Bathroom mirrors, contemporary mirrors, sunburst mirrors, oh my. At MirrorDeco, we’re often asked for advice on how mirrors can be used to liven up a space. We’ve combined our extensive experience working with mirrors and home décor to put together this ultimate mirror guide for you to enjoy.
Spoiler: Window pane mirrors placed in small rooms that have minimal natural lighting can create the illusion of having additional windows while also brightening up the space.
So, whether you’re interested in using large mirrors to lighten a dark room, to make a small space appear larger or simply want to find the best mirrors for redecorating on a budget, this mirror guide has you covered.
How to Pick the Perfect Mirror in 4 Steps
Picking the perfect collection of decorative mirrors for your space is key to transforming any room into a masterpiece. Unfortunately, large department stores that mass produce generic mirrors don’t always provide the unique mirror style and ambiance you’re looking for. For that reason alone, finding the perfect mirror can be slightly more difficult than heading over to your local store.
To help you land on the perfect mirror for your particular space, let’s go over the basics.
For the sake of keeping this mirror and home décor guide easy to understand, different types of mirrors can be broken down according to three criteria:
These three categories can also be used as the key steps to finding the perfect mirror for your home: 1, choose a mirror size; 2, choose a mirror shape; 3, choose a mirror style.
To get you started on this journey of exploring the beautiful mirror options available to you, let’s take a look at the various mirror sizes, mirror styles, and mirror shapes you can expect to find at Mirror Deco.
Step One: Mirror Size
Determining the size of mirrors you need is a great place to start as it’ll instantly narrow down your selections to what you want. After all, if you’re looking for an overmantle mirror, you already know that you need a fairly large mirror to fill the space, which means you can eliminate small mirrors from the list of options.
Although mirrors come in a wide range of different dimensions, here is a general breakdown of the options you’ll want to consider:
- Extra Small Mirrors (e.g.: decorative mirror wall art)
- Small Mirrors (e.g.: hallway mirrors)
- Medium Mirrors (e.g.: starburst mirrors)
- Large Mirrors (e.g.: free standing full length mirror)
- Extra Large Mirrors (e.g.: overmantle mirrors or industrial mirrors)
Sizing Tip: Play around with masking tape and try out different sizes on the wall you intend on decorating!
Step Two: Mirror Shapes
Once you have determined the size of mirror needed for the space you’re redecorating, it’s time to go through the various mirror shapes available to you. It can be fun to play around with different shapes in different sizes to find the perfect addition for your space.
For example, you may find that installing two extra small hallway mirrors is a better fit than one large mirror.
Here is a look at some popular mirror shapes available, from the most traditional mirror shapes to the most unique:
- Square mirrors
- Rectangle mirrors
- Round mirrors
- Oval mirrors
- Tall mirrors
- Arched mirrors
- Hexagon mirrors
- Geometric mirrors
- Sunburst mirrors
Step Three: Mirror Styles
Shopping the various mirror styles is one of the most exciting parts of redecorating your home with reflective surfaces. From the frame type to the materials used, there are many excellent mirror styles to choose from. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular mirror themes and frames that can instantly revitalise any area in your home.
Vintage mirrors, such as cheval mirrors, venetian mirrors and gold framed oval mirrors, can add a touch of elegance into your interior. These types of mirrors are often designed with various textures and traditional materials that resemble those of a previous era.
Industrial mirrors are large mirrors often designed with minimalism and a masculine urban style in mind. They’re a great selection for contemporary homes and business interiors, offering informal and edgy home décor.
Shabby chic mirrors are unique styles that combine furnishings that appear to be slightly worn, offering a feminine, rustic appeal. These mirror styles are also called “distressed mirrors”.
Modern mirrors are designed with crisp, clean lines to create a sleek, uncluttered and minimalistic look. They can work well in almost any interior.
Contemporary mirrors are similar to modern mirror in the sense that they provide a minimalistic appearance. However, these mirrors styles have a more futuristic design that often incorporate exciting materials and innovative ideas.
Kids mirrors often incorporate fun shapes and colours into the playful design.
Garden mirrors are a vast selection of different mirror styles, all of which are created with specific materials and a strong structure that can withstand environmental elements, such as UV rays, wind, and moisture.
Framed mirrors come in a wide range of colours, such as black, copper, silver, gold, white, bronze, and even vibrant tones.
