Want to add drama, light, and depth to your space on a budget? Embrace these 10 tips to decorate with mirrors. —-
Mirrors add style, drama, and dimension to any room. And with the right placement, mirrors can make your interior appear brighter and more spacious.
“Mirrors are one of my favorite pieces to use in a space,” says Danielle Montgomery, Interior Stylist, Owner of Hillaries Road Interiors, whose full-service design packages bring residential and commercial interiors to life. “They work as functional, bold statement pieces in all spaces.”
Betsy Helmuth, Owner of Affordable Interior Design, an award-winning interior design service based in NYC, agrees, underscoring the importance of placement:
“A piece of artwork can hang wherever you want simply because it looks nice on a wall. But a mirror can never be hung arbitrarily. It always has to be doing something.”
So what are the best ways to decorate with mirrors? We’ll detail 10 expert tips for designing with mirrors from Montgomery and Helmuth to add glimmer, shine, and splendor to your space.
Courtesy of Hillaries Road Interiors
1. Double a gorgeous accent with a mirror
One of the best places to hang a mirror? Across from a feature you love.
“Whatever you hang your mirror across from you double,” Helmuth notes. This means that if you hang a mirror across from a window with a stunning view, you double your view. “But if you hang your mirror across from something less beautiful — the desk where you pay your bills, the kitchen where dirty dishes pile up — you double that, too.”
“We turned an unused front room into a piano room by using a piano as the centerpiece of the room,” Montgomery shares. For this design, Montgomery overlayed an unforgettable gold mirror on deep, moody blue walls to create a vibrant space.
“It was important that the space didn’t feel fundamentally different from the rest of their home, which was light and airy,” Montgomery comments. “Not only does an oversized mirror reflect the light and the focal gorgeous piano, it also reflects understated design elements around the room for beautiful sightlines no matter where you’re standing.”
To get the look, add a framed mirror to a wall with a contrasting paint color. Hang the mirror across from anything you’d like to reflect, and consider how the frame and reflection complement the room’s greater color scheme.
For a playful twist, hang a mirror across from a bold print curtain.
2. Reflect the sun from a southward window
Mirrors enhance brightness by bouncing light around the space, making them perfect decor for darker rooms and airy, coastal designs.
“One of my favorite uses of a mirror in interior design is to a mirror opposite a window in a dark room to reflect lots of natural light all over the dark spaces,” Helmuth shares.
To get the look, place a simple framed mirror across from a window with soft window treatments. Be selective with your window of choice; a large window with a great view will add light and dimension to your design.
Courtesy of Hillaries Road Interiors
3. Stack mirrors in the bedroom for whimsy
“The only thing more beautiful than one mirror is two,” Montgomery muses. “In a large area, playing with repetition by stacking mirrors in a row or grid pattern creates greater impact and visual interest.”
Montgomery suggests doubling or tripling up on mirrors on a bedroom wall by stacking rectangular mirrors horizontally as a modern alternative to wall art, which risks overpowering a small space.
“One mirror fills the space, but breaking up the mirrors makes it art. It’s unexpected and easy to replicate in a dining room or hallway, too,” she adds.
4. Curate a mirror trio in the entryway
Recreate this look in a condensed format by hanging a trio of small accent mirrors in an entryway.
“The most popular use of a mirror is to check yourself to make sure you don’t have food in your teeth,” Helmuth says. “So an entryway is an obvious choice for where to hang a mirror.”
For an on-trend, contemporary look, Montgomery suggests choosing round or beveled mirror shapes. Stagger the three mirrors in a cluster rather than in a neat row. These organic shapes help balance out the hard lines of an entryway table and door frame.
Add easy, inviting movement to your entryway with these organic shaped brass frame mirrors that are Salvador Dalí meets Anthropologie.
Courtesy of Affordable Interior Design
5. Create a striking focal point behind a sofa
A mirror is a natural focal point since its shine attracts attention. Use this to your advantage to draw the eye through a space to add depth.
