In Vogue’s new interiors column, maverick London furniture dealer and designer Jermaine Gallacher offers his tips on how to use interior components – from bookshelves to blinds, curtains to chairs — and switch them up to reshape your living space for any budget. Weird, surprising, and sometimes witchy, that’s something you can do, too. Mirror not included.
I have no less than mirrors in my little mirror – South London bedroom apartment. In fact, I just saw myself in one of them, who looked a bit like the ghost of Queen Elizabeth — the first Elizabeth, I hasten to add — and I screamed. Clearly, party season has taken its toll.
Some people may read it and call me vain, while others will say it means I know a thing or two about interior design. In my opinion, both make sense. A mirror shouldn’t just be a surface we briefly pass by once or twice a day to check ourselves or take a selfie. In fact, they’re the seasoned decorator’s greatest trick, turning small, poorly lit spaces into deceptively bright and inviting rooms. Frankly, the tricks of mirrors are endless – and with a new year looming, and many dark winter months ahead – what better time to add more of these tricks to your own walls What about the episode?
They say looks are deceiving, but in this case, that’s exactly what we’re getting pursued. When it comes to decorating with mirrors, it’s all about this touch. Placing a mirror opposite a window to bring in more natural light? Of course, this is the oldest trick in the book – in fact, you’ve probably read about it in every interior design book. But even though this sounds obvious, trust me, it works.
And I personally think it works best when you install a piece of glass in an alcove, or insert it to become a piece of wall mounted furniture like a cardboard door panel or dresser shelf. I did exactly that in my hallway bookcase facing the bedroom window, choosing classic mirrored glass and cutting it to fit just right between the two tallest shelves. Mirror glass can be cut to any size, shape and finished on any good glassware – I’ve found builders’ glassware to be the best, cheapest and always willing to haggle – the end result makes a lot of The light returns to what was otherwise a dark, dingy basement hallway.
If you’re really into mirrors, though, the bedroom is the perfect place to get creative—and more than one. Yes, some people do really with mirrors. I draw the line at the mirrored ceiling and headboard because no one needs to see that much. But a collection of mirrors hanging (so to speak) from a bedroom wall can punctuate the space, adding a hint of mystical possibility to any under-the-sheets encounter.