My Quest for the Perfect Mantel Mirror is Over!

Hi Everyone,

I hope you’re having a good week.

With great joy, I can safely say that the cold is retreating. Thank you, body, for defending me.

However, I’m still taking it easy.


Easy? There is no easy.


Here’s what’s going on.


1. I’ve been working on my new custom mirror, and I will share more about that with you shortly.

2. Yesterday, I made some calls to Gracie Studio, their New York showroom in the D&D building. More about that in a subsequent post.


Then, I reached out to the George Smith rep here in Boston, located in Charles Spada’s SOWA shop. I have some homework to do for both of them, and I will report back on my findings, as well.


I have such a fond memory of drooling over Charles Spada’s Beacon Hill townhome back in the late 1980s when I was a student at the New York School of Interior Design.


It was from a spread in Metropolitan Home.

I copied it for a project. lol

NYSID Porfolio 1989 - LBI after Charles Spada
Or, what I could see. The rest I made up.  For more of my interior design school portfolio (1988-1991), please go here.
How could I have imagined that 35 years later, I’d be living in my own portion of a townhome in Boston?


3. I also finally reached out to Paul Montgomery, the fabulous artist and owner of The Mural Source, a wonderful company I’ve featured many times on the blog.

(Please follow them on Instagram.)

I only did it now because early last month, I realized that the High Point Furniture Market was coming up. Ugh. It’s a bad time.


I also have homework to do for him.


I need to give him the configuration and number of panels I need. And, Blimey, I did that but can’t find it, which means I have to redo it.

4. In addition, I have to get doorknobs and other hardware.


5. I know there’s something else, but fortunately, my mind is protecting me for the time being. haha


Oh, you want to do a George Smith sofa, Laurel? Why not something like a Lee sofa for a lot less money?


Great question. It’s for the same reason I want to do the Gracie murals.

There’s nothing wrong with Lee. I love most of their furniture. However, have you ever had authentic English scones and clotted cream? You cannot get them here. I don’t care what you say; ;] You haven’t had them until you go to a place with an authentic English bakery. I had some scones with clotted cream and a strawberry confit in Cape Town centuries ago. It was an experience I’ll never forget.


Scones in this country are not memorable.


It’s also like a bagel outside of New York. I know. Folks in Detroit, Des Moines,  Denver, etc., may think they’ve had a bagel. After all, the bag said “bagels.” However, when they come to New York and have a real bagel, they will realize that what they thought was a bagel was actually a roll in the shape of a bagel.

If it’s so chewy you think your jaw is going to bust open, that is a real New York bagel. ;] By the way, you can get great bagels outside New York City as far north as Scarsdale.


Well, it’s the same with the George Smith upholstered pieces. There are details that nobody else does.


I will go over this in another post.

fireplace wall sconce placement tapestry artwork Louis XVI French mirror
So, to refresh your memory, the other day, I shared the artwork I’m not doing and the mirror I’m not doing.  Incidentally, as predicted, I did not hear back from the rep for those prints. This is a blessing not in disguise, no doubt.

However, I’m not doing this mantel mirror either.

This type of mirror proliferates in most of AB Kasha’s interiors, and it always looks incredible.


Here’s why.


Their style is that the architecture, mantels, and mantel mirrors are all traditional 19th-century Parisian style. But, when it comes to furnishings, most of them are quite modern. This juxtaposition is popular amongst Parisians and keeps the interior from looking too fussy.

There’s more.

The fireplace walls usually have a big door flanking the mantel on each side. So, there’s no space for a large piece of art. And since the architecture is so exquisite, that is enough artifice for the wall.


On the other hand, I have three large walls in my living room.


Leaving them blank will feel wrong, and this is a way to play up the room’s inherent drama.


My virtual living room May 2024


Okay, I have been looking and looking at mantel mirrors and came up with three beauties.


Gerald Bland exquisite Regency gold mirror

The first is by my design idol, Gerald Bland. 

When I saw this, all I could say was:

Oh, shutup, just shutup!!!

This is the mantel mirror of all mirrors.

Could it be copied?

Probably, but not easily, even by a professional. Plus, it would be astronomically expensive. Of course, this one is sold.


How much do you think it cost?


Oh dear. It looks to be an authentic mirror dating back to the Late Georgian Empire Regency period, which was from the very late 18th century into the first couple of decades of the 19th century. I really don’t know, except it’s way outside my budget.

Then, I found another mirror that I love but it’s too large and also no longer available. lol

mirror with rosettes in a gold frame

I believe this one is early 20th century. This would not be too difficult to copy. However, I feel like I’ve seen this mirror before; maybe not quite this chic, but the same idea.

