Before electricity became a household staple, mirrors were hung mainly to illuminate interior spaces, with large pier glasses installed between parlor windows or placed in foyers to channel light inside. They also doubled as ornamentation, inserted into sculptural 18th-century fireplace overmantels or surrounded by hand-carved gilded frames. Over the years, simpler profiles caught on, and a looking glass came to be considered essential in grooming areas of the house too, such as bedrooms and bathrooms.
Today a select group of mirrors is bringing eye-catching adornment into homes in a unique way: by borrowing shapes and details from architectural features, such as windows, doors, crown moldings, and ceiling medallions. Framed with materials from metal to salvaged wood, the 13 we’ve gathered here are so alluring they’re sure to invite everyone’s gaze.
TOH Pro Advice: “To hang a mirror heavier than 30 pounds, fasten a piece of ¼-inch plywood an inch shorter than the mirror’s width to the wall, catching at least two studs. Then nail two D-hooks onto the plywood for the mirror’s hangers. This will evenly distribute the weight.” —Myron Pollack, owner, Pelham Glass Products