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Using Mirrors To Create Space

May 5, 2008
Designing the lobbies of hotels in the nineteen eighties I learnt a lot of this than can be used to both pick up the style and feel of a space. One of these tips was the use of mirrors.

Back in the 1980's the use of mirrors as a decoration was starting to become very popular, as not just a looking glass, but a way to give off more light and create more space.

Mirrors are an interior designer's friend. They not only do they create a nice modern feel to a space, but actually give the impression that the space is larger than what it seems.

Whatever sort of home or hotel you have, you can probably find a use for mirrors.

A classic treatment is to change the proportions of a room by covering a whole wall with mirrors. A long narrow hallway with a mirror on one side wall will appear much wider and lighter; a mirrored end wall gives the illusion of extra room length.

Although a mirror from floor to ceiling will be the most effective it may be safer to start it above floor level especially if the area is used a lot. Otherwise, accidental knocks from toys or a vacuum cleaner could crack glass or scratch plastic. And children and elderly people may forget that what they are seeing is an illusion and give themselves a nasty knock or shock.

In a living room or dining room people can be made to feel uncomfortable if they are able to see themselves all the time in a full length mirror. Here, use mirrors to reflect things in the room rather than people. Mirrors behind shelves can reflect the room and whatever is on the shelves making the room look bigger. Mirrored alcoves also give good illusions of space.

The extra space from mirrors is only an illusion but the extra light they can give is a reality. Try fitting mirrors in the reveals of windows: mirror tiles or mosaic tiles might be more suitable than a large mirror but whatever is used the window will appear much larger and reflect more light.

You can drill mirrors yourself, but it does need care. You must use a special spade point or spear point tungsten tipped drill bit. preferably in a hand drill, or a very slow-running (350rpm or less) power drill.

Start from the back of the mirror. Mark the hole position: keep it at least 13mm, and preferably 25mm. from the edges. With the drill not running, carefully press the bit down on the silvering this will mark the mirror and stop it from skating. Form a ring of putty or Plasticine around the mark, and pour water into it. This will act as a lubricant for the drill.

Wear goggles and gloves to protect yourself from any splinters, and drill slowly. Stop just as the bit breaks through to the front. You'll be able to tell because the water will drain away.

Complete the hole from the front in the same way. This prevents both the front and the back surfaces from splintering around the hole.

Drilling holes in glass is similar, but use turpentine or white spirit as the lubricant rather than water. Plastic mirrors can usually be drilled easily with a blunt wood drill. Again, use a very slow-running drill.

Remember people draw your layout twice, so you only have to do the job once, espcially when there's an angry hotel owner waiting, believe me.
About the Author
Interior design is James Holdinski's Business, He is an expert in Designing Blackpool Hotels and is a big advocate of Snickers Workwear in winter he love to take it easy in a Seasonal Caravan
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