mirror, mirror

For the last few months, I've been looking for a large mirror for our house. There are a few spots where we could use one but I'm primarily thinking of above our fireplace in the living room or in the entryway. (Note: The existing mirror on our mantelpiece is too small and the artwork in the hallway has been moved to the living room.)

I've been looking high and low for the "right" mirror but nothing seems to work. Vintage or antique mirrors of the size I'm looking for (about 4 feet by 4 feet) are just too expensive and the reproduction ones look like, well, reproductions.

Then, as life often does, I started getting clues that maybe I should make my own mirror. It all started off with this book I received for Christmas called the Recycled Home by Mark & Sally Bailey. I have been eyeing this book for awhile and was happy to finally have the chance to read some of the text that went along with the beautiful and inspiring photos. The philosophy behind the Bailey's style is to 'undecorate' - they believe in stripping and uncovering and revealing all the layers and history of a house by peeling back its layers. Another tenet of theirs is to re-use, repair, rescue and rethink abandoned and unwanted objects.

All of this appeals to me and those thoughts were floating around in my head when I saw these two DIY mirror projects. The first was on House & Home Online TV which showed how you could easily make your own Captain's Mirror similar to the beautiful one by BBDW. The second was a step by step guide from Nate Berkus I found one day about making your own rope mirror. The only problem was I didn't specifically want to make either of these mirrors.

Instead, armed with the Bailey's idea of re-use, repair, rescue and the knowledge that making your own custom mirror wasn't that difficult my mind was open to finding the catalyst for my own DIY mirror project. Then, this weekend I found the starting point. This vintage oculus from an abandoned building.

It measures four feet in diameter and has a thick wooden profile.

There is also some faint writing in white on one side that you can barely make out. I'm thinking that I will use this side as the front of the mirror. This week I'm hoping (depending on the huge snow storm) to take the oculus to a framing place to talk about fitting it with a mirror. Then in the coming weeks I will document some of the other things I have planned for my own DIY mirror borrowing from the two guides I mentioned above. I'm thinking of doing something with rope.

And wouldn't you know, as I was flipping through the Recycled Home again last night looking for ideas I spotted this photo.

Look at the large circular mirror resting on the table top! It's sort of exactly what I'm hoping for (minus the scalloped edge - I'm not that talented). Now, I have something to aim towards. I'm excited to see how it all turns out and where it ends up (this photo is screaming entryway to me which is an area that definitely needs work.) If you have any ideas or suggestions send them my way.