Artistic mirrors often incorporate different tones in the frame to create a mirror that also doubles as an art piece.
In addition to colour, framed mirrors can also be made with all sorts of different types of materials which can determine the colour. For example, wood framed mirrors can be stained to provide a specific hint of earthy tones or painted to fit a specific mirror theme, such as white on a venetian mirror.
The colour options are endless and finding the perfect tone for your interior can be quite an exhilarating experience!
The area you’re redecorating can also make it easy to navigate to the best mirror styles for your particular space. Let’s take a look at some the different types of area mirrors.
- Bathroom mirrors
- Living Room mirrors
- Bedroom mirrors
- Mirror with shelf
- Hall mirrors
- Overmantle mirrors
- Arch mirrors
- Hanging mirrors
- Wall art mirrors
- Cheval mirrors
- Wall clock mirrors
Mirror Tip: This list of exciting mirror themes, colours and areas can be your partner-in-crime when shopping for mirrors. You can also use the items listed while searching online for some interior design inspiration.
Step Four: Put It All Together
Now for the fun part – putting together your newfound information to find the perfect collection of mirrors to shop.
For example, if you’re looking for small mirrors to be placed in a hallway, you’ll want to consider shelf mirrors which double as smart storage for your sunglasses and a place to check out your hair before you head out the door.
Or maybe you’re interested in placing large mirrors in a small room to create the illusion of a bigger and brighter space. Consider adding large window mirrors that are designed with window frames to emphasise the extra window illusion while still adding extra light and openness into the space.
Additional Considerations for Finding the Perfect Mirror
Finding the perfect mirror to liven up any space isn’t just about the frame. The beauty and benefits of mirrors come from every nook and cranny; every detail and everything the glass reflects. These are vital components that should never be overlooked, as they are key to finding the right mirror style for your interior.
So remember, it all comes down to the details in the mirror. Here are some additional considerations for finding the perfect mirror.
Mirror Glass Effects
There are many mirror glass effects, such as coatings and films that can be applied to decorative mirrors to provide a one-of-a-kind appearance.
Old Vs. New
The same style of mirror can look vastly different depending on its age. Brand new mirrors with crisp edges create a modern look whereas a distressed mirror is more likely to evoke the appearance of a vintage mirror.
However, keep in mind that the age for both mirrors can be brand new. It simply comes down to the details in the specific style you’re considering. For example, window mirrors are significantly newer mirror styles but with a rustic or distressed frame, that same modern window mirror can appear more like a vintage window frame mirror.
Helpful Tips for Finding the Perfect Mirror
With the right mirror on the wall, any space has the potential to be powerful. Decorative mirrors have the power to transform an entire space, as the reflection becomes part of the room while enhancing all of the areas that surround it. But it all comes down to finding the perfect mirror. Here are some interior design tips that’ll help you do just that:
- A long mirror hung horizontally will accentuate width
- A tall mirror used vertically will bring attention to height
- Square mirrors and rectangular mirrors can be either traditional or modern, depending on the details
- Round mirrors or arched mirrors offer more of an artistic, whimsical appearance (depending on the frame)
- An extra large mirror in a distinctive frame will turn the mirror into a focal point
- Frameless mirrors are easier to blend into the background of a room
- Decorative mirrors, such as arched mirrors or vintage mirrors are ideal in traditional or artistic interiors or to add contrast in a modern home or office
- Framed mirrors with simple lines are often best for casual interiors because of their modern appearance
- Distressed mirrors and mirrors with artistic frame treatments are best for artistic or country interiors
Mirror Placement, Scale and Proportion
See! Choosing the perfect mirror to liven up a room doesn’t have to be one of those tasks on your to-do list that you dread completing! Here are some more helpful mirror decorating tips that will make the redecorating process even more fun, exciting and easy.
The Basics on How to Scale a Mirror for Placement
The placement of a mirror is, inarguably, one of the most important steps to using mirrors to liven up the area. After all, poor placement of a mirror can reflect all the elements of a home that you wish to hide, such as dusty corners, ceiling fans, glares, etc. Not only that but there are some interior design rules to where mirrors should be placed based on its surroundings. Let’s take a look at the basics:
- When hanging a mirror above furniture, the bottom of the wall mirror should always be 4 to 6 inches above the highest edge of the furniture
- A large mirror placed as a single piece of art on the wall should be approximately 56-60 inches from the floor
- When hanging multiple larger mirrors, keep 2-3 inches between them (small mirrors can be hung slightly closer together)
The Dos and Don’ts of Mirror Placement
The interior design industry has created a number of mirror placement rules to ensure that you get the most out of the reflection and overall appeal. After all, placing a mirror in the right place can provide an abundance of positive energy, stylish dimension, and depth, whereas a poorly placed mirror can create some major eyesores that jeopardize the aesthetics within the entire area.
