A Brief Reflection on the History of Mirrors 

Mirror, mirror on the wall … what is your history? The answer is surprisingly storied. 

For much of history, mirrors were reserved for the extremely wealthy. These days, we walk around with compact mirrors in our pockets, check our lipstick in a rearview mirror, and have a framed mirror in several rooms of the house. 

How did that happen? Let’s go back to the beginning.  

“Mirror” is derived from the Latin mirari (“to wonder at, admire,”). That makes sense. But what is fascinating is that the earliest man-made mirrors weren’t what we think of as a mirror at all. As early as 6,000 and 8,000 years ago, mirrors were made from polished obsidian, a black volcanic stone.

Here’s the eerie part: These rudimentary mirrors were found in the graves of women in Turkey.  Some archaeologists conclude that people during this time period believed mirrors had something to do with predicting the future or understanding the spirit world. 

In fact, mirrors are also deeply woven into mythology and folklore in a wide range of cultures across the world. 

For example: 

  • In ancient Greece, people used mirrors to “catch” the light of the moon, by which they were supposedly able to see visions of the future.
  • The Olmec people viewed mirrors as religious items which were highly regarded for their ability to spark flames.
  • Ancient Mayans buried their “elite” dead with mirrors. They were believed to hold mystical powers, and reflections served as a form of window into an alternate dimension.

 

The art of creating mirrors from metal doesn’t appear in history until roughly 4,000 years ago. In China, bronze and mixed metals were highly polished to shine on one side and have intricate inscriptions on the other side. Similar copper mirrors have been discovered from around the same time period in Mesopotamia and Egypt. 

Mirrors were only owned by the rich and fabulous at that time, and were used for both utilitarian and religious purposes. Even now, mirror placement is important in the practice of feng sui. 

(Be sure to check out our tips on how to position mirrors in your space!)

Over time, rounded glass mirrors became more readily available. Leonardo da Vinci introduced a secret code for spies that involved writing in a way that could only be read with a mirror reflection. 

Fast forward to the 1400s: The first blown, polished, coated, flat glass mirror originated on the Italian island of Murano, located in the Venetian lagoon.

For several centuries, these Venetian mirrors were considered the absolute height of luxury. Of course, that made them incredibly desirable in places like Paris. So, in the 1660s, King Louis XIV had workers trying to replicate the ultra-secret formula of the Veneitan glass workers. The problem? His craftsmen were suddenly dying because of the exposure to dangerous heavy metals and toxins (like mercury). 

Ultimately, the French caught on and figured out how to create the mirrors from coated glass — but not without scandal along the way (spies! murdered glassmakers! so much money!).

These mirrors were the closest iteration of the mirrors we’d use today — but at that point, they were still extremely expensive and a mark of wealth. 

Over centuries, mirrors have shifted from magical symbols, to religious emblems, to objects of vanity, to practical use. Now, they’re an affordable way to add light and open up a space. And, you can even customize a framed mirror with just a few clicks on your keyboard. (No scandal required.) 

 

Create your custom mirror now!

Increase Your Home Value With This One Easy Upgrade

Each year as spring rolls around, many people start thinking about putting their home on the market and moving. This year is no different — in fact, residential real estate across the board is experiencing record surges. Timing-wise, this makes sense: Moving at the end of spring/beginning of summer allows families to get settled in before school starts up again in the fall. Think you’ll get in on the action? Keep reading for a real estate tip!

The Two Rooms Homebuyers Judge First

If you’re considering putting your house up for sale, there are two places to first focus on for renovations and upgrades. Kitchens and bathrooms are “the two rooms that really sell a home,” according to online real estate marketplace Trulia. These are the two rooms that homebuyers most critically judge, so zooming in on improvements in these spaces can help your home sell faster.

Home Upgrade Hack: Framing Mirrors

If you’re selling your home and moving out, it can be hard to convince yourself to spend the money on any upgrades. Luckily, there’s at least one hack to home improvements: Improve the frames in your bathroom!

The Best Way to Frame Bathroom Mirrors

Our Add A Frame® kit is a quick and inexpensive way to upgrade your bathrooms before you list your home. Framing your mirrors may seem like a relatively small upgrade to make (at least, it is compared to ripping out kitchen countertops!), but it’s an impactful step. 

Not only will you give your bathrooms a fresh, more finished look, but you’ll instantly add value to your house and impress potential buyers. Overall, it’s a cost effective solution for making your bathrooms more appealing. 

The best part? It couldn’t be easier! Simply select your favorite frame style, measure your existing mirror’s height and width, enter a few details about where it will hang, and we’ll send your custom mirror frame right to your front door. 

Upgrade your bathroom with an Add A Frame®!

3 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Home Gym

Over the last year, public spaces have looked different (to say the least). One side effect? The number of home gyms that have cropped up across the globe.

Whether it’s because your gym shut down, or because you simply started working out at home as something to do during the pandemic, it’s time to fully commit to making your home gym the best it can be. Exercise is important on so many different health levels, so why not create a space for that right at home?

Here are three reasons why an improved home gym is a good idea:

 

#1: Enjoy daily commitment, minus the commute.

One undeniable benefit of having a home gym is that it’s always open, 24/7. That lofty goal of moving your body and getting sweaty six days a week becomes much more attainable when the only commute is to walk a few steps. This becomes important when you’re trying to set a routine — and in a chaotic, unpredictable world, an easy-to-access daily workout routine can be a real sanity saver.

