Mirror, Mirror…

In renovating, as in life, sometimes you have to make sacrifices.  Especially when your house is on a small, sloped lot in an urban-suburban area with neighbors close by and setbacks to abide by. In order to get a functional garage AND a nice size bedroom above it (that could be accessed through a full height doorway) we had to make the tough call to build the addition more towards the front of the house and thus eliminate a window in our dining room. Which only has two windows as is. Here it is now- no, we did not just have a raging party- we had to take all our glassware and china out of the wall cabinets while they are framing. :)


I am going to mourn the loss of one set of drapes. Truly. Also, I really need to find a rug.

On the plans the loss of this window didn’t bother me, but now that the framing is up I see just how much light we are going to lose (until we open up the entryway with more windows which will help a TON- but as I mentioned, phase three is not happening until I win the lottery or sell an organ- a vital one).  What we are gaining is well worth it, so I have to find a way to make this work for us.  And where my brain is at right now is a large mirror.  As much as a statement piece of art would rock my socks off, I need something that can bounce around the light I DO have. So I’ve gone and found a bunch of contenders (click images for links):

This french panel mirror is my favorite I think, but I wish it were slightly antiqued. I did find this tutorial on how to antique a mirror. I’d try it on a cheap plate glass small mirror first to see how it comes out before attempting it on this beauty.

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Vintage gilt wood could be cool too…

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Brass framed options- maybe too much brass.

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Love these simple mirror framed Venetian styles too!

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I also have these two amazing vintage candle sconces that I could flank the mirror with. They are AMAZING.  I have them flanking the window on the opposite wall now and they look incredible on the grasscloth.

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I’ll keep you posted on what we end up with- and wish me luck when they do finally close that window up next week! :(



  1. If you’re looking for a buyer for the drapes you need to part with… I’m your girl and will give them a loving home! I think you will be so thrilled with the extra space that the sacrifice of the window will be worthwhile : )

  2. I like the paneled mirrors because they mimic the look of a window in a way. I’m curious how the grasscloth wallpaper will be patched. Can your installer splice in a piece for that area or will they need to re-paper the whole wall to get it to look correct?

  3. I too would be interested in the drapes….we are unfortunately going to have to do the same thing with our renovation- lose a window in our living room. Which brings me down to one window in that room (luckily I still have a pair of French doors to the backyard)

  4. A close friend of mine, who lived in a town house in Oak Park, Illinois, had a similar issue with her DR. She installed a wall of mirrors that were different shapes and sizes. It. Looked. Awesome.

  5. Love your mirror choices. I actually have your “favorite”, with distressed mirror, hanging in my NYC apartment now. It’s huge, heavy and FABULOUS. I could email you a pic if you want. I think mine came from Arhaus.

  6. Gates Family – Have I got the rug for you. . . . love your blog and make it part of my morning routine at my store ( after I check my email and place orders of course ) I know you love a good white wash, classic traditional with a modern twist so here it is: http://www.bradfordsruggallery.com/products/9×11-8-peshawar
    This is NOT the greatest photo as it was taken quickly for the Annual Summer Sale section of our website, that said its amaze – balls and on sale.

  7. My vote is for the French Panel as it somewhat replicates a window, will allow the lines of those great sconces to stand out, and should fill that wall well. For antiquing, if you’re not totally confident in DIY, I had success with local Atlas Mirror http://www.atlasglassandmirror.com when I had them insert beveled mirrors into a pair of vintage gilt wood frames I scored at a country auction in Maine (another idea if you find a frame you like).

  8. Erin, I know it is hard for you to do but live with it for a few months. The answer will come to you. You have to wait until the construction is finished. Mirror in the DR … will people be able to see themselves or others eating?

  9. E – I think you should keep the drapes you would have discarded when losing that window and frame the (big) mirror you put there, in place of the window. That will really do a trick on the eye and keep the cool layers you worked so hard to achieve. such a beautiful space!!!!

  10. I really like Kathleen’s suggestions. I have always loved bathrooms that use multiple vintage mirrors hung on wall. Regardless, I know that what you eventually settle upon will be fab.

  11. Have you checked out our local CL lately? There are several large gilt mirrors on there right now at pretty amazing prices. At one point the antique shop in Natick with the first listing below had one that was obscenely beautiful; simple empire lines, impeccably-classic shape and original glass. It’s not listed right now so it may have sold but it’s worth popping over to see. It was stunning. And less than $400.


    Best of luck!

  12. Anite & Kathleen- I love that look too, but right across from this are my stairs with a crazy busy gallery wall up the wall- so two walls of multiples would be too much. :(

  13. Totally understand your conundrum with the window. I did want to warn you on the Wisteria mirror, though (your fave option #2). I LOVE that mirror and ordered it for my entry last year. I kid you not, it arrived broken THREE times! Such a hassle that I finally had to move on to another mirror that I don’t like as well, but it does the job…it’s the Venetian Beaded Mirror from Resto…Horchow sells it too. Anyway, just watch out in case you order the Wisteria mirror. It came white glove delivery each time in this massive wood pallet (my husband thought they were crazy) and it was literally broken around the frame each time. Boo!

  14. I love paneled mirrors but would lean toward something framed to anchor the wall. I think the gilt mirrors add a bit of ‘antique find’ to your very beautiful clean line space. I also think it would look nice with the Cheetah rug. Or maybe a black frame? If you want a patina, paneled mirror look at the Ethan Allen Rosetta mirrhttp://www.ethanallen.com/en_US/074069.html?start=5or.

  15. OOOHHHH..I have the darkness issue as well. I love the Barbara Barry Star Mirror…similar to your favorite, it comes in a large variety of finishes.

    BTY…I have the same kitchen lay out as you…all the way is LA…it was nice to see what you did to it!!

  16. Erin- Have you thought about a round mirror? – it will add some movement to the room along with the table and visually connect your kitchen with your lovely Hicks pendents…

  17. Erin- where is your grasscloth wallpaper from? I have had my eye on something similar and am wondering where/how to buy. happy friday! & the addition is looking awesome!

  18. Hi Erin, excited to see how the addition/renovation progresses! Knowing your style it will be fabulous and worth the loss of a window! If your draperies need a home I am your buyer. :) I have one sad window in my front room that could use some dressing!

  19. Hi Erin – sorry for the delayed reply! Actually one pair (2 panels) is exactly what I’m looking for as I want to use them in the teeny office space in the home we take possession of in August. The window is not large… What is the width of each panel? Thanks a million and feel free to email [email protected]

  20. Wall mirrors operate nicely in many cases. For all those
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