In this post: Create French Country charm with decorative mirrors. Use an antique mirror or reproduction gold mirrors in 19th century style to create the look.⇒
I could decorate a room with just 3 pieces and call it done.
Not done from the standpoint of the room being completely furnished, but it would take just 3 pieces for me to express the essence of my style.
Can you guess what the 3 pieces are?
- White linen seating
- A crystal chandelier
- A gilded French mirror
And if you give me just 3 additional style elements (after all I can’t leave out flowers!), that would pretty much cover everything else you’d find in my home. (For the 6 defining style elements I use in every room, you can read: The 6 Defining Style Elements I Use In Every Room.)
I enjoy incorporating these character-defining components in each of my rooms and one of the easiest to utilize and most versatile is French decorative mirrors. I love the way their ornate lines contrast with their aged patina. Gold mirrors provide a warm note of elegance and yet the chipper their finish, the better. The reflective surface bounces light around the room and has the ability to make a space look larger.
There’s nothing quite like decorating with a fine antique mirror, but whether vintage or reproduction, I just love what they say about the character of a home. Adding French Country charm with gilded mirrors can make a lovely statement in a space and they often become the focal point of a room. Since decorative mirrors are among my favorite pieces, I thought it would be fun to look at how I use them in my rooms.
(Be sure to check out the shopping guide at the bottom of this post!)
One of my favorite mirrors is the one I bought most recently, seen here over our mantel. It’s a vintage piece with gorgeous intricate detail that adds just the right touch of elegance to a room that’s otherwise quite casual. This is placed in our family room, the room we use most often, but I love that this special mirror upgrades the space and keeps it from becoming too bland. The focal point over the fireplace works well and the infusion of gilding here makes it possible to include other French Country touches in the room.
For a view of the entire room, visit: Simple Changes for a Functional, Casually Elegant Family Room.
In a little corner across from the fireplace, we also have this petite ornate vertical mirror (seen below) situated directly over a gilded bench. These pieces are both vintage, and help balance the room, which is dominated by a huge white sectional sofa. The small mirror is not a quality piece at all, but rather a resin frame, yet it gives the impression of pedigree nonetheless.
In the dining room we have an ivory trumeau mirror with gilded trim. The light color works well in this room and the golden swags have a very French feel. This mirror is actually new, purchased from Ethan Allen several years ago, but it lends a hint of faux patina to the wall. Our table is dark wood and the chairs upholstered, so the mirror provides a sense of balance to the space.
To see the rest of this room and how it has evolved, you can read this post: The Evolution of a French Country Dining Room.
In our entry foyer, I wanted to go for a very elegant look, to make an impact when one walks through the front door. We used this large curvy gilded mirror over an antique French bar server and it gives just the impression I was hoping for. The mirror, like the one in the dining room, is new, from Ethan Allen, but sits wonderfully with the vintage piece beneath it.
You can see more of this space here: How to Create an Elegant Entry Foyer.
By far, our most exceptional piece is this authentic French trumeau mirror in our living room. It is quite special and quite old and the ribbon embellishment on the top edge is delicate and lovely. The aged patina of the piece underscores its authenticity and contrasts nicely with the burled wood bureau beneath it. This piece sets the tone for the room making it very French and leading the way for the aubussons placed around it.
To see the full view, you can visit this post: How I Modernized My French Style Living Room.
In our back entry, a room most people would call the mudroom, I was careful to keep the same general design styling as seen throughout the house. Given that this is the entry we use all the time, I wanted to be sure it welcomed us with another lovely mirror. This piece is smaller than the others and although vintage, it’s hardly a top quality piece, yet it adds just the right note of grace to the space. It sits above a painted white chest, flanked by two white French chairs and is a very nice way to be welcomed home.
You can see the full view and how it sits in the room, here: Back Entry Foyer Details.
In the study, which is anchored by a French Country desk, this wall grouping adds a bit of interest to a windowless wall. The tiny gilded mirror is actually resin and was very inexpensive, but bolstered by the wall sconces and sitting above the chippy shelf with vintage china pitchers, the look is quintessential French and is a pleasure to look at.
You can see the rest of our French Country study in this post: French Country Office Decor Ideas.
Our master bedroom previously had a pair of colorful paintings above the bed which were very pretty and similar in tone to the printed duvet we had. But I wanted to go a bit more dramatic by pulling out the color and prints and focusing on the lovely white fabrics and gilding, too. So I added this wonderful (new) mirror and vintage sconces and it says vintage and modern all at the same time.
To see the rest of the room update, visit this post: 7 Tips for Creating a Dreamy Master Bedroom Retreat
Our upstairs hallway also provided an opportunity to use some gilding, again, contrasted against a dark wood chest with marble top. This space was decorated temporarily, which I talk more about in this post: The Upstairs Hallway. But be on the lookout for an upcoming update that I’m quite excited about!
Finally, this pretty little mirror in our powder room is a charming lightweight resin piece that sits nicely against the toile wallpaper and vintage lighting that illuminates this room.
For more details on our powder room transformation, you can visit this post: Adding Character to a Bland Powder Room. Yet this room, too, will be getting a makeover very soon!
Decorative mirrors come in all shapes and sizes, old and new, and with varying degrees of embellishment. When you’re lacking a focal point in a room or simply need to add interest to a small corner, think about decorating with French gold mirrors. An antique mirror is like an exquisite piece of jewelry and could be just the finish you are looking for in your room!
Decorative Mirrors Resource List
To get the look, click on the items below for direct links to the products. Where actual items were no longer available, I’ve provided similar options.
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