 

#2: Save money over time.

Though there may be some upfront costs of getting your home gym set up — such as investing in some free weights, buying a yoga mat and installing a mirror — you stand to save a significant amount of money in the long run. Based on the average monthly gym membership cost, you could save anywhere from $60-$300 per month by working out at home. And that adds up!

 

#3: You can make it entirely your own.

The best part of a home gym is that it’s all YOURS. After all, there’s plenty of space for social distancing when it’s just you. Enjoy plenty of elbow room, blast your music as loud as you’d like, and style the space exactly how you want.

 

Speaking of style, don’t forget to add a mirror to your gym! Think of it as a necessary piece of equipment to use for checking form, staying motivated throughout your workout, and making your space feel twice as big.

Frame My Mirror custom mirrors are ideal for unconventional spaces. For example, we have custom solutions for your garage-turned-flex-space, that wonky jut-out wall in your guest bedroom, or the strange ceiling height in the FROG — wherever your home gym winds up! Even if your workout zone lands somewhere without standard-sized walls, we have what you need.

Simply choose your style and enter your size, and we’ll create a framed mirror to your exact specifications.

Get started on your custom mirror now!

 

4 Strategic Ways to Add Natural Light to a Dark Room

Ever been tempted to bust down a wall or add a window or two to allow some light into your home? Atmosphere is everything — we understand! Before you break out your best DIY tools, consider these relatively easy (and comparatively inexpensive) ways to brighten up your space!

Whether your home is flooded with natural light or feels a bit more dark, what’s important is that you learn to make the most of what you have.

If you love light, but lack floor-to-ceiling windows in every room of your home, we’ve rounded up a few top tips for you to follow. Ahead, check out a few best practices for adding natural light into your home (WITHOUT needing to cut a hole in the wall!).

 

  1. Make your door work double-duty.

Glass storm doors, French doors, and even doors with frosted windows can be the difference between night and day for a room. Depending on the space in question, a simple door replacement can allow light to pour in. This is especially true for foyers, home offices, and even laundry rooms!

 

  1. Think beyond overhead lighting.

When you’ve exhausted your creative juices, it can be tempting to throw the brightest bulbs into one giant ceiling fan fixture and call it a day. However, relying on a single light source is not the answer. Consider floor lamps, sconces and table lamps to help bounce light off the walls. You might even consider investing in recessed lighting.

 

  1. Keep dark colors to a minimum.

In general, avoid overcrowding your space with too much dark color or clutter — that will only make a dim room seem more weighed down. Specifically when it comes to wall colors and furniture upholstery, dark colors can make a room feel more heavy. If your natural light is limited, stick to a light, white scheme and use colors as accents.

 

  1. Maximize light with mirrors.

Amplify whatever light does make its way into the room by instantly doubling it with a mirror! Mirrors reflect light and spread it around a space — and even into rooms opposite them. Not only that, but mirrors can make a room feel much bigger and more polished. Pro tip: Consider placing a mirror in the hallway wall directly across from your dark space to effortlessly add some illumination.

Achieving a bright, airy vibe in a darker space is not always easy, but it can be done with a bit of strategic design!

Ready to start? Order your custom framed mirror now!

 

5 Ways Mirror Positioning Can Improve Your Space

Mirrors can offer so much more than just a spot check your appearance. When used strategically, mirrors can make a home feel significantly more open and spacious. Ahead, we’re rounding up five clever ways to position mirrors to make the most of your space.

Make Your Space Seem Bigger

Because mirrors capture light and bounce it around a room, a general rule of thumb is to place your mirror adjacent to a window. This angle allows the mirror to perfectly catch the light and expand its reach. The more light a room has, the bigger and brighter it feels! (Of course, the bigger your mirror, the more space it will appear to create!)

Another option is to place your mirror opposite a window so that it can directly reflect 100% of the light pouring in. Either way, what matters is that you put careful thought into the “picture” that your mirror produces.

Double-down on Nature

Use your mirrors to bring the outside in! Since mirrors amplify anything in their path, consider positioning your mirror so that it reflects trees outside or a plant in the room. The added greenery can make a space feel much more open and connected to nature.

Give a Grand Entrance

Mirrors are not just handy for checking your hair when you walk in the front door. A big statement mirror in the front hallway can instantly make a house feel more light and uplifting to the person entering. As they say, there’s nothing like a first impression!

“Expand” Seating In the Dining Room

Not only can a mirror make your dining room feel bigger, but it can create the illusion of double the dinner guests! This adds to the energy of a gathering, and creates a vibrant atmosphere. Place one long, large mirror along the wall opposite of the door, or try using three smaller mirrors instead.

Make Your Mantel Magnificent

Instantly increase the size of your living room without down-sizing your furniture. Overmantel mirrors are a classic look, but getting the size right does matter. To figure out how big you need your overmantel mirror to be, double the height of your mantel shelf. Make sure that the width of the mirror is not wider than the mantel itself or things will look unbalanced.

How you position mirrors can certainly add light, balance and energy to a room. Of course, finding the right mirror frame in your desired finish, size, and shape makes a big difference on the overall look. Luckily, we can help with that!

Find your perfect mirror now!