Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?
How many perfectly pretty rooms have you seen? Every design website, every lifestyle magazine, TV show, and store window display shows us how “pretty” a room can be. But out of all of those pretty rooms you’ve seen, how many do you “remember”?
That’s because “pretty” is pretty forgettable.
One of the most difficult parts of designing a room is editing. This is hard to do when the world is so full of beautiful things that you’d like to use.
But the result of having too much “pretty” in a room is that the room loses its focal point and the eye has a hard time trying to find somewhere to rest. Without a focal point around which to build a lasting memory, the mind just forgets the entire experience.
Recently, a neighbor was downsizing to a smaller home and gifted us with a very ornate gilded mirror. We placed it above the fireplace. But in a setting as formal as the Beekman’s living room, a gilded mirror was just a little too—expected.
We had long-admired the Poldo Como chest (pictured left) that we first glimpsed at the Conran Shop. The tongue-in-cheek color scheme seemed to both poke-fun-at and revere the Rococo curves of the furniture.
Wit, wisdom, form and function are what make truly great design.
The memory of this piece of furniture was so vivid that it could still serve as inspiration for the project at hand over four years after we first laid eyes on it.
We first gently cleaned the mirror’s frame with soap and water to remove the years’ worth of dusty build-up from the crevices. Then a genius product called QuickWood (which Brent’s grandmother discovered) was used to re-create any part of the plasterwork that had not survived the century.
Armed with two cans of semi-gloss paint, a quart of polyurethane, and a paint sprayer, we dutifully created layer upon layer of lacquered drama.
The mirror now picks up the “orange peel” fabric of the alcove chairs and the coloration of the bricks of the fireplace to create a focal point to the room that guests will not soon forget.