Many people even those who reside in Kuwait are not completely aware of ‘The Mirror House’. However this is really an incredible wealth of art so accessible to the public at large and it is worth the visit. The Mirror House belongs to Khalifa and Lidia Al-Qattan and it’s now considered a museum; the wife of the renowned Kuwaiti artist has turned their house into a work of art using broken pieces of glass to decorate the outside and inside of the house. Located in Qadsiya, the house is still a private residence so appointments have to be made prior for weekday visits.
The Mirror House belongs to Italian born Lidia al-Qattan, sculptor, jeweler and a painter, who is married to Khalifa al-Qattan, a renowned Kuwaiti artist. Their little daughter, Jalila, had broken a mirror and the superstitious belief is that not to keep broken mirrors at home as it supposed to bring misfortune to the family. But for Lidia these pieces of broken glass inspired her to do something artistic and from the shreds, she made a work of art.
Inside The Mirror House
Visitors to The Mirror House have to make a prior appointment to visit the house as it is still a private residence. The owners are eager to show curious visitors their home even though this is a lived-in building. Lidia Al Qattan is an amazing person and an incredible host, full of stories and the whole experience will be seriously pretty trippy.
From the outside, The Mirror House in fact stands out among the surrounding buildings. The facade is a white brick building with an amazing array of mirrors, depicting butterflies, stars, planets, palms and even calligraphy. The glittering inside of the building makes the brightly decorated outside pale in comparison and every space inside of the house is bedecked in mirrors. Walls, floorboards, all the rooms and even pieces of furniture’s are decorated with mirrors in all possible colors and shapes. The mirrors are fixed onto the wall using white cement, white adhesive and water. The design and theme takes shape only after working on it. To avoid being hurt, each cut piece of mirror is filed.
In the beginning, Lidia decided to decorate a cabinet with some broken pieces of mirror and when her husband was impressed and astounded by her work; she expanded her work to all corners of the house. What started with a small cabinet in 1970 began the makeover of all areas of the house and thus each room took its shape of what it stands as today. There is a specific theme for every room; the corridor has a dual theme, Shark Hall and Corridor of Nations. The Passage of Glittering Light continues to captivate guests with sharks and other wonders of the world. The tour culminates with spectacular designs located in Universe Hall, Sea World Hall and Knowledge Hall, which also serve as a bedroom, restroom and library.
Things to Remember
Always make sure to go with a bunch of friends to ‘The Mirror House’ since it’s an experience that should be shared.
Always call to arrange an appointment to view the house, it’s a private residence afterall.
Don’t wear heels, they will destroy the floor and you will not be allowed to enter.
There is a gallery of Lidia’s art on sale, and those who are impressed by her work are free to make a purchase, towards the end of the tour.
Be prepared to sit for tea and treats and spend a good bit of time with delicious homemade apple cake in her living room with a discussion about Kuwait history, Lidia’s history and the methods she used for her creation.
Address: House 17, Street 94, Block 9, Qadisiya, Kuwait
Telephone: +965 2251 8522
Website: The Mirror House