The necessity for mirrors

One of a set of two beautiful brass mirrors from Cox and Cox that light up our old, dark fireplace.

Mirrors are the windows into the soul..oh no..that’s the eyes. Well, they are certainly the windows into our house. I adore our 17th Century Thatched Cottage, but it wasn’t built with light in mind. It is super cosy and on sunny days with doors and windows flung open it is bliss but on dark dank days the house is not my friend. I have come up with lamps and candles and flush ceiling lights, all shades of off white paints and reflective surfaces but other than installing a massive reflective dish in the garden ( I have seriously considered this since seeing something similar on the lovely Booby Beanie’s program many years ago) I have had to resort to mirrors in my Jedi fight against the dark side.

We are extremely fortunate that our sitting room has been totally opened up (it has had many guises over the centuries including animal hotel, kitchen, sheepskin drying room and Tack room). Now it is just one lovely large room that was painted a sumptuous deep red when we moved in. It was the colour that made me come and view the property, it looked so inviting. I embraced the darkness and painted everywhere is cossetting dark brave colours, then it got darker…and darker…and I COULD BARELY SEE ANYTHING!!! I left the world of embrasive dark colours behind and went through Farrow and Ball’s entire collection of off whites.

The end of the sitting room painted in Farrow and Ball’s Off White and lightened by a sneakily placed old oak mirror to bounce light from the small wonky mullion window

The kitchen is actually the lightest room in the house so combined with the delights of La Aga is where I spend most of my time. I used copper pans over La Aga to bounce light back into the room and placed a large mirror opposite the French Door to reflect light from the window and doors. The mirror was bought from Laura Ashley many years ago and although the modernity of the style irks me, the shelf is still as brilliant as it was in my more modern Canalside cottage where it counterbalanced the oiled Oak floorboards. The shelf is perfect for vases of flowers and at night reflects hundreds of flickering tealights that add light and ambience to happy evenings (my husband often complains about not being able to see his food but I think on many levels this is probably a good thing…)

In contrast to the kitchen, the main bathroom is the smallest, darkest room in the house. The mullion windows are heavenly gorgeousnesses full of character and historiness but they let in more drafts than light. I again employed a shelf mirror to bounce light and give me somewhere to put the soaps and flowers so that they didn’t slowly but surely slide their way off the increasingly sloping sink!

The main bedroom gets the extra mirror treatment, not too big to scare myself in the mornings but enough to bounce all important don’t curl up in bed when it is raining light

Mirrors are carefully placed in the hallways to bounce off windows although the upstairs mirror seems to reflect my daughter in a variety of dressing up clothes, hats, animal masks and occasionally cardboard heads more than it catches the light.

I am certain that at least some of these mirrors should match but as long as they are in keeping (painted, distressed mirrors in my nod to French chic in the bedroom) or enhance a space (loud Baroque gold craziess in a small dark hallway) then I am happy to mix things up and bring a little eclecticism to the home, as long as they also bring LIGHT!!!!

Get The Look


Mirrors from Cox and Cox, lampshade from Kate Forman Designs, sofas from Sofaworkshop

Sitting Room

Brass round porthole mirror inherited, mercury candleholders from The White Company, Hops Garland from Hukins Hops, Jug from Vintage Style Living, Hamper from Debden Barns Antiques, Cushions from Cabbages and Roses and Susie Watson, oil painting from Ebay.

End of Sitting Room

Walls in F&B Off White, ceiling in All White, Acorn lamp from Wayfair, Velvet Pouffes from Graham and Green, Blind and seat cushion from Kate Forman Designs, Radiator from The Old Radiator Company, rocking chair from Reeds Antiques in Saffron Walden, Antique Pineapple lamps from Ebay, Sideboard and matching mirror inherited, Painting is by Muriel Pemberton.


Walls in F&B Clunch, Table handmade by long gone company, Chairs from Ebay and painted in Farrow and Ball Mizzle and All White, chair cushions from Ikea, Table runner from Sainsburys. Sofa and mirror from Laura Ashley. Lampshade from Kalinko. Dresser from Ebay painted in Annie Sloan’s Chateau Grey.


Walls in F&B Lime White, Mirror from The Taylor (link above), Radiator from Reeds Antiques, Door painted in Farrow and Ball Lichen, hammam towel from Febronie


Walls in F&B All White, Curtains Paris Rose from Cabbages and Roses, Sac a Perle Chandelier lights from, Bed similar from The French Bedroom Company, drawers and wardrobe from Ebay painted in Annie Sloan’s Paris Grey, Cushion from Laura Ashley, Herbieres from Stenvall Interiors, Trug from The White Company and Mirror from Long Melford Antiques.

Upper Hallway

Walls in F&B Lime White, Light shade from Hearts and Glitter Harome useing Peony and Sage fabrics, painting by Muriel Pemberton, Mirror from Greenwich Market, pot plant basket from Cox and Cox.

Downstairs Hallway

Walls in F&B Lime White, mirror from Facebook Market Place, curtains in Kate Forman Roses and Titley and Marr Ticking Stripe, basket from Facebook, French straw bag from Three Angels in Hove , Chandelier from, Chair painted in F&B Mizzle and Dinner Triangle Bell from TJM Products

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