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Mirrors of all shapes and sizes have long been the stylist’s accessory of choice to transform any room. Living room mirror ideas can make all the difference to the decor, whether making small spaces feel bigger or acting as a focal point above a fireplace in a larger lounge.
Best of all, not only do mirrors hold the power of being such a valuable living room wall decor idea they offer this transformative flair on an affordable budget too! Especially if you shop smart and pick up a bargain or second-hand treasure.
Living room mirror ideas
‘A cleverly positioned mirror in a living room can create light, the illusion of more space, and character’ says Nicki Bamford-Bowes, Interior Designer. ‘However, you can only make the most of these effects if you know the tricks of the trade. The magic of mirrors is their ability to create a portal into a different world. Introducing the outdoors inside, or to give a sneak peek into another room.’
It’s only fair we share a few of those styling tricks with you, to help you make more of your own living room.
1. Reflect back into a small space
Even the smallest of living spaces can benefit enormously from a simple mirror. In a small living room idea adding reflection will welcome more light into the space, to make it feel airy and bigger. It also adds a sense of depth to the limited size, but tricking the eye with a reflection of the surrounding decor.
2. Break up wall panelling with a circular shape
When investing in a mirror for your living room, think about how the space works as it is. In this country-style living room a wall panelling idea gives the rooms a rigid structure, so circular mirror welcomes a change of shape and adds an element of freedom to the look.
Circular mirrors are hugely popular right now, thanks to the whimsical ‘porthole’ dimension curved designs welcome to walls.
3. Fashion a decorative wall display
Aside from being highly functional mirrors can be fun and playful too. Use a cluster, using the stylist rule of three, in different shapes or sizes to create an alternative decorative living room wall decor idea. Mirrors grouped in place of artwork avoids overwhelming the decor, simply welcoming more light rather than imposing.
4. Balance the layout
Placing a mirror directly above a fireplace would usually stand to create a clearly defined focal point within the room, but sometimes it’s there to add balance. In a living room with busy alcove ideas, such as this one with a bespoke living room shelving idea one side and a desk solution on the other the shapely mirrors helps to balance the flow.
A mirror adds a decorative touch without overwhelming the wall, because the busy alcoves either side of the fireplace might be too much with an artwork alternative for the space.
5. Go full length to brighten a dark corner
Living room mirror ideas aren’t all about fireplaces and being hung on walls – try the leaning method, more favourable in bedrooms as a trend. ‘For my living room, I picked out Home Essentials Greystoke Arch Leaner Mirror to tuck into the alcove by the fire’ says Nicki Bamford-Bowes, Interior Designer and HomeEssentials.co.uk brand ambassador.
‘Here, it captures the outdoors and brings life and light to a dark corner. Arched mirrors are very on-trend and I love the way the brass trim glows against the dark wall.’
Copy the look: Greystoke Arch Leaner Mirror, £179, Home Essentials
6. Dress the wall above a sofa
A long narrow mirror is a great idea for decorating the wall above the sofa – it adds decoration without overpowering the decor.
This is especially effective in a small living room layout, where the presence of a mirror becomes highly practical by using a simple design as large as you can to create a sense of space. Opting for a wide length mirror helps elongate the space, helping to welcome light and a sense of depth to the surroundings.
7. Choose a distressed finish for a more subtle touch
Vintage mirrors hold a certain charm that a brand new shiny mirror just can’t emulate. The aged glass can often feel less glimmering and therefore offer a more subtle approach to hanging a wall mirror. Due to the frameless nature of an antique-style mirror the shape is less imposing also, as the edges feel softened.
8. Fake a window
Welcome a touch of the outdoors into your living by creating the illusion of a window with a clever windowpane mirror. This tricks the eye into thinking the room extends outside, when actually it’s just a clever accessory to brighten up the walls.
Place your window effect mirror on an opposing wall to that of a real window, in order to directly capture the light – flooding it back into the room. Pair the design with a living room wallpaper idea inspired by nature to welcome the outside in even further.
9. Break up the wall
Use the half way point of a two-tone wall to position a mirror to give the diving point more prominence – as a way of pushing the ceiling away to create a sense of height. A shelf placed at the half point provides the perfect place for said mirror, along with decorative objet to draw the eye in.
10. Break up a feature wall
Use a well-placed mirror to break up a patterned wallpapered feature wall. The use of a mirror helps to give another dimension to the wall without distracting from the pattern in a way that an alternative decorative accessory, such as artwork, would.
Place the mirror nearest to the window to make the mirror work harder by inviting more light into the rest of the room.
11. Anchor a fireplace as a focal point with a mirror
Sometimes the classic styling tricks are the best, as this paired-back living room proves. A simple mirror that blends into the aesthetic of the grey living room creates a focal point of the fireplace, cementing its presence as the anchor for the rest of the furnishings to gather around.
12. Add mirrored artwork to shine light
How’s this for a clever styling trick, decorative wall art idea that is also a mirror. Not in the standard from of a mirror admittedly, but it’s still a wall mirror of sorts that works wonders for adding decoration while attracting light to the darker end of the room where natural light is lacking.
Where should a mirror be placed in a living room?
‘Where you put a mirror really matters’ says Nicki Bamford-Bowes, Interior Designer; owner of & Then They Went Wild and HomeEssentials.co.uk brand ambassador. ‘Sometimes I like to place a mirror where it reflects the greenery of the garden, or to capture light at a particular part of the day. Midday light will illuminate a dark room, or afternoon sun will add warmth.’
‘I also love it when you can walk into the room and instantly see a reflection of a piece of art or a beautiful light. So, think about not just what a mirror looks like but what you will see in it when it is in your home.’
How do you use living room mirrors?
‘Everyone’s living room is different so have fun when choosing and placing your mirror – or mirrors. If you have a small living room, don’t be afraid to play with scale. A larger mirror can add grandeur and impact, as well as making the room appear bigger and brighter’ advises Nicki.
‘To add a statement piece to your wall, dare to pick a textured or circular mirror. A traditional mirror over a mantel always looks good, but for a more relaxed look, try propping a tall mirror against the wall or even on a sideboard.’
‘You could create a gallery wall effect with a selection of different mirrors in different sizes. Also consider introducing little side tables or coffee tables with a mirrored finish. Or as I have in my home, back shelves with mirrors for extra glam. Mirrors with a tint – such as smoked glass or even rose gold – are fun.’