Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Reflections


'The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them'.
Thomas Merton.
I think I may have mentioned before how much I love vintage mirrors. I'm not a vain person I hasten to add - far too busy (read old!) to spend my time faffing in front of my reflected image!
Although I have enjoyed catching a glimpse of my daughters over the years, gazing at themselves, trying to decide if they like what they see...
Its all part of the teenage years, isn't it?...
'Do I 'fit in'?'
Or 'Am I unique?', depending on the level of their confidence...
I am happy to say that all three of my girls have far more self-confidence than I think I shall ever have and I admire them greatly for that...they shouldn't change a thing and should relish all that life brings them as they each move further and further away from my nurturing grasp...
The old mirrors that I place about our home have been collected over many years and are not just there to offer the approving evidence that my daughters seek...

The ones that generally find a home with us have ornate or quirky frames; after all, it is this which will provide the decorative feature within a room. French mirrors are an eternal favourite, with their rose garlands, curlicues, or acanthus swags providing a little opulence within an ordinary family home.
Of course the light they each reflect and bounce around a room is uplifting, particularly during the winter months. But it is often the framed views that they offer, that really make me content. Like ever-changing pictures on the wall, but with an added depth that is so tempting - I sometimes feel like climbing through into that other place...
The aged glass, frequently with a few areas of missing silvering or with a slightly yellowish tinge, reminiscent of those old black and white movies that crackle and flicker across the screen, reinforce that feeling that it would be somewhere secure and protected to escape to.
*
A few months ago when I had a stall at a local flea market, I had several assorted mirrors for sale amongst the treasures. A young girl picked up one of them and expressed an interest, but kept umming and ahhing....
She said she loved it, but already had a mirror in the room where she would like it situated.
And added 'You can't have two mirrors in one room, can you?'

I had to smile...if that's the case, then I've seriously broken the rules! ;-))
I encouraged her to go for it...Not because of the potential sale, but I was keen for this young girl to surround herself with the things that she loved and to not worry about what people might think. To create a nest personal to oneself is to create an environment where you feel safe and secure, at ease and completely comfortable - if visitors to your home don't like it, does it matter?
She made the purchase and we both exchanged beaming grins...I just hope that the views that she has created with that old mirror, bring her great pleasure and the magical touch of escapism.

More than ever before, I think its important for us to be happy in our homes. Many are in financial difficulties, or are stuck within a property due to the stagnant housing market, so to live amongst the adornments that speak and bring joy to us, can be a redeemer.

For example, adding a coat of paint to the frame, in a colour that makes you happy...
Where's the harm?

To express yourself in this way is truly liberating and is something that many of us love to do.

Do you worry about what others might think? Or are you courageous?

Would someone visiting your home for the first time be able to work out what sort of person lives there? Do you give yourself away by displaying the pieces that you love for all to see...or are you more guarded?
I personally feel that anything goes these days, as with fashion - we all wear what we please. Our homes are an extension of us and I think should reflect our lifestyle, loves, quirks and collections.

Why so many magazines and TV programmes promote a neutral scheme, and a 'light and airy space', is beyond me. (A pet hate of my hubby's - He hates the word 'space' when referring to a room - he says space is up there, its a room that you're decorating! - heehee...he'll often sit with me watching this type of show, but we both dislike them for what they try to encourage!)

You only have to take a tour around blogland to find hundreds of people who are happily doing their own thing when decorating and accessorising their homes...

So if you are one of those who are a little scared when it comes to decorating, then I say just have a go...if it makes you happy, then that is what is important. Ultimately, it is you that lives in your home, not the visitors that come and go and may not approve.
What do you think?

And what do you do when you find a frame minus its mirror?
Place a pretty piece of fabric within it and enjoy the beautiful design.
Have a fun day!
Niki x

31 comments:

  1. I have a house full of 'stuff' and books - I am a bit of a magpie - I think anyone might guess that I am a bit messy just by looking! I love old mirrors- the foxing of the glass is wonderfully complimentary to us ladies of a certain age - they're the only sort I care to gaze into now!

    Pomona x

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  2. Fabulous, Niki!
    Your mirrors are pure beauty!
    And I spotted a postcard ;))))))....
    Hugs,
    Monicax.

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  3. Niki, hello... oh my gosh.. you got such beautiful mirrors! all so lovely.. and the reflections from them, are another form of art! just wonderful! I love all your photos too!

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  4. Oooh, i love all the mirrors, they are all FAB! I particularly love the blue one, truly gorgeous!
    Laura x

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  5. What a beautiful collection of mirrors!

    I used to be very cautious when decorating - I always used to think about keeping it fairly neutral as if I was trying to sell it. But now I just try to do my own thing and have whatever I fancy about!

    Mel xxx

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  6. Though I am not a confident person myself, far from that, I have a mirror in every room of this house! So I can totally relate to this post. I bougth an antique mirror for the first money I earned at the age of 15. I think every room can use at least one (old) mirror. The light and reflection makes the room so much more vivid. I really am not a vain person, but in other peoples homes I do miss the mirror for a quick check whether your hair is okay. I love all those small vanity items, but I have them in antique show cases, because I am not very fond of cleaning and dusting all the time. Sometimes the things you collect are hot, other times they are totally 'out' like I collect old toys, just because I like them and when they make me happy that is the only thing that counts in my humble opinion.
    Thank you for showing all your beautiful mirrors.

