A single mirror can act as the “secret sauce” to bring a design together. It can make a space more beautiful, add a focal point, enlarge a room, or even lighten dark corners.
To add a little drama in your interior design, add some “interesting” reflections with the stunning use of LEDs or of unique mirror frames…and you will truly be ASTOUNDED how much the addition of a mirror can transform a space.
As for trends, we got away from the floor-to-ceiling wall mirrors for a while, and yet I’m seeing that start to come back…without a doubt, these huge, wall-sized panes of glass make for a major space “enlarger,” but that’s not the only way to enlarge a space with mirrors OR leave a lasting impression.
For example, personally I LOVE adding mirrors to the back of cabinets…it’s practical and beautiful, especially if you have glass-paned cabinet doors.
And how about an antique mirror?! Add one to any space, even as the backsplash in your kitchen…and it not only expands the “visual size” of the room, it also ups the refractive quality, meaning EVERYTHING will look brighter.
For more tips and some examples of the OPTIMAL use of mirrors in design, keep reading! To kick off your inspiration, take a look at our latest quarterly magazine and see what mirrors you pick out…
What mirrors should you use in bathroom décor?
Of course, we start in the bathroom where we’re most accustomed to mirrors. Your vanity has a mirror, of course, where you brush your teeth, fluff our hair, floss…and generally check yourself out. How many times a day do you think you look at your reflection in that mirror?
And how about a full-length mirror in the bathroom to aid you as you get dressed for each day?
These classic mirrors MUST work for you or you’ll look (and feel) “off” every single day.
For example, the LED-lit mirrors out there now are INCREDIBLE and vary a LOT. The technology’s gotten better, too—there are mirrors whose built-in lighting automatically adjusts to the different Kelvins that come in through the windows during the day!
Wouldn’t you love a vanity that automatically adjusts to feature you at your BEST according to the natural light in the room?!
Some of my favorite vanity mirrors now are those where the light is built into the back of the mirror itself. No, I DON’T mean the mirrors with strips of light coming out from behind. (Though that’s cool, too.) I’m talking about the mirrors that appear to glow evenly across the pane.
Believe me…you will do yourself (and your self-esteem) a BIG favor with a mirror like this. You’ve probably already seen these at hotels…and the 360-degree light does away with shadows cast across your face for GOOD.
I realize that I haven’t answered the question at the top of this section yet…because, really, the mirror you “should” use in the bathroom is simply the one that provides the best light. I’m such an advocate of LED lighting for bathroom vanities now. When it comes to the frame and “look” of the mirror, that’s a much more flexible question—and it will depend on your design style!
Expert tip: If you are trying to conserve space but want a full-length mirror in the bathroom, I’m also a BIG fan of adding mirrors to closet doors. Or, if you have a shaker door or something like it, you can even install the mirror into the panels!
Where can you use mirrors in the home?
Now let’s think beyond the bathroom…mirrors play a VERY fun role in overall home design! You can truly get them in any shape or style (or price point). And then, there are some you just look at and say “wow.”
There are even light fixtures now that incorporate mirrors into their design…and now, we’re back to that important “refractive” quality of the light in each room!
Mirrors can be used to deceive, too, but not in the good way. The same way that little black dress makes my waist look just a bit smaller, a mirror can enhance something OR deflect attention away from it.
So, where else in your home can you put mirrors?
Check out this mirror we shared in our 12 killer design finds earlier this year!!
Now, think about a room where you want to camouflage a sloping ceiling or a gap in the staging that’s too small for a piece of furniture…
Or how about the room where you want to boost the lighting and add a “stylish” atmosphere for the next time you have friends over?
Expert tip: I’m also a HUGE fan of mirrors that are just leaned up against a wall…this makes the mirror the focal point of the room. What about antique mirror for this purpose? I’m a big fan of those, too!
When should you make a mirror your focal point?
Any time you have a room where there isn’t a focal point and there isn’t a good mantelpiece to turn to, you can consider a mirror as a focal point.
Even when you do have a mantel or a fireplace in the room, the mirror can be placed above or opposite it to exaggerate the impact of the mirror AND the mantel.
For mirrors used to complement fireplaces, I love ornately-carved wood…how much more natural a combination is there?!
How to use mirrors outdoors…
It’s not JUST about mirrors indoors, either—there’s also the very real possibility of using mirrors outdoors.
Whether your inspiration is to “lighten up” a shady courtyard or add more visual interest to a sitting area, you can expand your horizons (literally AND figuratively) with a beautiful outdoor mirror.
Create the illusion of more greenery in your yard…grant visitors a breathtaking view of the critters that pitter-patter across the lawn…and double the volume of your flowers with a simple visual trick.
Expert tip: just be sure you treat our outdoor mirrors with weather-resistant paint or finish and clean them often to keep their maximum effect.
How do you correctly hang mirrors?
Ah, of course…once you’re sold on the idea of another mirror (or have fallen in love with a few), the question is: how do you correctly hang them?
The heavy mirrors, in particular, are tricky! Here is a simple step-by-step you can use…
Step 1: Determine the wall type
Recently remodeled or newly-built homes generally have drywall, whereas older homes tend to have plaster walls…if you’re not sure which type of walls you have, just try to press a thumbtack into a discrete place near the floor or behind a photo. If you can easily push it in, you have drywall. If not, you probably have masonry like plaster, brick, or something similar.
Step 2: Find the studs
Once you know what you’re dealing with (and how challenging the mirror mount will be), you’ll need to find the studs behind the wall. You’ll also need to be aware of any pipes or wires behind there, too. And the heavier the mirror, the more important it is to have at least one screw in a stud…otherwise, you might need to reconsider the mirror’s placement.
Step 3: Make the mirror LEVEL
Once you have the space prepped, ensure your mirror is TOTALLY LEVEL. A crooked mirror will be a distraction in the room, not a beauty mark. And an uneven mirror will also put more stress on one side of the mount, making the mirror liable to fall.
Look at our gallery of recent projects for some examples of what a mirror could do for your space!