Which is the most striking yet most under-rated decorating tool ever? The mirror, of course. As eye-catching as good art, and not even a fraction of its cost, the mirror is easily the most statement-making piece ever. Besides, with a beautiful frame and decorative details, it is art. Bringing light and depth into a room, mirrors are also like decorative windows that you can move around and place as you like.
There are a million ways you can play with mirrors. Hang a bold, ornate one above a console or a couch, a slim sliver for a narrow area or a bunch of them on an empty wall—they’ll look good anywhere. From contemporary to classic, mirrors can be found in all manner of style and shape which renders them suitable for every kind of decor. Materials too are aplenty. While wood is the most easily available, there are plenty of options in brass, wrought iron, wicker, mother-of-pearl inlay as well as the old classic, bevelled Venetian glass. Though there are really no rules about decorating with mirrors, experts suggest a round mirror if your furniture is right-angled and straight-lined and a rectangular mirror in order to balance out a curvy couch.
Before you drill that nail in the wall, pause and reflect on its reflection. Will it reflect a pile of clutter in a corner? Will you be staring back at yourself while sitting on the sofa? Will the sunlight be blinding once it hits that mirror? Reflection is key—so make sure your mirror is reflecting something that’s worth looking at. One great idea is to place a mirror on a wall opposite a window and see how the view is multiplied. Similarly, place a mirror opposite a painting which too will make for a pretty reflection.
Mirrors in a foyer or an entryway are always a welcome sight. Not only do they reflect light and open up a dark entry, they also give a chance for guests to “check” themselves while entering your house. A horizontal mirror works well in a narrow hallway as this will widen the space. A vertical piece above a table holding a lamp and flowers is ideal for squarish entrance lobbies.
A mirror above the sideboard in a dining room is common enough but have you tried putting it on your table? Here’s how to do it. Place a narrow, inexpensive full-length mirror (the kind you attach to a closet door) atop the dining table. Place flower-filled vases on it or candles or simply use it as a large trivet for keeping serving dishes on—a perfect way to dress up an ordinary table and add
drama while entertaining.
A large mirror in a small room creates the illusion of depth, so don’t be scared to go big. One bold piece can set the entire tone for the room, and acts as a focal point letting you build your decor around it. You needn’t even hang them if you don’t want to. In contemporary interiors, tall mirrors are often simply propped up against a wall to add drama and depth. If you’re really feeling adventurous, you can try something even larger. People have a misconception about wall-to-wall mirrors thinking they’re dated, but consider distressing them or installing sconces to give them a more modern feel. Even in bathrooms, rather than hanging a regular mirror above the basin, it’s a better idea to mirror the entire wall. That will make even the smallest of bathrooms look bigger.
While mirrors may look great in other rooms, they have no place in a kitchen. In bedrooms, too, their use needs to be restricted. If you absolutely must use a mirror in the bedroom, especially as a dressing table, place it at a spot where you won’t see your reflection as soon as you wake up. If you wish to use a decorative mirror, make sure you hang it above the headboard. Also, mirrors on a ceiling are a strict no-no. That is something you’d see in a cheap hotel or in some retro movie from the Seventies.
So, whatever shape you choose or whatever spot you hang them on, make sure your mirrors reflect your personality and bring out the best in you and your home.