At one point, I considered getting a pretty gold moulding you can purchase by the foot and then have the guys nail it to the wall. But, No. I’m too tired.


Then, I found a third mirror I love that is available but too small and expensive relative to its small size.


Maison Bague vintage mirror

I found it for sale on 1stdibs.

And, also, Chairish has two for sale at this listing.

Overall, this mirror style wouldn’t be difficult to reproduce.

So, I began searching and found a terrific frame place in Boston.

It’s Dave Poutre Fine Framing on Charles Street. Have any Bostonians used them?


This afternoon, I put together a little sketch of my proposed mantel mirror.


custom mirror in the manner of Vintage French Maison Bague Mirror 43 x73
I also shared my inspiration mantel mirror and a framed piece of art at Dave Poutre’s with a similar frame.


Isn’t that mirror a little large?


custom mirror in the manner of Vintage Maison Bague Mirror
No, but the one above might be. That is why I made it a little smaller.

Yes, it’s quite large, but as some of you may recall from this post when I was talking about large mirrors over the fireplace mantel, these proportions are appropriate in rooms like mine with sky-high ceilings. Above this mirror, there’s still another 42″ to go!

I have to be mindful of the sconce placement, too. They are not moving again!

Below is a more typical mantel mirror that I feel for the size of the room is a little too small.


custom mirror in the manner of Vintage Maison Bague Mirror too small

Again, the larger mantel mirror plays up the drama, but in a quiet way.


custom mirror in the manner of Vintage French Maison Bague Mirror 43 x73
I think this one is the perfect complement to the mantelpiece.

Okay, I expect to get a quote for that tomorrow. I’ll let you know.


Now, for the latest renovation news.


  • The stair railing might be installed this Friday, but it’ll more likely be next week.
  • The painters were here today, filling the zillions of holes all over the place and also larger patches.
  • In addition, the carpenters are nearly finished installing the rest of the doors downstairs. More about that soon.
  • The HV/AC guy came this morning and didn’t change the condenser.
  • Smoke blew out of Laurel’s ears

It was established last December that it needed to be done.

He’s coming back tomorrow morning.

We’ll get there.



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26 Responses

  1. Just an idea but I would put painters tape on the opposite wall to outline the location of your beautiful screen. Then you can see where reflection would fall in the various mirror size options. I’ve often found this to be helpful.

    1. Hi Linda,

      That’s interesting, but once one moves, the reflection keeps moving too. I ordered the mirror and got the size I needed for the fireplace mantel and wall its going on. What it’s reflecting will have to take care of itself. I’m sure it will be beautiful no matter what.

  2. Looks very serene! I hope you’ll share the quote. I’d not thought of having one made. Will yours be beveled? Thoughts on that? Would you ever put a Palladian style mirror over a mantel? (Asking for a friend)

    1. Hi DE,

      The mirror is not cheap. It’s HUGE and the frame is real gold leaf that is antiqued in a believable way. The price is almost what the Parisian mirror would’ve cost with the expensive shipping. I looked into doing antique glass. The frame place has someone that makes gorgeous very believable-looking antique glass. But, that would’ve set me back another 2500. I don’t think it’s worth it. Instead, we are doing a bevel which I think will be beautiful.

      As for the Palladian mirror, it’s not my thing, usually, but I wouldn’t say it’s a horrible thing to do unless they’re badly proportioned which some are.

  3. In my 1924 home, the original owner was from France and brought lovely light fixtures, tapestries and ideas for gorgeous plaster moldings (made on site). The living room overmantel and side pieces were all mirrored, right up to the crown moldings. It was too much mirror for me so I primed and painted the mirrors the same as the walls. I had a lovely large, heavy ornately framed mirror that I propped up on the mantel and it was lovely. When I sold the home, I made sure to tell the new owners about the hidden mirrors!

  4. Laurel, I am no help here because I liked all the mirrors you posted. I think it is a difficult decision because they would all be gorgeous. My guess is that you will have one of your contractors hang it for you – something that large/heavy takes muscles and probably power tools 😉. Glad you are feeling better. PS – how is the railing for your stairs coming along?

  5. If you can be a bit patient and don’t mind following the auction websites, I have had excellent experiences buying gorgeous real deal 18th and 19th century mirrors at auction for literally pennies on the dollar of what an antique dealer would charge. The large over mantel mirrors are usually well priced as the average home cannot accommodate them. Just a thought…

    1. That’s a good thought, Rosemary and you are 100% correct. However, in this case, I don’t have the patience. If it’s something I happened to come across, that’s different. The thing about auctions is there’s no guarantee of winning.

