Little did he know, when Louis XIV installed the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles, what a good thing he was onto. Sure, no modern-day room needs 350 mirrors like that 17th-century marvel. But whether it’s intended to be a purely decorative piece or function as a place to check your appearance, a mirror can enhance any space.
Particularly striking is the trumeau mirror, which originated in 18th-century France—too late to be part of the Hall of Mirrors but it’s been much-prized since its inception. Intended to hang on the wall between windows, a trumeau mirror provided a decorative element while bringing more light into the room. A typical trumeau is rectangular in shape, with the bottom portion reserved for the mirror and the top decorative embellishment. Many antique versions are painted or feature relief carving, a nod to the ornate plaster frieze that often adorned walls of the time.
By Louise Lange