Trendbulletin: Mirrored furniture

I’ve always had something of a soft spot for mirrored furniture. I think it’s super clever because given the right design it’s a great way of making small spaces feel deceptively lighter and larger as it essentially renders potentially bulky pieces ‘invisible’ by reflecting the surroundings, and ambient light, back on itself. I also find it reminiscent of the 20s, possibly 30s, and the romantic elegance that seemed to come as standard with the decor of those eras.

In terms of style, do you remember Ilse Crawford’s set of mirrored storage (below), designed in 2005 for Baleri Italia? All striped or zigzag patterned mirror with pompoms on the keys! It was quite the show stopper at that year’s Milan Furniture Fair, and units now go for upto £6K a piece on 1st dibs, if they ever come up at all. The collection hit the perfect modern note for contemporary mirrored furniture as what you don’t want is a perfectly ordinary piece of wooden furniture with mirrored panels stuck on it (take note Marks & Spencer). Instead, on the one hand the simpler the better, on the other, vintage pieces have a sort of filigree joy that’s hard to resist. Either can be quite deliciously unexpected in a contemporary interior.

A storage unit from 'The Other' collection designed by Ilse Crawford in 2005 for Baleri Italia.

A storage unit from ‘The Other’ collection designed by Ilse Crawford in 2005 for Baleri Italia.

However I’m compelled to write about it now because I’ve just discovered a company that makes probably the most beautiful mirrored radiator covers I’ve ever seen! Which is surely saying something as I’m not a fan of radiators in the first place (inefficient and massive dust traps!; install underfloor heating whenever/if possible), and radiator covers are rarely an acceptable compromise. And yet I give you the ‘Antoinette’ from My Furniture (shown below). There’s even an adjustable version (also shown below)!

Now I know this is essentially a wooden thing with mirrored panels on it (hand-cut and bevelled!), but go on, admit it, it’s really pretty isn’t it! Like something Poirot would approve of. And what’s so particularly brilliant abut this design, is that as well as disguising your heaters, it transforms them into useful skinny consoles, which could frankly be genius in a narrow hallway — perfect place for your keys etc. They almost make me want to install radiators! Then again, I might buy one just to use it as a shelf.

4 other pieces that’ll have you reconsidering mirror…

  1. The ‘Alexia’ 3-drawer mirrored chest of drawers from John Lewis, £350. One of the simplest mirrored pieces around.

2. The ‘Alexia’ 3-drawer bedside table, matches the above chest, but even alone, one of the nicest I’ve seen as decent, affordable bedside tables are seriously hard to find. £250 from John Lewis.

3. The ‘Alveare’ brushed chrome sideboard from My Furniture, £799.99. The nearest thing I could find to Ilse’s Baleri pieces because mirrored furniture shouldn’t be constrained to the bedroom alone!

4. The ‘Knightsbridge’ mirrored 5-drawer tallboy, with plinth, My Furniture, £279.99. Incidentally, the Knightsbridge range also has matching bedside tables (£269.99 for a pair), a dressing table, £179.99 and low chest units, £309.99. In fact, My Furniture has a whole section devoted to mirrored furniture, these were just my favourites.

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