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Out & About: Reflection – Lucian Freud and Mirrors

This week we visited Lucian Freud: The Self Portraits exhibition at The Royal Academy.

Freud drew or painted his own image in every decade of his life. His self-portraits mostly possess an elusive quality; offering glimpses, interrupted views and mirror reflections.

Rather than painting from photographs, Freud preferred to paint his likeness using mirrors, mainly due to the quality of light. Mirrors could be found in his studio to help him find unexpected angles and perspectives, and to objectify himself.

This made us think of how we use mirrors and reflection in our design…

Mirrors are the ultimate trick in interior design. They are the solution to so many designs challenges, they can be used to enhance something or deflect attention away from it.

Here in Ham Yard Hotel’s Soholistic Spa, a triptych of mirrors work together to make a relatively small and windowless treatment room feel light and spacious.

In this small apartment, the eaves made the room unsymmetrical; however, with this clever use of antique mirrors flanking the fireplace, we have deflected attention away from the imbalance, creating a unified space.

In the Suffolk Suite at the Haymarket Hotel, two interesting oblong shaped mirrors are hung either side of the fireplace, creating a sense of symmetry and drawing the eye through to the back of the room.

In The Whitby Suite in New York, we have used an over-scale foxed mirror above the fireplace. This helps reflect the light brought in by the floor-to-ceiling Crittal windows and adds a sense of drama to the space. Antique mirrors add texture and interest.

Although not a mirror, this stainless Steel Sculpture by Sir Tony Cragg in the lobby of Haymarket Hotel creates an interesting effect as light bounces off the many angles and curves.

Finally, we think Lucian Freud would have loved this fish bowl mirror which reflects the whole room!

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