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Last December, I had the bright idea of adding mirrors to my bedroom closet doors. Mirrors had done wonders to my daughter's bedroom closets by making the room feel almost twice as big, just by virtue of the reflection and the light the mirrors added. Hence, the idea to do the same thing in my bedroom.
Let me admit here and now before we go any further that I am a big fan of mirrors! When placed correctly, mirrors give the illusion of space and add light where there is none. In small spaces, just like in our tiny Parisian "pieds-à-terre," they can be the easy fix and make a world of difference. One whole wall in my living room is mirrored. In Nice, the entire back wall of the bedroom is mirrored. In my daughter's New York studio, one long wall is mirrored entirely and in every case, the rooms visually feel double the size.
I'm tired of hearing the age-old argument that given the opportunity with so many mirrors, that you fear looking at yourself more than you'd like! This simply doesn't happen, unless you are "obsessed with your appearance." According to some authorities on the subject, gazing at yourself in a mirror is "not only a case of vanity," it can be a "reflection" of your self-esteem, feeding your ego by a "surface" reassurance. Much is written on the subject for a deeper look into why, so if you can't pass a mirror without looking at it, then either don't take my advice, or do (!) and make an effort to remove the fear, accepting yourself for who you are!
Obviously, this hasn't been an emotional issue for me personally as I LOVE mirrors for all the right reasons. On the closets in my bedroom, not only would they give the feeling of space, but it made it even easier to get dressed, and make a last minute check of my "surface self" before heading out the door. I will tell you, too, that mirrors can be very sexy indeed. "Sexperts" reflect on the advantages of mirrors to add to the stimulation. Tomes online are written about it if you are so inclined to Google it...but, I leave the details to the authors!
In continuation of the story, my contractor of 18 years, Tony, and I made a trip to Leroy Merlin together to order three mirrors for the bedroom closet doors. If you don't know about Leroy Merlin, you should, if you have any "bricolage" (DIY, or Do-It-Yourself) needs at all. This is virtually the one-stop-shop for almost any household repairs or reconstruction. It is at Leroy Merlin that we chose to order the mirrors to be cut, each long and narrow with a hole in the center (but set to one side), to allow for the knobs.
The sales person who took the order said to allow two weeks for delivery to the store to be picked up. Two weeks went by and they said another two weeks. Another two weeks went by and by early February the mirrors were FINALLY ready for pick-up...a mere six weeks later. Tony hired a car to pick them up, carefully brought them into the apartment and unwrapped them from the paper protection. One of them had a chip on one corner, which may have been there from the outset or chipped along the way. The other corner of the same mirror was faulty, but not chipped. We decided to go ahead and use it, but glue it down so that the chipped corner was at the very bottom and no one would notice it, except perhaps...me, if I bothered to look.
Tony glued all three mirrors to the doors. He added the knobs and put a washer between the knob and the mirror to prevent it from cracking. I stood back to have a look and wow (!), they looked great. They were so perfect that it looked as if they'd always been there. While admiring the mirrors, I noticed that one of the knobs was loose, so I tightened it without thinking...and...CRAAAACK!
A spray of star-shaped lines ran out from the center of the knob, each line several inches long. I had done it myself — tightened the knob just like I wasn't supposed to.
Imagine the emotions running rampant at that moment!? Tony just stared at me in wonder as I screeched and kicked myself for being the number one big idiot in the room. The sound of the crack replayed in my head a zillion times. I couldn't bare to look at it. It reminded me constantly of my own failings to just "let things be!" I had to take a Xanax to calm my nerves, it was so upsetting. So, I needed to find a way to hide it, at least temporarily until it could be repaired.
Fortunately, I had three promotional stickers buried in a drawer that my daughter had given me. They were clear with a white printed drawing of hers that is printed on yoga mats sold via her online shop, SacredYogaShop.com.
They were the perfect size to cover the spray of cracks, so I stuck one on each mirror — the first one directly over the crack and the others in the same positions on the other mirrors so they would look "intentional." It kind of worked, at least as a temporary fix. Now, when I look at them, it reminds me of the error, but not as blatantly. I can live with it, but not for long.
A few days later in early February, I went back to Leroy Merlin to order a new mirror. This meant a replay of the entire episode with Tony having to break off the cracked mirror to replace it with a new one. The sales person who took the order this time said to allow one month for delivery to the store to be picked up. One month went by and they said another month. Another month went by and by mid May the mirrors were FINALLY ready for pick-up...a mere three months plus later.
Saturday, Tony and I went to pick-up the new mirror at Leroy Merlin. I couldn't wait to get it up on the door and take off all the stickers. At the "Retrait a Magazin" (store pick-up) department, we waited about 15 minutes before someone came out to tell us that the mirror had arrived...but he said, "We're sorry, it is broken!"
Tony and I just started to laugh. We have wasted so much time and money that there's no other way to see it, but comical. They promised to have it ready for pick-up in two weeks! I am not holding my breath!
Moral of the story: Next time around, I will choose a professional glass and mirror purveyor — a retailer that specializes in "verres et miroirs sur mesure" (custom cut glass and mirrors)! It may cost more at the beginning, but save a whole lot more time and money in the end.
P.S. Reflecting on creating a life in Paris? Let us help you make your dream come true. Our network of professionals is here to help. Contact us to discuss your interests and we'll get to work for you. Do it today!
June 11, 2019
John Pearce, Author
ohn Pearce is a part-time Parisian but lives most of the the year in Sarasota, FL. He worked as a journalist in Washington and Europe, where he covered economics for the International Herald Tribune and edited a business magazine. After a business career in Sarasota, he spends his days working on his future books. For several months each year, he and his wife Jan live in Paris, walk its streets, and chase down interesting settings for future books and his blog, JohnPearceAuthor.com. They lived earlier in Frankfurt, Germany, which gave him valuable insights for several of the scenes in his books in Paris.
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