When you design your bar, spend time focusing on efficiency and the best use of space. These concerns are your first focus because they dictate how smoothly your bar runs. However, dedicate some time to the creative aspects of bar design - the décor. Specifically, look into ways to incorporate mirrors to promote your desired aesthetic.
Incorporate mirrors into your décor plan to reflect light. You may want your bar to be dimly lit to promote a sense of intimacy, but dark corners don't do your décor any favors. Reflect light with a subtle touch through the use of transom mirrors.
A transom is the strengthening beam at the top of a door or window. A transom mirror is high up on the wall. Use this location to your benefit because it won't reflect your patrons that much. However, it will reflect your ceiling light fixtures and wall sconces. Not only does that reflection add a little light, it multiplies the beauty of your light fixtures.
An example of the transom mirror put to good use is the Lobby Bar at Palmer House Hilton. The bar features decorative transom mirrors that reflect its signature frescoed ceiling.
Less-Reflective Decorative Mirrors
Mirrors with flat, clear surfaces reflect everything perfectly. Such perfect reflection may not promote the intimate ambience you want in your bar. You can incorporate mirrors at eye level if you choose those that don't have a perfectly reflective surface.
For example, the Celeste cocktail lounge in Chicago features a long mirror placed strategically to reflect the above-bar light and liquor display. However, that level also puts it at bar-top height. The mirror, though, features mutins that break up the surface, so you see more reflection of light than people.
You can get a similar effect with mirrors that have a distressed surface, especially if your goal is an old-world style bar. Smoked or frosted surfaces garner the same effect.
Floor-to Ceiling Mirror
Conversely, perhaps you don't mind if the interior of your bar is perfectly reflected. You may be putting a lot of your budget into the décor and, as noted with transom mirrors, a mirror will magnify the beauty. For example, the Charles H bar in the Seoul Four Seasons is ornately decorated, and the ornamentation is amplified with an oversized mirror.
When you have a mirror custom-cut for your bar, you get to decide its exact dimensions. Consider one that runs from the floor to the ceiling. Naturally, you'll have to determine where to place such a mirror - what it reflects must be important enough for such multiplication.
If you have a beautiful view from a window, reflecting this space is one idea. Just be aware you'll also be pulling in a lot of natural light. Another option is to reflect the bar itself or just one area of the seating. An oversized mirror is ideal for modern-style bars.
An oversized mirror isn't the only way to make a statement with your mirror choice. The Dandelyan bar at the Mondrian Hotel in London features an eye-catching concave mirror that reflects its signature pink and green palette. The mirror is oversized, but its beauty comes from the mirrored plates that make up the overall octagon.
If you want to choose a statement mirror, consider the overall style of your bar. The octagonal mirror at the Dandelyan fits in with the bar's retro aesthetic. If you want a pub feel, choose a mirror with an ornate frame. Think about where you want to place the mirror so you get an idea of the dimensions you need to fill the space.
Use world-renowned bars as inspiration for incorporating mirrors into your own bar design. Russell's Glass & Mirror has a wide variety of custom mirrors to fit your décor needs. Contact us to discuss mirror possibilities for your bar.