As a rule of thumb, these are the dos and don’ts of mirror placement that you’ll want to follow:
DO Hang Dining Room Mirrors
Dining room mirrors are often hailed as the must-have mirror for every home, as it illuminates the place where families gather.
DON’T Hang Mirrors Above Your Bed
For obvious reasons, hanging mirrors above the bed is never a good idea. #Dangerzone. However, many interior designers also suggest avoiding placing a bedroom mirror in a place where it’ll reflect the bed.
DO Use a Mantle Mirror But Only If It Isn’t Too High
Having an overmantle mirror adds an instant splash of elegance into the area but you must make sure it’s hung at the proper height to avoid having the reflection show any cobwebs in the corner of the room. This is a common problem that is often only noticed once it’s too late.
DON’T Use Mirrors on the Ceiling
Hanging mirrors on ceilings is often viewed as a tacky decorating tactic or something you’d see from a cheap motel. So, it should go without saying but just in case, don’t place your mirrors on the ceiling.
DO Use Hall Mirrors
Using hall mirrors instantly widens the space, creating an illusion that the hallways are much bigger than what they actually are. This interior design mirror trick also helps your interior design flow from one room to the next.
DON’T Place a Mirror Directly Across Your Front Door
Hanging mirrors on the same wall as your front door or hanging hall mirrors that conjoin the space is certainly recommended. However, many interior design experts follow a rule based on Feng Shui principles that you should never place mirrors directly across from the front door, as it’s believed to push away opportunities.
DO Use Multiple Bathroom Mirrors
For a quick and affordable way to redecorate your bathroom, change out the one large vanity mirror for multiple bathroom mirrors to instantly add dimension and depth into the space.
DON’T Face a Mirror Towards a Window
Mirrors can and should be placed near windows to capture a reflection that’ll lighten the room. However, it’s imperative to do so with caution, as the result can be blinding if the mirror reflects the sun. So, certainly play around with the angles before settling on a spot.
DO Use a Mirror as a Window to Brighten Up Dark and Small Spaces
There’s no need to start knocking down walls to install expensive windows. Instead, use window mirrors that create the illusion of a larger and lighter space.
DON’T Go Mirror-Crazy
You can get away with hanging a lot of mirrors throughout your home, office or building but there is a fine line. Remember, not every empty wall needs to have a mirror. Being selective with your mirror placement is the way to create a statement.
DO Let Mirrors Double as Home Decor
Using mirrors that double as home decor is a powerful – and fairly effortless way to add great depth and purpose into the space. For example, shelf mirrors offer smart storage while also bringing a spark of life into your interior.
Fun Fact: In Feng Shui, decorative mirrors are used to multiply the energy within a space by reflecting incoming vibes and dining room mirrors are hailed as being the best for this.
Let’s Start Hanging Some Mirrors
From window mirrors to large industrial mirrors, full length mirrors and everything in between, hanging mirrors is a powerful way to add dimension, depth, and drama into any space. Hanging large mirrors in small spaces can create the illusion of a bigger area and hanging frameless mirrors can create the illusion of additional windows and natural lighting in a dark room but to get the best effect, there are some mirror hanging secrets you must know.
How to Hang a Mirror: Step by Step Guide
The options are truly endless when you are hanging mirrors throughout your home, office or business, but first, you must know how to do so properly to maximize the effects. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to hang a mirror at the right height and in the right place:
Step One: Choose the Room
When hanging a wall mirror, it’s imperative to think wisely about the room it’ll be in. Some things to consider include:
- Would the mirror work better as a bathroom mirror, living room mirror or bedroom mirror?
- Does the style of the mirror go with the interior in the room?
- For example, a silver framed mirror would look best in a room with silver hardware and light fittings
- Does the size of the mirror match its surroundings?