  6. I just hung a new mirror yesterday that is very heavy. It came with a French cleat which was new to me. Ours if only about six inches wide but it holds 50 pounds. I am sure you could get one the width of the mirror and it would hold a lot more. Google “French cleat” and you will find videos, etc.

  7. Can you get the mirror glass beveled? That’s the detail that suggests that a mirror is antique, or at least high quality.

  8. Love your mirror choice! Just a suggestion, you may want to look at Friedman Brothers Mirrors. I think they do custom sizes and have a frame similar to what you’re looking at. I can’t wait to see your home completed.

  9. Oh, I love Charles Spada, one of my absolute fav designers, sadly, his shop was always closed when I walked by in SOWA (or maybe it’s by appointment only??) but i often look at his interiors, I like the French touch. David Poutre has been on Charles street forever, you cannot go wrong, have not used but been in there many times. The gold leaf frames are obviously gorgeous and super expensive of course, a gold leaf mirror in that large size will cost a pretty penny, but oh so worth it, it’s the absolutely right thing to do! I’d rather not eat, ha, ha 🙂

  10. Have you considered an oval mirror instead of a rectangular one? There are so many rectangles in your room and I’m thinking the large rectangular mirror dwarfs the mantel. Of course, you know best but that is my immediate thought.

    1. Hi Pat,

      The mirror is only a few inches over perfect Fibonacci proportions to the fireplace. As for too many rectangles, there are certain elements that are always rectangles or squares. There are far more items that are organic shapes, circles, and curves. Railing, rosettes, mantel, settee, dining table, sofa, club chairs, oval-back dining chairs, chandelier, lamps and shades, sconces, ceiling medallion, artwork, and more. An oval mirror over this fireplace would undermine the neoclassical aesthetic I adore.

  11. Oh baby, this is going to be so good. But I wouldn’t want to be there when it was being installed.
    I would be so scared.
    I’m anxiously waiting to learn about the sofa you’re wanting. That peacock blue color is gorgeous.
    My daughter did peacock blue hex tile for her bathroom floor & it’s so pretty.

  12. Laurel: I bought my George smith sofa and 2 chairs used. I found them on eBay from a Park Ave home. They were in perfect condition. I paid $3500 for the 3-seat deep sofa with the gorgeous turned legs and brass casters. I think I paid $700 for each chair. This was 15 years ago. Have since had them reupholstered and they look fabulous. My sofa was $13,000 new back then. GS linen fabrics are so beautiful as are their mohairs. Used prices have gone up but are still a good deal! Best of luck to you with your beautiful home!

    1. Hi Bonnie,

      Fortunately, I can get a trade price. However, I have looked for a used sofa, but can’t find any reasonably priced enough. Reupholstery would make it like new. Alas, I don’t have the time or patience to continue searching. I have had to put important things by the wayside to get this renovation as finished as possible.

  13. So glad you’re feeling better. My daughter has the George Smith Tiplady Knole sofa and Emma chair from Charles. You can’t go wrong with anything from him. Such a talented sweet man. Haven’t bought from the frame shop in years, but they used to be great.

  14. Hi Laurel,
    Maybe this is why ABKasha’s large mirrors rest on the mantel in addition to being attached to the wall….extra support. Aside from that I’m sure you will hire a professional to hang it with their bag of anchors and tricks.
    It looks stunning.

  15. Anchors into the brick might be needed. I’m just hanging a mirror close to that size and I will likely need anchors into a plaster wall.

  16. I’d be very grateful if you could tell me how you determine the height to hang the sconces?

    1. Hi K,

      I wrote about this somewhere but generally, sconces are hung between 60″ – 66″ on center for an 8′-9′ wall. There can be exceptions, depending on the configuration of the sconce. We started at 66″ and it was too low, but since most of the sconce is above the backplate, 72″ looked good. That was the height needed for the stair wall.

      However, since I wanted both sides of the room to be the same height, we went for the same height on that wall.

      I’ve come to realize that a room’s furnishings (at about eye level and below) have 99% to do with the humans living in the room, not the size or height of the room, itself. In other words, a dining table is always around 30″ high no matter if the ceiling height is seven feet or 17 feet high. I hope that makes sense.

  17. You may have to have to do “something” to the fireplace wall to hold a mirror that large and heavy in order to support the mirror

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Hi, I’m Laurel, and Laurel Home is the website and blog for Laurel Bern Interiors.
I’ve been creating new-traditional interiors since 1988. The blog is where I share all.

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