OMG you'll ruin the floors. That said, the result is beautiful and fits perfectly with your design aesthetic. Consequently I say go with your instincts for the cove ceiling.

  • Kevin,
    Great blog.
    I think I agree with the majority here...the paint offers so many delicious options. I'm thinking that a mirror up there could end up being a case of "be careful what you wish for..." some things just don't need to be reflected. Like hidden lighting hardware ...or.... some friends with never-before-seen, um, receding hair areas.... might begin to decline your party invitations!.....
    Can't wait to see your choice!

  • Love the use of mirrors to bring light and space to a room. Your dining room looks like it could go on forever!

    Thanks,

    Simon @ Evo Cleaning

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