- For example, a small mirror may appear out of proportion on a large empty wall
Step Two: Choose a Location
Once you have decided on the wall mirror for your selected area, it’s time to find the perfect location to hang it. Here are some things to consider:
- Smaller mirrors can double as wall art mirrors, making them great accents when placed throughout the room
- Mirrors being hung above furniture should have approximately 4 to 6 inches above the highest edge of the furniture
- Make sure the location of the mirror reflects positive elements of the room
Step Three: Decide on the Exact Placement
After you have confirmed the location of the wall mirror, it’s crucial that you properly mark the exact placement on the wall. In order to do so, you will need a builder’s pencil, a measuring tape, and a helping hand:
- Have a friend hold the mirror in the area you wish to have it placed
- Measure the distances between the mirror and the wall, the ceiling and any nearby furniture to find the proper placement
- Note where the fitting holes are on the mirror and make light markings on the wall
- Some people prefer to draw lines straight across the edges but you must consider how far the fitting holes are from the top of the mirror
- Re-measure the markings with the surroundings to confirm the position
Step Four: Hang the Mirror
The next step is to use the proper mirror fixings to hang the mirror in place. However, not all mirror fixings are created equal and it’s vital that you use fixings that suit the specific mirror you’ve selected. Here are some helpful tips:
- Always check the wall you are drilling into, as different types of walls, such as brick interior walls, drywall, wood paneling, plaster walls, stucco wall and may require different mirror fixings
- For example, heavy duty hardware is required to secure large wall mirrors on a plaster wall. A stud must also be used to ensure a strong hold.
- Make sure you are not drilling into any wires or piping
- Heavy-duty mirror fittings are highly recommended to avoid a broken mirror and seven years of bad luck
- Hanging mirrors with integrated chains can be hung from one, strong nail
- Large mirrors will need to be fastened in several areas for optimal sturdiness
Unusual Ways to Hang a Mirror
It’s time to think outside of the frame. There are countless ways you can use mirrors to liven up any space, with some of the best ideas being off-the-wall, as it were. From frameless mirrors to starburst mirrors and arch mirrors – let the creativity begin.
To spark some inspiration, here are some of our most innovative ways to use mirrors around the home.
Mirrors as Headboards
Use sturdy mirror fixings and an extra large mirror (or several small ones) to create a stunning headboard behind your bed.
Create a Gallery of Wall Art Mirrors
The more the merrier! Grab several wall art mirrors and stage them in a gallery to create a full display of mirrors that reflect the elements that make your house a home.
Mirrors as a Kitchen Backsplash
The kitchen is the heart of the home, a place where your loved ones gather to share memories and create many more. Needless to say, it deserves to shine and reflect those great moments! Use a rectangular mirror or two to swap out the typical backsplash for a statement look that is certain to catch the eye of your guests.
Mirrors Behind Shelving
A shelf mirror is one of those items that every home has to have as they add practicality and smart storage into the area. However, adding mirrors to the backings of shelving units is also a great idea as it creates an infinity mirror effect that adds depth into the room.
Leave Extra Large Wall Mirrors on the Floor
Leave the extra large wall mirrors right where they are, leaning against a wall. With a simple tug, twist, pull and lean, these grand statements can do wonders when doubled as furniture or décor.
Create a Collage of Hallway Mirrors
Hallways are one of those areas in the home that are often left untouched for fear of making the narrow space even more narrow. But what if you could do the exact opposite?
Lining the area with hallway mirrors will instantly open up the area, while also bringing in some light and reflection into the corners that rarely, if ever, see the sun.
Add a Unique Statement with a Wall of Bathroom Mirrors
Grab some bathroom mirrors because this unusual way to hang mirrors is certainly to add a splash of interior design that looks elegant and luxurious. Fill a wall behind the tub with extra large mirrors or add a large window mirror or two to transform the space into something you’d see in a luxury interior design magazine.
Create Symmetry with Multiple Mirrors
Introducing a matching pair of mirrors is a classic interior design trick which will instantly create not only impact but also symmetry and elegance. Play around with different sizes of mirrors and their placement to create a gallery that captivates the essence of the space.
Creating Vignettes with Furniture
A vignette within the interior design industry means a small grouping of décor that creates a focal point and that tells a story in that specific area. Think kitchen vignettes with display of handmade ceramics and a living room shelf lined with your most prized possessions and accented with fresh flowers.
These areas are typically smaller spaces and using a mirror to create vignettes with furniture and décor will widen the area, so the final look appears open and elegantly displayed as opposed to cluttered.
