How to decorate with mirrors around the home

Mirrors are a home essential with a purpose for every room. Bringing style and functionality to the scene, mirrors can give the illusion of light and space whilst also giving you the opportunity to create a statement and fill any awkward spaces. Not to mention, they’re ideal for checking your appearance before heading out.

There are various types of mirrors to choose from but styling the correct one can uplift your interior and be the perfect finish to any room.

We spoke to four interior design experts for mirror inspiration; to get the best advice on the choice of mirrors to suit your decor and how to style them effectively.

Styling mirrors around the home: Living room

Wondering which style of mirror to choose for the room? “Large mirrors are a classic focal point above living room fireplaces,” says Zoe Warren, Interior Designer at PriceYourJob. “Traditional wooden, metal or gold-leaf frames are ideal for this, but they can be weighty. So, hanging them correctly is essential.”

Full-length floor-standing or wall leaning mirrors are also popular choices for the living room. A large arched or antique looking mirror can fill any awkward areas whilst giving the illusion of more space.

If you’re opting for something more contemporary, Zoe recommends grouping small mirrors together as a decorative feature. “Don’t be afraid to get creative. If your mirrors are nice and light, pop some removable self-adhesive hanging strips on the back so you can play about with your arrangement before knocking any nails in the wall.” Small statement mirrors can also be featured within a gallery wall.

As one of the most frequently used rooms in any home, it’s important to uplift your living room space and bounce light around the room where possible. Well-positioned mirrors can do just the trick.

“Mirrors should reflect your home’s good points such as the garden, decorative art and wallpaper, or other positive and uplifting features,” says Zoe. “Placing them opposite cluttered shelves or messy corners will only highlight your home’s problems, so position them carefully in your home.” She advises placing smaller mirrors practically at head height and larger mirrors opposite a window to bring the outside in.

Placing an indoor plant beside a mirror can make the room appear more structured and is great for a natural and earthy look. Simultaneously, mirrors are considered useful plant-growing tools because they can redirect light to places it is needed most.

Styling mirrors around the home: Bedroom

“Mirrors and artwork should be a focal point in your bedroom,” says Marc Epstein, Interiors Expert and Co-founder of CARME Home. “One of the best uses of mirrors is to brighten a room. Mirrors reflect and increase the amount of natural light cast which is particularly handy if your bedroom is where you get ready.”

The mirror you choose depends on the size of the room. “If you have space, an oversized floor mirror reflects the ceiling and creates more volume. Large mirrors are particularly well suited for a dressing corner,” he says. Alternatively, Marc recommends prioritising length over width if your bedroom is on the smaller side. “A mirror that’s too big can overwhelm a space.”

Dressing table mirrors are another common bedroom feature. It’s key to have this positioned beside a natural light source or buy a makeup mirror with built-in lights. Also look for mirrors which make a statement, or a classic tri-fold mirror which can be angled for a panoramic reflection.

As explained by Marc; “each piece of furniture in your bedroom should serve a purpose, and mirrors can be functional in more ways than one.” Mirrors with storage opportunities can be ideal for decluttering. Some examples include a mirror with a shelf or a mirror with a jewellery compartment.

It’s worthwhile looking at the smaller details, too. Mirror trays are a great bedroom accessory and have been trending in recent years. A trio of items placed on a round mirror tray brings more life to the space by showcasing some of your favourite things. Some of these may include, a bunch of dried flowers in a beautiful vase, a heatproof scented candle and a bottle of your favourite perfume. It’s an ideal way to make your dresser look more visually appealing and does not have to be limited to only the bedroom.

Styling mirrors around the home: Hallway

Being the first space to catch one’s eye, how you decorate your hallway can leave a lasting impression on your guests and be a source of comfort when you return home.

Wil Law, Partner and Home Design Stylist at John Lewis, says: “It’s always good to have a full length mirror in a hallway, so that you can check your outfit just before you leave and, as hallways are often corridor style spaces, a long, slimline mirror can help expand the area, too.”

He suggests keeping it simple by choosing a black frame that looks sleek, but doesn’t command too much attention.

On the other hand, a spacious hallway may give you a greater opportunity to be creative. “Opt for a highly decorative mirror, perhaps over a console table or sideboard,” says Wil.

“Something embellished or shapely could look ultra-stylish and, when clustered with a table lamp and vase, will give you a decorative zone that greets you and guests and indicates the design style that is to come in other rooms.”

A storage mirror can again be considered as the hallway is often where handy items are kept; for example, keys, hats and umbrellas. A wall-mounted mirror with hooks provides a good decluttering solution.

Consider your choice of material, too. If you prefer a luxe finish for your home decor then choose an opulent metallic finish like gold, silver, copper or rose gold. If you’re looking for a softer, bohemian touch then discover rattan mirrors or wooden framed mirrors.

Styling mirrors around the home: Kitchen dining

Proportions are key when deciding on the size and position of your mirror. Shaun Wadsley, Senior Interior Designer at Hi-Spec Design, shares that with a few exceptions, “a general rule to follow if you’re not sure is having a mirror that is around two-thirds the size of the furniture it’s above.”

“When it comes to the material and framing of the mirror, if you have a traditional style to your kitchen, you could look at an antique finish, but if you’re looking for a contemporary style, why not try a tinted mirror with a dark frame?” Shaun reveals that other great options for mirrors within the kitchen could include mirror furnishings, such as mirrored lamp shades or tiles.

Adding to this, Zoe Warren advises; “if you’re placing a mirror in your kitchen dining area, then you need to consider the moisture levels and things that affect the glossy surface, such as grease and finger marks.”

To avoid this problem, she recommends choosing a mirror that is purposefully antiqued, so foxing and dirty marks won’t be such an issue. “Tempered or toughened mirror glass with a bronzed or rustic finish may be the answer.”

Make a statement in your dining area by hanging a large rectangular window pane mirror or a pair of arched window pane mirrors. These look aesthetically pleasing and help to fulfil the purpose of drawing light into the room whilst seemingly enlarging the space.

Styling mirrors around the home: Bathroom

Above the sink is the most common and functional place to hang a mirror in the bathroom. “When figuring out how high to position it, you should take into consideration who will be using it,” advises Shaun Wadsley. “However, if you can’t fit the mirror above the vanity unit, perhaps look at an opposite wall or in any easily accessible corner.”

It’s key to note what to avoid when positioning a mirror in the bathroom. Wil Law says: “mirrors directly opposite and next to a toilet are a big no-go. It’s not attractive, and can make people feel uneasy.”

“When it comes to the shape of the mirror, it depends on the type of environment you are looking to create. If you’re not sure, round mirrors are a safer bet because they are less harsh than square or rectangular mirrors and they help to create a relaxed aesthetic,” Shaun advises.

Moisture-resistant mirrors and frames are essential for bathrooms as steam and humidity can deteriorate a regular mirror after a while. Get a mirror which is made specifically for the bathroom.

Consider which style you’re opting for. Shaun suggests that a wooden frame could work well if you’re trying to achieve a chic and relaxed look. “If you’re going for a more sophisticated and modern look, then a black or frameless mirror could be a better option.” If more storage solutions are required, mirrored bathroom cabinets may be the best way to utilise the space.

Wil suggests choosing a finish that coordinates with your taps, and agrees that clear, frameless glass would also work well.

However, “the lighting you pair with it is actually more important than the mirror itself,” explains Wil. “It’s ideal to have a wall light either side of the mirror, so that you get an even coverage across your complexion for your grooming regime.” Illuminated mirrors are also a desirable option nowadays.

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