Google+ House Revivals: A Mid-Century Inspired Mariner's Compass Starburst Mirror

Friday, June 22, 2012

A Mid-Century Inspired Mariner's Compass Starburst Mirror

I'm so excited to share the summer mantel at our little marina condo!  The star of the vignette is, well, a star -- a fun starburst mirror made from paper mache!

Several months ago I shared that we were buying a pied-a-terre in the city.  It is in a little mid-century building that hangs out over the water and has a marina underneath.  The condo was in really rough shape -- the victim of  "flipper in over his head".

When we found our little pied-a-tier, she was bank owned. Someone had been squatting in her, and her parking space, storage locker, AND boat slip were being poached!  Yikes!  She deserved something special for all the indignities she had endured.  If she were a woman, a lovely piece of jewelry might have sufficed, but since she's a condo, I thought I would give her a gorgeous mirror for her mantel.  Mirrors are like jewelry for a room, wouldn't you agree?

I began looking for just the right piece.  Everything I found either looked "skimpy" or was too pricey.  I loved these gorgeous chunky designs from Horchow.

I also really loved this updated mid-century feeling mirror, also from Horchow.  It was *almost* exactly right. 

My new mirror needed to fill a tall order:  It needed to be substantial, with a mid-century vibe.... aaaaaand, I also wanted the mirror to reference the nautical context of the building -- without being too cheesy.

Enter the mid-century sunburst clock.  They have a kind of "mariner's compass or compass rose" feel, but I wanted a mirror, not a clock, and I didn't actually want a mid-century piece -- I just wanted to reference a mid-century *vibe*.

The next inspiration came in the form of a cardboard box.  Well, actually hundreds of cardboard boxes!

We have been slowly sorting the contents of FOUR storage lockers, now that our beach house remodel is nearing completion.  What to do with all that cardboard???!

Random cardboard + mid-century clocks + gilded Horchow mirrors 
=  a paper mache mariner's compass inspired starburst mirror!

(That was probably obvious, right?)

So far the paper mache starburst mirror has gotten rave reviews from visitors to our little pad in the city.  I gave it an aged, gilded finish to keep it from from looking too retro-kitsch, and used a variety of natural textures in the mantel vignette to keep the look casual.

The full tutorial for the paper mache starburst mirror is coming. Be sure to hit follow, in my side-bar, so you won't miss it.
Note :  the tutorial is up and you can see it here!

The Lettered Cottage


  1. Who'd have thought? You are so very imaginative!

  2. your mirror turned out great! also love the clipboard on the mantle:)

  3. I thought you didn't want the mirror to look cheesy. What of the cardboard. Cheesy as hell.


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