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Real Solutions: The Big Mirror

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Every home is filled with unique design puzzles, from figuring out how to make do with a tiny room (or fill a giant one) to finding that rug, wall-hanging, or piece of furniture to bring it all together. Here's where we share real solutions, through design success stories in the homes of Food52 team members.

Today: Our Managing Editor Kenzi Wilbur transforms a white, blank wall with an artfully framed mirror she found abandoned in a thrift shop.

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Some people look at a white wall and see possibility. I see fear.

I see responsibility. Whatever I choose to fill that great, big blank with is a statement. What will it say about me? Is it too loud? Too colorful? Do I even like sculpture, or do I just think I should? If empty walls could talk, they’d keep mum. Adorned walls perform soliloquies.

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Here’s my solution: If you decide to hang a mirror, you only have to make a statement with the frame. Big, sweeping panes of reflective glass are like answering a tough question with a clever one: They feel noncommittal yet also perfect -- they save you from that liminal space between saying too much or saying too little. (That they help small rooms feel large becomes almost a fringe benefit.)

I found this little number tucked away behind an old road sign in the basement of an antiques shop. It didn’t look like this then. It was covered in dirt and shoddy wood glue, fitting in nicely with the dank cement and creaking garage relics. For these reasons, I bartered -- with the money I saved, I bought sandpaper. 

And that’s my under-qualified design tip #1: Be the change you want to see in your thrifty finds. See potential, and then sand like a madwoman.

Tip #2? Introduce that big white wall to that mirror. Watch it transform your room.

Tags: DIY, mirror, wall, decor