“Hanging a mirror above a sofa is one of my favorite things to do,” Helmuth explains.
When hanging a design element above a sofa, you have to select something substantial to compete with the large size of a sofa. This requirement can quickly become expensive if you opt for framed fine art or prints. Even if you’re able to come by a large piece of artwork at a budget price, such as at an antique shop, framing it will likely cost you quite a bit.
“A mirror, on the other hand, is already framed and relatively affordable, even when nice and big,” Helmuth says. The average cost to hang a mirror is between $139 and $432. “I can’t say the same about a picture frame in many cases. So when I need a big piece and I need to bring the drama, a mirror gets me there on a budget.”
6. Decorate with mirrors following feng shui principles
Not only does hanging a mirror across from an unpleasant design element double the eyesore, but it can also interrupt the visual flow in your living space.
Helmuth explains that according to feng shui, which was shown in a 2008 study to increase the sale prices of homes, a poorly placed mirror derails the balance of a space. “Mirrors act as a water element in a room, and so they can be intentionally placed near fire elements to create balance.”
Adding a mantelpiece mirror is a classic way to instantly add a focal point to the space. Not only does the mirror add interest and pair beautifully with the angles of a fireplace, but Helmuth says it balances everything out “like a yin and yang.”
If you don’t have a fireplace, try hanging a mirror across from a dining table to reflect the food on the table. According to Helmuth, the reflection doubles the food, thereby doubling your wealth. “I like to use that trick to bring money into my client’s lives.”
7. Add drama with an oversized mirror
“Using oversized mirrors is a great way to bring in some grandeur,” Montgomery says. “And ornate frames and details on mirrors really add to the feeling of luxury.” Pair the two, and you’re looking at a seriously striking statement.
Helmuth suggests using an oversized mirror as a sculptural element leaning on a wall in an interior with limited floor space.
“A full-length mirror can serve as a statement piece without taking up a large footprint,” Helmuth says. She recommends adding perspective to a long hallway by hanging a mirror at one end. “Whenever you hang a mirror at the end of something, it tends to look deeper,” she advises.
In houses with high ceilings, go for extra large mirrors with dramatic proportions such as this arched paneled mirror. You can also hang a full-length mirror with storage in the foyer in lieu of an entry table to add drama and prevent clutter.
8. Include a mirrored door
In a tight space that desperately needs balance and depth, a mirrored door can add the aesthetic of a full-length mirror without monopolizing any of the floor or wall space.
To get the look, add a mirror insert to a sliding barn door in a living room or a bi-fold closet in a bedroom. Be mindful of the weight of a large mirror and choose lighter, minimalistic neighboring decor to avoid an overly busy space.
9. Style mirrored furniture … with caution
Word to the wise: Mirrored furniture can be hit or miss.
“There are exceptions,” Montgomery notes. “A coffee table with a reflective or mirrored surface makes the list for me.”
Montgomery says that a mirrored coffee table is a way to bring a mirror into the center of a room for a glamorous anchor.
To avoid veering into tacky territory, stick to a refined, modern coffee table with basic geometric shapes. A simple design allows the material of the table — a light-reflecting mirror — to be the star of the show.
10. Decorate with vintage mirrors for a unique look
For a truly custom design, go big with a mirrored wall. “Not the dated, 1980s mirrored wall that was oh so popular in formal dining rooms,” Montgomery cautions. “Instead, create a modern version with an oversized, antique style mirror leaned to cover a wall from floor to ceiling.
“The impact of a large mirror draws you in,” Montgomery says. “The reflective quality of mirrors, the light, at that size is bold and impressive.”
You can use a floor-to-ceiling antiqued mirror to contribute interest to an otherwise simple room.
A grand, vintage-inspired mirror looks clean, expensive, and well-considered as the counterpoint for a plain sofa. Use one as a backdrop for minimalist pearl beige seating to add some flare to a space, or pair them with a deep blue velvet sofa to complement an antique gold frame.
Header Image Source: (Gaf_Lila / Shutterstock)
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