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  7. great post! beautiful mirrors! You made me think maybe I should bet a few more myself! heehee!
    hugs
    vivian

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  8. Niki, those photos are incredible! The way you have captured the reflections of another beautiful part of your home in each mirror is absolutely amazing. I really enjoyed looking at them.

    In our house, mirrors are essential for bouncing light around. Traditional southern French houses (and ours is traditional, although not all that old) have windows facing north as much as possible, and have patio roofs shading any windows which face south or west.

    Thus the bedrooms, which catch the early morning light, are bright enough, but the living areas all have shaded windows and are often gloomy all day. This is a blessing in the heat - the designers knew what they were doing! But it does mean that I'm constantly buying mirrors to bounce yet more light around - it is beginning to work, so I have the perfect excuse to look out for more!

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  9. Anonymous2:14 pm

    Hi Niki, I too have many, many mirrors...not just on our walls but just left up against walls,cabinets and window sills. I did find a home for the old french mirror in the end (here with me)..I just couldnt part with it (do you blame me)? Loving all your mirrors too, just stunning. x

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  10. What a lovely post, Niki!!! Beautiful mirrors, and love the reflections!!
    Isabel

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  11. What a beautiful post Niki. You have such a lovely way with words. The mirrors are beautiful, as are the rooms they reflect! You've given me food for thought and if the empty frame that I saw yesterday is still in the CS tomorrow I am going to bring it home, paint it and stick some fabric in it!

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  12. What a stunning collection of mirrors! I'd have difficulty choosing a favourite !
    I love mirrors although I always hate looking at myself in them!
    Hope you are well.
    ;-)

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  13. Hello Niki

    I love having mirrors around the house. As our cottage is small and sometimes a bit dark on grey days I rely on mirrors to bring more light in to the rooms. I like the last framme with fabric in. Something I like doing too.
    I like seeing the various funny faces my daughter pulls in front of a mirror.
    Take care
    Isabelle x

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  14. Anonymous3:45 pm

    Love your mirrors, Niki, and especially all that they reflect. Wonderful post!
    Kathy

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  15. What a beautiful post! All you mirror are so gorgeous!

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  16. Wonderful post niki! Not so much because if the pretty mirrors, but the brautiful words and the way you were able to inspire that young girl. Having courage and confidence in life is one of the biggest blessings on can have.
    Thanks for the reflection.......
    Xoxoxo, tiffany

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  17. Your mirrors are quite lovely. I like how each mirror is reflecting something pretty from across the room. I have one I picked up at the thrift shop a few weeks ago that I have been trying to decide what to do with the frame. Loved your fabric filled frame as well.
    ♥ Rebecca

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  18. tellement joli et ....rafraîchissant par ces canicules !big kiss à+

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  19. Lovely post Niki...the older I get the less I give a damn about what other people think!

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  20. Hi Niki I have loved mirrors since through the looking glass, I love the facinating world inside the mirror, what I love about yours are the reflections of your lovely lovely home....and yes my house is certainly an extension of me ...I have taken great delight in allowing my creativity to run riot in it...unlike clothes you are not hindered and restricted by size!

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  21. Wow, you have a ton of very neat mirrors! I loved them all. I kept looking, thinking you were going to have my favorite mirror in my home. Some were very similar. My husband found an old Eastlake mirror a friend was throwing out, looked like a mantle or something; he added a shelf to it and it is my favorite one! Love your blog!! Karen

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  22. yep, the mirros are truly lovely and so many desings but what really impresses me is your truthfulness about home interiors which is something i have wanted to talk about lately also. Great post!

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  23. ONCE AGAIN...
    ANOTHER WONDERFUL POST FROM YOU!
    BOTH YOUR PHOTOS AND WORDS ARE SO INSPIRATIONAL!
    I TRULY L.O.V.E THE WAY YOU EXPRESS YOURSELF...
    HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEKEND!

    ENJOY LIFE`S SIMPLE TREASURES,
    DEBBIE MOSS

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  24. loved this post...and all the mirrors of course!! :-)
    but mostly what you said was a beautiful reflection of you.
    thanks for sharing...touched my heart.

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  26. Hello dear Niki, another stunning post! Love your mirrors! ....your home, your everything! I'm sitting looking at them on my very modern screen and above me the modern ceiling 'down light' is reflecting on two of my beautiful, ornate, vintage, golden mirrors on the wall facing me - but above my head height *grin*. I adore them and have a collection going on the wall in my lounge room too - and you know I've gotten some very funny looks and the obvious no comments from some of the empty space lovers - and I just grin to myself - in those instances I take it as a compliment! Wishing you a wonderful weekend. Suzy xx

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  27. I absolutely agree with you about everything! I love mirrors and have at least 25 in my home of various sizes...and more to come I hope. costing a few pounds each they are a real bargain. I group them together to create light and a different view of my home. Like you I am not vain....quite the contrary in fact but I do love them. ornate frames, round, no frame I don't mind. They just have to have something about them that draws me to them. as mine are all old (and often foxed!) I wonder what they have seen.

    Lucyxx

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  28. hello mum!

    i sneakily read your blog once a week but i don't think i've ever left you a comment before!

    i love the way you write and this post is so true!

    love kayleigh

    p.s i've stolen the thomas merton quote for my facebook page!

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  29. I love mirrors! It should be obligated to have one in every room....

    And I like your blog very much.

    Have a nice day!

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Thank you for finding the time to visit me...
Niki xx