How to Decorate With Mirrors

mirror in foyer decor
 jodiejohnson/Getty Images

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. Here are a few tips on how to decorate with mirrors.

Consider the Reflection

Before you hang a mirror take into account what is across from it. While we often hang mirrors based on available wall space, it’s important to think about what will be reflected in it.

When hung opposite an important architectural element, painting, or piece of furniture it will give that item even more importance – as it will if hung across form something unattractive. Also, whenever possible ​hang a mirror across from a window. It will significantly increase the amount of light in the room.

Placement Matters

Aside from placing it across from something visually appealing, a mirror should always be hung at the appropriate height for the space. Unlike art which should always be hung at eye level, mirror placement will depend on what you want to be reflected. Eye level works in many cases, but higher or lower can work depending on the situation.

Think Big

Don’t be afraid to use a large mirror in a small space. Mirrors create the illusion of depth and space so they can really help make a small room feel bigger. A full-length mirror leaning against the wall is a great decorative element to use in a tiny room.

Mirrors are also great for narrow spots such as hallways.

Create a Focal Point

Mirrors make great focal points. It’s why they are so often placed above mantels and dining room buffets. Hang sconces on either side and you’ve got the perfect focal point in any room.  If you want to go even bigger, a wall covered entirely in mirrors creates a terrific feature.

Don’t Forget About Style

Mirrors can be modern, traditional, edgy, classic – pretty much anything. It all depends on the frame. Consider what effect you want to create when choosing a mirror in a frame. A beautiful Chinoiserie mirror will have a far different effect on a room than a simple wood frame. There’s also the mirror itself, smoky glass and antique mirrors with imperfections can be very moody and greatly contribute to the look of a space.

Hang Mirrors Properly

A small nail hammered into the wall won’t cut it. Use proper wall hooks or picture hangers and be sure to use two (one at either end). This will ensure the mirror is held flat to the wall. A wire hung on a single hook is not only dangerous but it can cause the mirror to rest against the wall at an angle, distorting the reflection. If the mirror is very heavy have it hung by professionals.

Use Several Mirrors at Once

Don’t be afraid to create a gallery wall with mirrors. Like with any photo wall, treat them as one unit when deciding on placement. That said, a mirrored gallery wall will look best in a room with little clutter. All of the frames can be visually busy – add that to a small, cluttered room and it could be too much.

About Mirrored Furniture

Mirrored furniture has gone through a few periods of popularity. While it can be great for reflecting light and elongating walls, don’t use it in a room that has a lot going on. The extra reflections will just be too much.