Nina Campbell and Dominic Schuster have collaborated on a range of very special mirrors. Here’s how the story began…
‘I have always loved old mirrors. They were made with silver leaf, that’s why they age so beautifully,’ says Nina Campbell standing in Dominic Schuster’s Surrey studio. ‘And it’s much better not to see yourself too clearly,’ she adds. Dominic is an expert in antique mirror and renowned among interior designers for the quality of his work. He was recently commissioned to create a reflective wall in Georgia May Jagger’s bathroom. Although both big players in the creative world, he and Nina hadn’t met before. A serendipitous meeting at Decorex inspired a conversation that ultimately led to collaboration.
‘I use mirror in all sorts of ways, often doing slips in architraves as it looks so lovely in candlelight,’ says Nina, ‘so I was drawn to Dominic’s stand at Decorex, where I saw a Japanese wallpaper partially revealed through white gold verre églomisé. I think the idea of partially revealing fabrics or wallpaper through glass is so glamorous – when I saw Dominic it sparked an idea for my fabric and wallpaper designs.’ Dominic says: ‘I come from an antiques background and with a multitude of period mirror glass passing through our studio, I know how old mirror should look. I have even been asked to visit homes, advise and help where mercury has dripped out of old mirror and formed balls of metal on the mantelpiece. Blending aged mirror or gilded glass with imagery is something we’ve done for a long time now and I’m always looking for new, interesting designs. Nina’s are timeless, which suits our work perfectly.’
After the initial meeting, the two put their heads together, rolled their sleeves up and got to work. Nina chose to use her Colbert wallpaper, an arrangement of 1930s stylised leaf formations named after Jean-Baptiste Colbert, Louis XIV’s finance minister. Dominic fused this with white gold and distressed it to reveal as little or as much as he deemed appropriate. ‘It’s a delicate process and part of the skill is to get the right balance between image and mirror,’ he says. The final design, graceful and subtle, looks like it’s been around for years. ‘I can’t wait to feature the mirrors as cupboard doors in a bedroom or a pair of hallway mirrors,’ smiles Nina.