The Spirit of a Circle – in Interior Design
A convex mirror brings a positive and hopeful energy to a room. How? Two features more than any propel the convex mirror experience to the level of art. How does this inform interior design?
There are two features at play in a convex mirror that produce a kind of dramatic experience, a kind of spiritual moment. It is a kind of experience similar to what one might find in a piece of art. An experience that has an emotional and spiritual dimension. And it is the combination of these features that elevates a convex mirror beyond a purely material or decorative object, offering something substantially significant to a room – mood.
This is not the spiritual of supernatural entities but a more subtle experience. In fact, it is not something one might be conscious of even – more likely not since one is not generally expecting a spiritual moment brought on by a decorative accessory. Nonetheless, the effect while subconscious or subliminal is real and it is a big part of why convex mirrors are a great addition to an interior design.
The first feature is the circle. The circle is rich in symbolism. It is a universal symbol with many meanings. It represents the feminine or maternal, it is a symbol of the infinite, eternity, timelessness, the cycle of life. It is a symbol of potential. It is the symbol of the sun or the planets. A circle is a symbol of many positive concepts.
And so on the wall a circle evokes a kind of positivity or lends an optimistic sensibility to a space. This is part of the experience one enjoys – subconsciously, in a round convex mirror. It is a feeling that touches you when you walk into the room. A circle is calm by nature. It is not angular or aggressive and the mood of the space absorbs this feeling. In a world where architecture is often hard and rectilinear the circle by contrast is soft and friendly.
A convex mirror however is more than just a circle – it is a particularly special kind of mirror. And this is why it has a greater impact as wall decoration to most other round forms in a room. The second feature is the nature of the convex reflection.
Mirrors are psychologically complex in that they are in some manner a reflection of truth. Looking at our reflection, one can be drawn between the sometimes polarized disparity of the exterior and the interior life. Convex mirrors as mirrors offer a more friendly or approachable rendering of this experience. They are a reflection of reality but with the edge taken off. Pardoxically they offer a sense of centeredness, not an “inward” centeredness, but moreover an outward centeredness. A convex mirror reflection is as much about the space around you as you at the center of a space. And so there is a kind of congeniality, a softness, or friendliness in the experience. We experience ourselves as one part of a whole.
Furthermore a convex mirror reflection inspires the imagination towards something optimistic. We see in the round, a reflection of the world. In a field of vision not dissimilar to our natural vision it mimics our visual experience of the world. Much as our eyes take in a large panorama the convex mirror presents similarly. It takes in, joining people and place in a bending reality.
As an interior design feature convex mirrors have a lot to offer. Beyond the optical magic, there is a lot of subtlety in their effect on a room. An effect which is overwhelmingly positive. An object that evokes such a quality we can all appreciate.