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Mirrors have a long history, The earliest known mirrors were made from polished obsidian, a natural occurring volcanic glass. Dating back to around 6000 BC in what is now modern day Turkey. Mirrors were not used for vanity, but held spiritual significance and were thought to have mystical and magical powers.

It was the ancient Egyptians who are credited with inventing glass mirrors around 3000 BC. During the Renaissance period, Venice became the prominent centre for mirror production. Venetian mirrors as we know them today are known for their exceptional craftsmanship and intricate design detail. Gaining popularity among European nobility and royalty, if you haven’t visited the Hall of Mirrors at the Palance of Versailles, it is well worth doing so.

By the 19th century, a new silvering technique was discovered. A mixture of mercury and tin amalgam was applied to the back of glass sheet creating a reflective surface. As mercury was toxic, it was replaced by aluminium or silver coating to achieve the same reflective effect today.

These historical facts showcase the enduring appeal and significance of mirrors. Today they are an integral part of modern interior design and they can be used to create space, light and a feeling of well-being.

How can I use mirrors to address design challenges such as dark corners or rooms?

If you position a mirror opposite a window or source of natural light, you can effectively “bounce” light around a room, into dark corners. It will open up any space and make it feel more appealing and inviting. You can further create this illusion by using large mirrors. Fitting a mirror to the full height of a room will make the room appear visually to be much bigger than it actually is.

Think about using mirror in other ways, mirrored furniture has always been popular and is now imported in from Italy, fabulous bevelled edge designs and contemporary decor can be achieved this way.

What should I take into account when installing mirrors into my home?

Surface preparation – before installing any mirror, check the evenness of the wall as this will determine the most appropriate hanging method. If you can, smooth out any large bumps or ridges. If the wall is un-even, ask your mirror supplier whether a backplate is available. These take the mirror away from the wall by around 15mm. They make the mirror appear to be floating away from the wall which is an interesting effect. Uneven walls may affect the reflection and you may get a “wobbly” fairground mirror look if you are not careful.

One of the most aesthetically pleasing ways of installing mirror is to use adhesive. There are purpose made adhesives on the market and you should only use on that is recommended. Your mirror manufacture may also suggest a foil backing is put onto the mirror to stop the glue attaching the silvered surface. If you are opting for this fixing method, ensure you can support the mirror while it dries, normally 24 hours is sufficient for this.

Mirrors

How much do mirrors cost?

You can spend as much or as little on a mirror. If you are looking to reflect a piece of art or sculpture, why not check out the local charity shops or car boot sales as many framed mirrors can be upcycled this way. Normal mirror glass will cost around £50 per sq mt plus polishing and drilling, tinted mirror is around double this cost.

mirrors in cambridge

Are there special considerations for bathroom mirrors?

Yes, bathrooms are areas of high moisture and so it’s essential that your mirror has a moisture resistant backing to prevent damage to the silvering. Over the years, this shows as a black edge and re-silvering of mirrors is an expensive process.

Anti-fog mirrors are popular, a “demista” pad is fitted to the back of the mirror which has a built in heating element to keep the surface of the mirror clear and functional. Normally this is wired into the lighting circuit, so that your mirror remains free of steam while you are using the bath or shower.

You should also ensure that your bathroom is adequately ventilated to reduce humidity levels.

Lighting also plays a part and lights can be fitted through mirrors or use an LED strip to illuminate the mirror from behind.

Can I use mirrors in my bar or restaurant and what styles are available?

Mirrrors are the perfect choice of decor for any bar or restaurant as they can make an area feel more light and spacious. They also give a luxury feel to any space.

There is a range of choice when deciding what style of glass mirror to use.

  • Tinted mirrors – bronze and grey are the most popular, but you can also find peach or gold mirror available
  • Etched mirrors – You can personalise any mirror with etching. Be it a company logo or brand, or a rich image which can be etched onto the reverse of the mirror and lit with colour changing LED’s, the choice is infinite.
  • Framed mirrors – On trend at the moment are aluminium framed mirrors in finishes such as chrome, brushed or brass
  • Illuminated mirrors – Use led lighting to achieve a halo style effect when the mirrors are spaced away from the wall.
Go Glass worker creating a sandblast design for a glass door.

Go Glass is a manufacture of high quality mirrors and can offer a full range of choice. Manufactured in the Cambridge factory, mirrors can be supplied and delivered around the UK. With online design your own interactive facilities, check out the range and options available now https://goglass.co.uk/glass-mirrors/

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