For me, one of the things that really signified the French architecture during my recent trip, were the mansard roofs and dormer windows that created the beautiful skyline.  In the U.S., this look has been translated into beautiful mirrors that lend a French feel to the interior of our homes, and I’ve always loved this style of mirror, so it was amazing to see the inspiration and origin of this look!

TIDBITS&TWINE-Rooftop

A mansard roof is basically a roof with two slopes, the lower slope being steeper than the upper and dotted with dormer windows.  This style of roof allows what would otherwise be considered attic space, to be liveable space, thus reducing the overall height of the roof for the amount of liveable space.  In France, mansard not only refers to a type of roof construction, but also literally translate to “attic” in French.

TIDBITS&TWINE-Hotels-des-Invalides-Front

What’s interesting to me is that while it’s the construction of the roof that has been given the term “mansard,” it’s the distinct style of the dormer windows that help give the roof line its characteristic look.  Here’s a closeup of these amazing windows pictured above.  You’ll notice that they’ve been constructed to resemble knights!

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TIDBITS&TWINE---Paris-Dormer-Window

These beautiful dormer windows that dot the Parisian skyline have been replicated and produced as mirrors.  They make beautiful and elegant statements in any room.

{L'Otel: Boutique Hotel}
{via L’Otel: Boutique Hotel}
{via Amanda Carol Interiors}
{via Amanda Carol Interiors}
{via Atelier de Campagne}
{via Atelier de Campagne}

Restoration Hardware is well-known for carrying a mansard mirror in a variety of styles, but their inventory can be quite pricey, with the smallest starting at $275 on sale.

Restoration Hardware Mansard Collection

A significantly less expensive alternative is {affiliate} World Market’s Maddox Mansard Mirror, which is $65 for the same look and size.

World Market Maddox Mansard Mirror

These mirrors are a great way to bring architectural detail and a bit of French history into your home and can add interest to even the plainest of walls.

Would you use a mansard mirror in your home?

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9 Comments

  1. LOVE this post. Those knights are amazing. I would have never known that if you didn’t show the close-up shot.
    Hugs,
    Jamie

  2. Kim,
    Welcome back. I loved the shared images of your trip. I love this style of mirror. i would definitely use one of these in our house if need came up.
    xo,
    Karen

    1. Tidbits&Twine says:

      Thank you, Karen! The trip was wonderful but I’m glad to be home. :)

  3. I love these, and yes, I would use one in a heart beat. My daughter has a fabulous one on her fireplace. Love them. Great post. I didn’t know the history.

    1. Tidbits&Twine says:

      Hi Marty!! These mirrors look so beautiful above fireplaces so I’m sure your daughter’s looks fantastic. :) And now that I know the history, I really want one too!

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