Discover the Charm of Antique and Vintage Mirrors

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In a world where everything is mass-produced, it's refreshing to incorporate pieces with character into our homes. Vintage and antique mirrors offer a glimpse into the past and can add a touch of glamour and sophistication to your home decor that is hard to replicate with modern pieces. We explore different types of vintage and antique mirrors, including general characteristics of popular styles and tips for caring for and including them in your home.

Antique Mirrors vs. Vintage Mirrors

While "vintage" and "antique" are often used interchangeably, the terms mean different things. Antique mirrors are typically at least 100 years old, while those between 20 and 100 are considered vintage mirrors. Beyond the age of the pieces, the style also often distinguishes antiques from vintage mirrors. Depending on the era, the frames of antique mirrors tend to be more ornate and decorative than vintage ones, reflecting past craftsmanship and popular design styles. For example, the Baroque mirror, a type of antique mirror popular in the 17th century, was known for its ornate frames with hand-carved designs. 19th-century Victorian mirrors also had elaborate frames with floral carvings. However, in the 18th century, Rococo mirrors, the preferred style of that era, featured a more delicate and elegant look. Some antique mirrors also featured mercury glass or hand-etched designs, which were common in earlier times.

Many types of vintage mirrors, on the other hand, are associated with specific design movements or eras. For example, Art Deco mirrors, influenced by the art movement of the 1920s and 1930s, featured geometric patterns, sharp angles, and bold colors. The Hollywood Regency mirror was a style popularized during Hollywood's golden age in the 1930s and 1940s. As the name suggests, this style was known for its opulence, glamour, and luxury. By the 1950s, sleek and minimalist mid-century modern mirrors dominated homes with clean lines and simple shapes, often featuring teak or walnut wood.

Caring for Antique and Vintage Mirrors

No matter what type of mirror you own, caring for these statement pieces is essential to preserve their beauty and longevity. Here are a few tips for maintaining your mirrors:

  • Clean the mirror regularly. It may go without saying, but dust and dirt can accumulate on the mirror's surface, leading to scratches and other damage. Use a soft, lint-free cloth to clean the mirror's surface gently. Avoid harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners, which can damage the mirror's surface.
  • Avoid exposure to moisture. Moisture can damage the frame and backing of the mirror. Keep the mirror away from areas with high humidity, such as bathrooms or kitchens, and avoid placing it in direct sunlight, as this can cause the frame to warp or fade.
  • Don’t manhandle a mirror. Vintage and antique mirrors are particularly delicate, and the frame and backing can be easily damaged if mishandled. When moving the mirror, lift it from the bottom and support the edges with your hands. Avoid touching the mirror's surface, as this can leave fingerprints or scratches.
  • Store properly. If you need to store the mirror for an extended period, wrap it in acid-free paper or bubble wrap and keep it in a cool, dry place. Avoid stacking other items on the mirror, which can damage the frame or glass.

Following these tips, you can ensure the beauty and value of your older mirrors for years.

How to Include Vintage or Antique Mirrors into Your Décor

Incorporating vintage and antique mirrors into modern home decor can add character and charm to your space. They can be used as wall décor, mantel décor, bathroom décor, and vanity décor. Whether it's a small antique gold mirror, a larger art deco wall mirror, an antique brass mirror, or a vintage glass mirror inspired by glamorous old Hollywood, be creative and fearless when blending older, second-hand mirrors into your modern home.

But do follow a few design tips:

  • Mix and Match. Combine vintage and antique mirrors with modern furnishings to create a stylish and eclectic look. Mixing different styles and eras can create a unique and visually exciting space.
  • Play with Scale. Consider pairing a large vintage or antique mirror with a modern minimalist room, creating a striking focal point.
  • Consider Placement. Place the vintage or antique mirror in an unexpected location or orientation, such as horizontally instead of vertically, to create a fresh, new look.
  • Go for Contrast. Look for a mirror with a frame contrasting the wall colour, so it pops and adds interest to the room.
  • Frame Cluster. Create a focal point in a room by grouping a cluster of vintage or antique mirrors of different shapes, sizes, and styles on a wall, either on their own or combined with modern artwork.
  • Let it Shine. If your vintage or antique mirror has a gorgeous patina or other aged finish, flaunt it. Don't try to cover up the character and age of the piece. Instead, embrace it.
  • Layer and Accessorize. Adding other vintage or antique pieces with the mirror can create a curated look that appears collected over time.

Following these tips, you can seamlessly incorporate vintage and antique mirrors into your modern home decor, creating a unique and eclectic style that reflects your personality and taste.

Buy Mirrors on Consignment in Toronto

Are you looking for an antique or vintage mirror in the greater Toronto area? Around the Block, the area’s go-to destination for quality consignment, regularly offers a wide range of antique and vintage mirrors, furniture, art, and other home decor items. Browse our current selection of vintage or antique mirrors for sale online at our website or drop by our Lesmill Road showroom to see our entire inventory of mirrors and more!

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