we specialize in the design, fabrication, & installation of frameless shower doors, glass, & mirrors.
Interior designers have been decorating with mirrors for ages, and for a good reason! Mirrors are an inexpensive way to add sophistication to any room in your home. While mirrors provide a valuable function in our daily lives; they could even be considered a necessity to modern culture. Additionally, they can help us express ourselves when used as pieces of art. Whether you purchase an “off-the-shelf” mirror or have a decorative wall mirror made, a mirror can be a beautiful accent to your home décor.
In this blog, we are going to discuss a bit about the history of mirrors and discover how they became such an intricate part of our daily lives. We will also touch on how decorating with mirrors can improve the look of any room in your home.
The people of Anatolia in modern-day Turkey used the first known mirrors. They polished volcanic glass called obsidian until it was shiny and reflective. Remnants of these early mirrors date back to approximately 8,000 years ago.
Throughout time, many materials have been polished and used to see one’s reflection including different types of stone, followed by copper, tin, and bronze along with other metals. Historians think that the Romans were the first to make glass mirrors, though there is no physical evidence of this.
Ultimately, nature is the true ‘inventor’ of the mirror; humans have gazed at their reflections in still pools of water since they first went to get water to drink. Imagine the wonder they felt at seeing themselves for the first time! During the sixteenth century, Venice became the epicenter of mirror manufacturing. However, since they were made with precious metals, only the very wealthy owned them.
In 1835 German chemist Justus von Liebig developed the silvered-glass mirror, and it was his process that finally made mirrors affordable for common people to own. Today, aluminum is the most common material used in the production of glass. The use of affordable backing is what put glass mirrors in nearly every home since the 1800s.
We use mirrors for so much more than brushing our teeth and combing our hair. Mirrors are all around us, all of the time. Mirrors are hidden tools that make our life simpler, safer, and more productive.
Indy car racer, Ray Harroun, saw a rear-view mirror on a horse-drawn carriage and decided to give the idea a go in his race car. While it did lighten his load by replacing the man that had to ride in the back of the car to tell him when it was safe to pass, the bumpy track made it vibrate too much to be able to see out of.
In 1921, Elmer Berger patented the first rear-view mirror, he called it the “Cop Spotter” and used it for just what its name implies!
While auto manufacturers developed rear-view mirrors in the ’30s, it wasn’t until 1970 that they became a standard safety feature on all vehicles. Imagine driving without a rear-view mirror in traffic on a highway today!
Mirrors are also used in telescopes, and even placed on the moon! Scientists use lasers and mirrors to measure distance. Cameras use mirrors as well. Even the digital camera on your phone has mirrors. Additionally, mirrors are used in parking lots and stores to increase visibility.
Most homes have seven to ten mirrors spread throughout multiple rooms. Proper placement and hanging of the mirrors you use are crucial to the appearance of the space and their practicality. You can find more inspiration regarding using mirrors for interior design here. Let’s take a closer a look at some of the areas that should have a mirror in your home.
Bathroom: This is the obvious place to start. Your vanity mirror may be a large, frameless one that hangs nearly invisibly on the wall. Or, it may be a beautiful oval mirror framed in a repurposed antique picture frame. Whichever you have, hanging the mirror at the proper height is important. It should be placed at least a few inches above the sink and centered on the wall.
Entryway: Interior designers like to hang mirrors near the front door to give you a final place to check yourself before you head out the door. Additionally, entryways are typically smaller and hanging a mirror there makes the area appear more spacious.
Bedroom: While some designers oppose hanging a mirror in the bedroom, those without the luxury of a walk-in closet like having a full-length mirror available to check their outfit, and the bedroom is the only logical place for this. You can choose to hang a full-length mirror on the wall or select an oversized floor mirror that complements your bedroom decor.
As you can SEE, mirrors have a long and exciting story dating way back into history, but we want to talk about NOW. Reach out to our professionals at Giant Glass & Mirror today for a free quote on your custom mirror project!