Mirrors are great for so many reasons—they reflect light, they open up spaces, and they just make rooms look better in general. But before you start hanging them left, right, and center there are some things to keep in mind.
Whether you’re hoping to open up a dimly lit or tight space or you just want something that’ll make getting dressed in the morning easier, we spoke to a handful of design experts to get their insights on exactly what to consider when decorating with mirrors.
Here’s what experts say you should focus on in order to ensure your mirrors will achieve the intended effect every time.
Meet the Expert
- Beth Halpern Brown is the founder and lead interior designer at Beth Brown Interiors
- Megan Dufresne is the principal designer at MC Design
- Jennifer Burt is a professional home stager and interior designer at Mississippi Maximalism
Employ Mirrors in Small Spaces
According to Beth Halpern Brown, founder and lead interior designer at Beth Brown Interiors, mirrors should always be used in smaller spaces. Not only are mirrors a great way to make a room feel bigger, they also add light to dimly lit corners and spaces.
Antique Mirrors Can Add Whimsy
“I personally love to add antiqued mirrors to walls or to cabinets; they can be really fun in unexpected places,” says Brown. “I recently mirrored a wall in my powder room; if you’re going large, it looks nice to antique the mirror so you don't feel like you're in a gym.”
Don’t Be Afraid to Overlap
Another unique way to add visual interest with mirrors? Overlapping different types of mirrors. “I particularly like hanging mirrors on mirrors in bathrooms,” says Brown. “I also like mirrored tiles behind a sink for added effect.”
Doublecheck the Reflection
You might have a spot in your home that looks as if it’s begging for a mirrored reflection. But before hanging your mirror you’ll want to make sure you're happy with what the mirror is reflecting. If the mirror is facing toward a cluttered corner or unattractive area in the home, it’ll double the amount of time you’ll spend looking at it.
Pair Mirrors With Candlelight
“I like mirrors in a dining room because they reflect candlelight,” says Brown. “I would just make sure the mirror in question is not too big so the people at the table don't have to watch themselves eat!”
Mix Practical and Decorative
“It's nice to place mirrors where they will be used,” points out Brown. “Mirrors look great above a console or near the closet so you can check your reflection after getting dressed.”
“I like to scatter asymmetrical mirrors on tall walls in entryways and great rooms,” says Megan Dufresne, principal designer at MC Design. “It's a great way to capture the reflection of a view and will always make the room feel larger if done properly.”
Place Mirrors Near Windows
“Mirrors are a great way to reflect light and help a space feel larger,” explains Jennifer Burt, professional home stager and interior designer at Mississippi Maximalism. “I suggest using them across from windows for the most impact.”
Don’t Forget the Entryway
“One of my favorite spots for a mirror is near the door,” says Burt. “Foyers and mudrooms are usually tight spaces so a mirror helps open up the space as well as provide a spot to take a look at yourself before heading out.”
Consider DIY and Upcycling
“My favorite DIY project is having a piece of glass cut to fit inside of an ornate, vintage picture frame,” shared Burt. If you have a family member or friend that does a bathroom remodel, ask them for the large, oversized wall mirror that most people replace when renovating. “My local glass shop will cut these mirrors down for $2 per cut, so I can make many smaller, custom framed mirrors out of one large piece.”
If you have a large, unframed mirror in your bathroom and would like an update, there are kits that you can order that will frame out the mirror for a completely custom look, says Burt.
Work With Your Fireplace
According to Burt, the fireplace mantel is the perfect spot for a mirror. “You want to hang about 3 to 6 inches above the mantle to give the objects on the mantle breathing room,” she says. “Otherwise, for a current and trendy look, lean the mirror on the mantle and layer with another piece of artwork and add decorative objects like a vase.”
Avoid Placing a Mirror in Front of the Bed
Mirrors can work in a bedroom but it is best not to position them facing the bed. According to Burt, they can easily cause distraction in a place that should be relaxing. Mirrored furniture, on the other hand, like nightstands or dressers, are fine in the bedroom and add a bit of glamor.