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Mercury (Glass) Rising as Elegant, Easy Way to Take the Dull Out of Your Décor

Shiny objects can transform your room, but silvered glass won’t break your bank with the new look

Shiny and textured mercury glass objects are timeless textures in just about any setting.
Shiny and textured mercury glass objects are timeless textures in just about any setting. (Pottery Barn photo)

Sometimes when a room seems dull, it simply needs the obvious: shine.

Bringing shine into a room can be accomplished in a number of ways — through the use of mirrors or through the strategic placement of metal objects such as silver trays or metal lamps, for example.

Another way to bring shine into a room is by choosing mercury glass décor items. These items introduce shine and sparkle in an unpretentious, cost-effective and creative way.

Feng Shui decorating, which seeks to create balance in interior environments, considers shiny objects as representing the crucial element of water in a room. Who on the Central Coast is not craving water these days?

Conveniently, if you haven’t noticed, mercury glass is having a bit of a Renaissance right now.

Mercury glass, which is also sometimes called silvered glass, is double-walled glass with a coating of silver in between the two layers.

The first patent for silvered glass was taken out in 1849 by Hale Thomson and Edward Varnish in England. In 1855, Thomas Leighton of the New England Glass Co. took out a patent in America.

A collection of vases, votives and apothecary containers packs panache. Click to view larger
A collection of vases, votives and apothecary containers packs panache. (SoftSurroundings.com photo)

The beauty of these glass objects appealed broadly, and mercury glass objects started being made across Europe and the United States. Germany, in particular, created a lot of the world’s early mercury glass items.

In the infancy of mercury glass production, each company had a closely guarded secret for how products were made, but it is generally understood that a silver nitrate liquid was poured between the layers of glass through a hole in the bottom of an object. This silver mixture would adhere to the sides of the object. Once the desired effect was achieved, the hole in the bottom of the object would be sealed.

Today, mercury glass items abound. Mercury glass lamps are a great way to add instant shine to a room. The fact that the silver reflective surface is paired with a light source makes it eye-catching and multiplies the light produced by the lamp.

Pottery Barn has a couple of attractive options, and Bed Bath & Beyond sells several well-priced lamps online, as well. While it is significantly higher priced, designer Suzanne Kasler’s Garson Table Lamp is also attractive.

Other ways to bring mercury glass items into a room include candlesticks, votives, vases and interesting apothecary containers. SoftSurroundings.com sells some beautiful apothecary jars that look good displayed together. They would brighten up a dark corner or dress up a mantle beautifully.

So when confronted with a room that lacks luster, consider the obvious benefits of bringing mercury glass into your interior.

— Noozhawk contributing writer Hilary Doubleday can be reached at [email protected]. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk@NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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