technology profile - mirror tv
Reflectel: The Ultimate Mirror TV
the company's founder reflects on her career in the framing business.
By Elizabeth Goldfeder
I have spent 35 years in the world of archival framing, art restoration, bespoke frame design and fabrication. In 1984, armed with art history and marketing degrees, I had ambitions into the worlds of advertising and broadcasting. After a chance meeting with the owner of a family run frame shop in Chelsea, NYC, I found myself on West 22nd Street apprenticing as a frame maker and helping to grow the small atelier that at the time framed for the Museum of American Folk Art, IBM and a bevy of downtown art collectors.
I grew up making art. My father was an artist and an art educator on Long Island. I spent weekends and summers traveling and visiting the museums of NYC and its environs. Growing up in the '70s I was immersed in the arts and crafts era; being creative was second nature to me. I ended up taking over that small atelier and started Goldfeder Framing Group, a small art gallery and high-end archival framing studio. With my artistic abilities, common sense, and inexorable curiosity, I embarked on a lifelong passion of preserving art and designing frames, delving deep into the history of design.
Overnight I became a business owner, woodworker and finisher, and fine art handler. My small art business quickly emerged as a leader in the care, preservation, and inventive frame designs for art collectors. I was recognized by art conservators and restorers and started doing work that was showing in The Whitney, MOMA and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. In 1990, with an expanding client base and a new name, GK Framing, I moved to a larger studio on west 20th Street in Chelsea, more than tripling my square footage. Now situated on the cusp of the chic Flatiron District where top designers lived and worked, we had access into the interior design and architectural communities.
GK Framing’s reputation grew. We became an R & D hub for materials manufactured for extending the life of art; this included products from my glass fabricator. Together we started researching and testing high end art, UV filtering, optically coated glass. In a turn of good fortune, my extraordinarily knowledgeable glass consultant brought me his transparent, reflective/anti-reflective coated transmission glass to test. He and I dug deeper into using his company’s specialized, water-white, low iron, optical quality, reflection control glass, and incorporating GK's substantial stable of frame designs to create the Ultimate Mirror TV.
And so in 2013, Reflectel Mirror TV was born.
the baccarat hotel
The new standard for luxury hoteliers was being built across from the Museum of Modern Art on West 53rd street. This project was a game changer and head turner for our company. In late 2013, armed with our new high-end, optical quality, water white, reflection control glass, offering empirically the most effective television transparent Mirror TV product, we met the design team of The Baccarat Hotel. Soon to be a beacon for the world’s well-traveled, the design team knew they wanted something that did not exist — a discreet and elegant solution fabricated of the finest materials with the most sumptuous finishes to hide the televisions in all of their luxurious suites.
Our team at Reflectel stepped up to the plate and built over 140 custom Mirror TVs, styled in six-inch-wide smoked oak with red mahogany finish frames. The massive frame fabrication in solid white oak - absolutely not veneer - was the brainchild of the famous French designer, FX. Painstaking refinement to the finish of the wood and the final shape under my indefatigable supervision was a lesson in meticulousness.
These incredible Portrait Plus Mirror TVs were comprised of handsome 55-inch wide by 75-inch tall versions showcasing LG Hospitality TVs. The crowning achievement for the Baccarat were the breathtaking 126-inch x 70-inch Mirror TVs in an eight-inch version of the same frame design. These beauties needed to be hoisted into the hotel from the street.
The Baccarat Hotel chose Reflectel because they wanted the company that could provide maximum TV transmission with the highest quality beam splitter mirror glass; something that did not previously exist in the Mirror TV world. Only Reflectel’s glass achieves this staggering metric. Reflectel’s Mirror TV showroom and workshops, based in NYC, provided all the conveniences the hotel needed: a local resource, with an owner operator, and a history of three decades of successful frame design work. Reflectel received compliments from around the globe and I am incredibly proud to have met the architect’s vision for the space, with the Mirror TV a key focal point of the design scheme. Reflectel simply raised the bar for this luxury project.
A few years ago Reflectel created an economy-friendly line, our Signature Series, when Bloomingdale’s Flagship 59th Street, newly renovated Home Floor came calling. Reflectel was invited to create a Mirror TV solution both easily reproducible yet still customizable, ushering in a new wave of luxury home retailing. The forward-thinking buyers saw the connection between home furnishings and smart homing pointing upward, and for the first time Bloomingdales started selling an electronic-related product. They seized the opportunity to invest in one of the fastest growing interior design trends and Reflectel was chosen because we are design-forward with local charm and a resolute commitment to excellence. The Signature Series is budget, in price only. It offers a component system for personalized touches including a variety of lip details and build-up solutions when a TV is surface mounted.
With homeowners installing more TVs than ever in their homes, the retrofit solution is a huge market. At Reflectel we believe the side of the frame projection should be as beautiful as the front. No detail is overlooked. Every Signature Series frame has a custom touch. Yours will never look like your neighbors'. A homeowner can still enjoy all of the frame orientations we offer.
Fast forward a few years to 2020 and the conversation on the table for designers and architects remains the necessity for smart homes of today to be multifunctional environments with flexibility that can seamlessly transform to meet ever-changing homeowners' wants. Future proofing is essential. Reflectel recognized from the get-go that design elements often take a backseat or are relegated to mediocre solutions in the tech space. This is particularly apparent in spaces that evoke the essence of design – bathrooms, bedrooms and great rooms.
With Reflectel’s turnkey plug and play solutions, the fully customizable frame design has become the new benchmark in Mirror TV applications. Reflectel offers a staggering array of services to help clients specifying bespoke TV concealment systems that adorn their walls. To be a relevant part of the conversation, technology designers count on us being their “back room design center” to help them communicate with the interior designer or architect. Reflectel also stands apart in the field with its support of the newest and best TV technologies. Each Reflectel is designed around the client’s or tech’s choice of television: LG, Samsung or Sony, we love them all.
Utilizing top of the line smart TVs means Reflectel can fully integrate into every home automation system. And this past year we began incorporating soundbars into our Mirror TV frames; an extraordinary way to conceal audio technology.