A Bigger Mirror? - Juniper Home

A Bigger Mirror?

Living Room

While I really love the vintage scrolly mirror, I’m feeling the dimensions are not right for above the sofa in our living room (formally the fireplace nook). I was thinking something a tad bit wider, and about a foot taller. And I wanted something with an interesting frame – super modern? or carved and crusty with age? All of that sounded good to me.

The issue is really large antique mirrors cost (often) thousands, so I’ve had a hard time finding something in the right dimensions that is also reasonably affordable. I found this mirror (supposedly from India?) on Craigslist for only $150. It’s huge, at 60″x48″ – much closer to the ideal dimensions.

I did end up buying last night and it was so cool to see the seller’s apartment – he lived in this amazing old luxury building in Washington Heights. And get this – he had never lived in another apartment his entire life! His parents moved into it rent-controlled and passed the lease on to him and his wife. Can you imagine paying practically nothing for a huge apartment? They had really amazing furniture that had this well-traveled vibe. Loved it all.

So, now I am on the fence about maybe painting or even gilding the mirror. I like the gold element that the scrolly mirror brought to the room, but this frame might be too heavy for an all-gold look. I thought a matte mid-tone gray would be pretty too – like a milk paint? And truthfully, after bringing the mirror inside today, I don’t mind the wood finish left as is. I need to switch the wire around so it can be hung vertically and then I’ll take a photo to share in the space. (keep an eye out for it on instagram – @jennykomenda)

What’s your vote? Paint? Gold leaf? Keep it as is?

PS My heart’s set on putting the scrolly mirror in another room, so I’m really hoping I can make this new carved mirror work in the living room. :)

What did you think?
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138 thoughts on “A Bigger Mirror?

  1. I would do the simple molding around the mirror gold leaf andleave the carved stuff wood. You get the sparkle, but also the authenticity of a craved piece. Great find!

    Heather
    loveyourspace.blogspot.com

  2. I very much think that wood is too beautiful to cover up. Not everything needs a good coat of paint – although you have taught me how great 90% of the stuff in my home would look with a coat of paint! :)

  3. I like the idea of gold leaf the side edge and maybe a bit if the frame just around the glassglass. it is beautiful wood and I am still thinking about how much I love your bookcases!

  4. Hi,
    I have a mirror like that, only a bit smaller, and only the inner part of the frame, the narrow straight part, is gold leaf. I think it works really well… just a thought. ;)

  5. I vote for dry-brushing the frame in a chalky off-white, letting the brown finish peak through as you see fit. Then you can see if you want to add some gold highlights, like just on the molding immediately surrounding the mirror glass, or just the center fans on each side, or just the corner scrolls. In any case, I think dry-brushing, including the gold, if used, will be better than applying it in a solid mass, which only looks good when the substrate is dead perfect, which is not the case with this hand-carved Indian mirror frame. I think the dry-brushing (or painting with thinned paint and then wiping off on the high points) will give the frame an ethereal effect.

  6. Ooooo, what an amazing find! Isn't it fun when you buy something from a stranger and have the feeling that they care about the piece you're buying? like they're relieved to see it's going to a good home. :) I'm so excited to see the mirror in its new spot!

  7. don't paint, that's indian rosewood and handcarved (especially if it's old) having seen craftsman at work it's amazing to see such a process, you can pass it on to your kids :)

  8. don't paint, that's indian rosewood and handcarved (especially if it's old) having seen craftsman at work it's amazing to see such a process, you can pass it on to your kids :)

  9. Definitely leave it! If anything, I'd paint only the inner rim. Most of the character is in the wood finish and texture. I think it'd lose a lot painted, and become "just another" scroll-y mirror.

  10. Definitely leave it! If anything, I'd paint only the inner rim. Most of the character is in the wood finish and texture. I think it'd lose a lot painted, and become "just another" scroll-y mirror.

  11. I think the milk paint is a good idea. I think it's too heavy for your look as is…and gold would be too over the top, in my opinion. You always get it right, Jenny. You don't need us :)

  12. Definitely as is. So pretty! And with all the painted and colorful surfaces in your room, a nice natural wood will be so warm and friendly.

  13. Pull the bright red from the carpet or black from the shelving trim. A distressed black with the red showing from underneath would work well. Gold would not work with the 'weight' of the frame and would make it cheap looking. Overall the unpainted wood would work best though.

  14. Paint it saffron or marigold! Otherwise keep the wood. I like a warm tone on that wall to balance the white & black of the bookshelves and the minty tones of the sofa. Post a pic when you decide!

  15. Paint it saffron or marigold! Otherwise keep the wood. I like a warm tone on that wall to balance the white & black of the bookshelves and the minty tones of the sofa. Post a pic when you decide!

  16. I like the mirror but somewhere else (like a hallway entrance.) The large brass mirror with the exposed screws from Rest Hardware would look great and provides big scale.

  17. I like the mirror but somewhere else (like a hallway entrance.) The large brass mirror with the exposed screws from Rest Hardware would look great and provides big scale.

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