Using Lighting for Unique Mirror Effects
Using mirrors to create a statement or focal point is easy and if you want to take that statement to the next level, combine those mirrors with lights. This interior design trick takes a bit of playing around with to ensure you get the lighting in the right place to have the reflection shining instead of being blinding. However, the effects are absolutely mesmerizing.
Additionally, you can use small lighting fixtures with mirrors to create a vanity appeal or to simply bring more light and life into the room.
Using Multifunctional Mirrors for a Minimalistic Look
With the increase of tiny homes and a minimalist style of living, multifunctional mirrors, such as a mirror with a shelf or hidden storage behind integral shelf mirrors have never been so desirable. This interior design hack also keeps the space modern and versatile while also enhancing a crisp and clean, minimalistic appearance.
Mirrors as Wall Art
Just as every home needs some wall art, every home needs some wall art mirrors as well. These decorative mirrors cut into different sizes and shapes to add dimension, personality and a story into the interior without taking up too much space. Wall art mirrors are also functional pieces that double as décor and a reflective surface.
Using Mirrors in Small Spaces
Adding mirrors into small spaces is one of the top rules to interior design. This simple trick can liven up even the smallest of areas, filling them with light and a luxurious and rich ambiance.
However, as you may have guessed, not all mirrors are created equal nor are all small spaces. So, we’ve created this list of tips on how to use mirrors in small spaces to make the largest impact.
- Stage lighting in front of the mirrors, such as placing candles in front of a mantelpiece mirror or tilting a long mirror behind a lamp
- Use a full length mirror behind furniture with the same width to create a collaborative and purposeful appearance
- Use window frame mirrors to create the illusion of another window and to maximize the reflection of natural lighting
- Create a gallery of multiple framed mirrors as a statement interior design element
- Add a large framed mirror on a bold coloured wall and there are so many options to choose from – think of a white framed mirror on a dramatic red wall or a gold framed starburst mirror lining a dark hallway. The secret is to find the perfect option that pops on the wall you’re decorating
5 Mirror Mistakes to Avoid
The only thing worse than having a large, beautiful mirror break is the seven years of back luck that follows. Whether it’s a free standing mirror or a large industrial mirror, it can be dangerous if it breaks. As such, it’s absolutely crucial to avoid making these top five major mirror mistakes to ensure more shine than sweeping.
1. Not using proper mirror fixings
Failing to use proper mirror fixings can result in the mirror coming crashing down. Now, you might believe that proper mirror fixings are not needed for small decorative mirrors, kids mirrors, or small mirror wall art but don’t be mistaken. Every mirror needs to be hung with the proper materials to ensure the safety of everyone in the space, as well as the space in itself.
2. Hanging mirrors on ceilings
To put it simply, hanging mirrors on ceilings is a dangerous idea and one that should never be entertained even with the proper mirror fixings.
3. Placing mirrors without a plan
The best interior design styles start with a plan and now that you see the potential of enhancing and living up any space mirrors bring, you likely want to fill every area within your home, office or business with them.
However, the placement of mirrors is a key component to maximizing the effects. So, create a plan, choose mirrors that match the space, and leave room for the reflection to truly stand out.
4. Hanging mirrors in constant direct sunlight
Although mirrors are used to reflect light throughout a space, they should never be placed in constant direct sunlight. The high temperatures will deteriorate the surfaces, while also reducing the visual clarity and reflection.
Instead, stage mirrors in areas that catch just enough light to reflect into the rest of the area.
5. Overexposing mirrors to moisture
Kitchen mirrors and bathroom mirrors really do make incredible backsplashes. However, it’s imperative that this interior decorating trick is done so properly to avoid overexposing the mirrors to moisture. Otherwise, you risk having the moisture leave dark spots on the surface that can be difficult to remove.
Transforming any space is easy when you have the right selection of mirrors to choose from. At MirrorDeco, we take pride in providing a stress-free, online shopping experience to finding the perfect mirror for your home, office or business.
We even deliver the mirrors right to your front door, so you don’t have to worry about making arrangements to pick them up.
Enjoy the masterpieces that mirrors create with a trip over to MirrorDeco. Allow our collection of unique mirrors to transform your space into a statement. Whether you’re looking for residential, commercial or industrial mirrors, Mirror Deco is the place to go.