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 think leaving it alone is a great idea. You have so many painted and colorful pieces in the room now, the wood would be a nice place for a break, plus the frame is so pretty.

  2. I'm not usually a wood-grainy person but this is really beautiful as-is. I'd be afraid to cover it up with something regrettable and never be able to get it back to its current lustre.

  3. Jenny – I love your apt! The mirror is amazing. I, too, would leave it and live with it for a bit before painting it. Have you priced getting a large piece of mirror cut to fit so that the entire "panel" between the bookcases is mirrored? Might be a way to cover the essentially nonworking fireplace that could be removed easily when you move. Hope you left your name and number with the mirror guy in case he sells off more cool stuff.

  4. Leave, leave, leave! I agree that the gold may be too much since the frame is pretty wide and while painting it will be pretty, I'd be afraid that it would lose it's "Umph" and no longer be a focal point the way the wood is. My 2 cents :-)

    Speaking of CL…I searched yesterday and saw someone post a curb alert with a Campaign desk and dresser! Ugh and it was raining…I could die!

  5. I've been in tons of those kinds of apartments in Washington Heights. Some of them even have 2 kitchens and 2 entryways. And yes, my friends all have rent control too. They are going to die there.

    I don't know about painting it. So much work was put into carving the wood. If you paint it, you would have a horrible time stripping it in the future. Put it up on your wall for now with no paint and see how you feel about it in a couple of weeks. Same thing with your parson's table.

  6. If your coffee table or bookcases were wood, I'd say paint away, but I think the natural wood will be a good balance with all the other colors in there. Great find!

  7. I say leave the wood tone! But maybe gold leaf the inner part. I have a similar mirror (smaller) and have done this, it looks amazing.

  8. I actually quite like the wood! And you don't have a lot of other natural wood tones in your living room (that I can see) so I think it would make a great addition!

  9. gold! or something in a light color and glossy. it will help the light catch all of that carved detail and lighten the visual weight. that way it won't feel too ominous and heavy hanging above the sofa. can't wait to see what you do! you amaze me every time! so just follow your instincts.

  10. Jenny , I would love to see it left as is… I know not all people would agree with me about not painting it… But I think this comes from the northern part of India from a state called Uttar Pradesh where this type of carving is common. I would leave it unpainted just out of respect for e artisans who made this… I'm sure this is hand carved. I'm sorry if I'm offensive…. But I was just expressing my thoughts …

  11. Noooo more gray. Leave the wood tone or go for something bright. Love the other color accents in your house, I'm sure you'd find the perfect hue.

  12. You lucky duck! That is the mirror I wanted, but could only find a smaller version at Cost Plus in White. I think they still have it if you want to envision it painted…Now I have plans to make something to go behind it and give it the illusion of being big…

  13. You could always paint the milk paint gray and do some smatterings of gold leaf in places. I love when ornate carvings get accented with bits of burnished silver, gold, copper. . .

  14. DON'T PAINT IT! Ha, just my .02

    It's a lovely find, at least (as everyone else said), live with the natural wood for a while before deciding.

  15. definitely as is! If you paint it, it will look like some cheap-o you bought at world market or target.

    great find… and I am jealous of his apartment situation for sure, some people have all the luck! :)

  16. I would leave it as is. Love those beautiful warm wood tone which I think will contrast nicely, especially with the cool tones of the sofa!

  17. I've got a huge wood frame mirror hanging over my fireplace. Initially I thought that I would paint or stain it, but I ended up just rubbing it with dark tung oil and leaving it as-it. I love it more each day.

    If you wanted to up the look, you could layer it over a wall full of antique mirror tiles. Like this this portrait in a wooden frame.


    Then you could give us a diy antiquing mirror tile lesson! ;) Good luck!

  18. I hate to say it, but I keep coming back to liking the scrolly mirror there. It gives so much visual respite from all the rectangles and even with all the carving on the new mirror, it is still a rectangle. Definitely hang it first and see before you change it. I think it needs a bit if research before you alter it.

  19. Hi Jenny
    I really like the bleached out look suggestion, ie trying to bring back the tone of the wood. Or, what about that silver-leaf effect you applied to yours or someone else's bedside table/dresser that I saw on your blog somewhere? That would look amazing. And the mottled look would hide the dust that, I'm sorry to say, these beautiful pieces are prone to collect.

  20. While I really love the carved mirror, I'm worried that it might not be right for the space. The curvilinear lines of the present one are working so well in your space, providing contrast to the rectangular bookshelves, and I wonder if you might be happier with something similar, just a larger size? Anyway, I'm sure you will make it work! Everything you do always looks fab!

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