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If you are redesigning your home, it is well worth considering incorporating some antiques into your interiors. Far from making your home look archaic, antiques can be used to give a timelessness to more contemporary interiors. Antiques are also often built more solidly than newer furnishings, as it is proved by their ability to stand the test of time. On top of this, they also act as an investment that will continue to grow in worth as time goes on. One of the best types of antique furnishing to incorporate into your home is mirrors. Mirrors not only offer a practical use, they can also serve to create a feeling of space and light throughout your home.
Antique mirrors come in many different styles, shapes and sizes, each of which is appropriate for different designs and different areas of the home. Here, we will take a look at 8 key styles of a classic antique mirror and their design elements.
1. Medieval Gothic
Medieval gothic mirrors date all the way back to between 1300-1600, meaning they are quite rare and highly valuable. They are usually made with ornately carved dark wood frames with pointed arches at the top. Their imposing nature makes them great for larger spaces like hallways and dining rooms. They often evoke a churchlike feel, making them a nice addition to country cottages and older buildings.
Dating from the 1600s, Baroque mirrors typically come in oval shapes, often with gold-gilded oak frames. Although they are usually carved, they are less extravagant than their earlier gothic counterparts. The luxurious look that results from their gold or silver frames makes them a great choice for bedroom interiors or as a living room statement piece if you’re going for a high-end look.
The 1700s saw the arrival of the Rococo style mirror, which typically come with a walnut or mahogany flat base with gilded gold floral carvings at the top. They tend either to be rectangular or oval shaped and work well on dressers or mantelpieces.
The Georgian period refers specifically to 1714-1837. Mirrors from this era are typically rectangular and very symmetrical with either a brown wood or gold gilded frame. As they are less extravagant, they can work well in a variety of settings.
Between 1811-20, there came a surge in more extravagant mirror stylings, with the rise of Regency style, which saw plenty of elaborate leaf and floral carvings on gold gilded frames. These mirrors typically have narrow frames in a round or oval shape, which lends them to living rooms and bedrooms.
1837-1901 saw a return to a more gothic style, with ornate designs often in either white or dark wood. However, this style of mirror is easier to blend into a modern setting than gothic-style mirrors, as it is more familiar to styles we often recreate today.
If you are looking for something a little more delicate and a little less bold, then try to find an Edwardian mirror. While their shapes and styles draw from a number of earlier periods, they are typically plainer, which makes it easy for them to fit into almost any setting.
8. Art Nouveau
The decorative style of Art Nouveau came to the fore between 1890-1910 and was characterised by natural forms, using curved lines evocative of plants and flowers. This type of mirror can add interest to a plain design or elevate whimsical interiors.
When purchasing an antique mirror, its look should be only one of the factors you take into consideration. You should take care to examine whether it is genuine, whether the price is fair and whether it is likely to rise in value over time, too.