Wall Mirrors

by Giorgina Devereaux





Wall mirrors serve multiple purposes for home decor and are excellent for widening and heightening space.  

In addition to adding dimension, mirrors intensify light and emit a certain kind of radiance that complements home interiors while helping to mask wall defects.  

Since a mirror reflects light, it gives the impression that the room is brighter while serving as a decorative element because of, for instance, its lovely ornate frame. 

When displayed in a room, wall mirrors attract attention and add drama because the reflection creates the illusion of bigger space and enhances the surrounding furnishings. 

You can position a mirror in a manner that a person of average height can look directly into.

Yet, if you plan to use the mirror mainly for decorative purposes, its height is less critical – for example, when hung over a fireplace mantel.  Hanging a mirror over a fireplace makes a beautiful design statement and anchors it as a focal point. 
 

Finding the Right Mirror for Your Home

Consider the Shape of the Mirror:  When shopping for mirrors, take into account the palette, textures, and style of furnishings that occupy the room. 

This will help you determine the appropriate shape of the mirror and where it will be displayed in the room. 

The shape of a mirror is important since it serves to accentuate the overall look of the space. 

You can choose from half-round, rectangular, oval shapes, and more. 

If you opt for geometric shapes, then bear in mind that the resulting look may be a bit rigid while round shaped mirrors with frames have the opposite effect. 

Also, if you are unsure whether to select a vertical mirror, bear in mind that these work well with homes that have low ceiling heights while horizontal mirrors help emphasize the horizontal space of a room.

Here are the mirror shapes available:
 

Rectangle

Boat

Pentagon

Circle

Triangle

Hexagon

Oval

Trapezoid

Octagon

Racetrack

Parallelogram

Other

 

Consider the Size of the Mirror:  If you prefer a mirror that is decorative and functional, but also serves the purpose of allowing you to see your entire reflection, then the height of the mirror should be at least half your height. 

On the other hand, if you prefer a mirror that enables you to only see the reflection of your upper body, then the mirror height should be no less than one quarter of your height. 

Framed Mirrors:  Framed wall mirrors make a stunning statement in any room.  There is an endless selection of frames to choose from, such as carved, gilded, thin, and angular. 

The frames available are made from different materials, such as:

  • metal
  • wood
  • mosaic
  • faux leather
  • faux suede
  • woven leather
  • sea shells
  • resin

Mirrors - Flat or Beveled Edges:  In addition to selecting the frame of your choice, you can also choose the style of glass, which is flat or one with beveled edges. 

A beveled edge mirror has an elegant look to it, with the beveled edges enhancing the overall appearance of the mirror. 

It’s a matter of preference, but either glass style is lovely. 

Consider the Height of Your Ceilings:  If the ceilings in your home are high, then perhaps consider heavy framed mirrors that will be consistent with existing moldings in the room.

On the other hand, if the ceilings in your home are low, then a mirror with a thinner frame is a good choice. 

Mirror Placement and Size:  It’s important to avoid displaying wall mirrors in areas where lighting fixtures will directly reflect into the mirror. 

Otherwise, it’s like the sun glaring into your eyes, which will be very uncomfortable for family, guests, and yourself. 

Mirror Distance for Placement:  When displaying a mirror, there should be no less than 6 feet of distance between the floor and the top of the mirror.  

Also, the distance between the floor and the bottom of the mirror should measure at least 1 ½ feet.  These are general guidelines for mirror placement.  However, it all depends on what function the mirror will serve.

For instance, if you are displaying a mirror purely for functional reasons, it’s a good idea to hang it with its center at average eye level, which is approximately 5 feet above the floor.

On the other hand, if you are hanging a mirror strictly for decorative purposes, you may hang it at any height.

You can also hang a mirror higher, with it slightly tipped at a downward angle in order to reflect other interesting surroundings.

When a mirror is hung lower than 5 feet above the floor, then it will most likely reflect furniture or other textures. 

Protecting Your Mirror and Wall:  If at all possible, try to avoid placing a mirror under direct sunlight because high temperatures can affect its reflective qualities causing it to become dull with time.

It’s also important to avoid hanging a mirror against a wall in areas that have high moisture content.  In these instances, if you need to hang a mirror, consider doing so with it slightly tilted away from the wall in order to allow for proper air circulation and to prevent moisture build up. 

A buildup of moisture could result in dark staining of the wall.   

Decorating with Mirrors

For the Windows:  If you want to invite sunshine into a dark and depressing room, install mirror on the sides of the window between the wall and the frame.

This will reflect the outside light, while bringing a glimpse of the outdoors.

Consider having a glazier custom cut the glass for a professional look.

Entryway Mirrors:  A nice mirror to incorporate into an entryway or foyer is a decorative framed mirror. 

Not only will this add elegance to the space, but when hung over a console table, along with other decorative accessories, the combination makes a stunning display that greets your guests with style. 

Wall Niche:  An unused wall niche is a fabulous way to show off your special collection of treasures by making a brilliant display case.

Consider installing mirrors all around a wall niche and fit it in with glass shelves. When a figurine is properly lit and displayed against a mirror, it greatly highlights its beauty and makes a lovely focal point.

Create an Illusion for the Dining Room:  If you want to create the impression that your dining room is double its size, you may mirror an entire wall. 

However, make sure that the wall is completely smooth and flat before proceeding.  Otherwise, the mirrors could bow from the unevenness of the wall and distort images. 

A safe bet is to use smaller wall mirrors that can be fitted together with beveled strips followed by positioning decorative hardware (called rosettes) at each corner of the mirror. 

For the best effect, position your dining room table against the mirrored wall.  

In doing so, this will make your table seem twice as long.  You can make small rooms feel bigger by using mirrors.

In the Bathroom:  Generally, wall mirrors are hung above a sink in order to allow you to view your upper body. 

Mirrors in Children’s Bedrooms:  When hanging wall mirrors in a child’s bedroom, safety is the first consideration.  There are fun mirrors to choose from with different themes, such as, ballerinas, baseball, the fairy princess, stars, multi-colored frames, and more. 

If you’re not sure how high to hang a mirror in your child’s room, then consider the height of your child.  A child should be able to comfortably see himself/herself at full body height.


Other Mirror Decorating Tips 

Fragmentation:  Another fabulous way to decorate with wall mirrors is by employing a method called “fragmentation.” 

Fragmentation is a technique that involves arranging mirrors in a certain pattern where they are placed near each other. 

For instance, when a few mirrors that are long and narrow in shape are placed near one another, it not only makes the wall appear longer, but it creates an interesting repetition since the reflections in the mirror capture fragments of the surroundings instead of one continuous view. 

If your goal is to make the room look taller, you can place mirrors in a vertical pattern, which gives it a sense of height.   

On the other hand, if you want to make your room look wider, you can place the mirrors in a horizontal pattern. 

It’s amazing how you can change the proportions of a room based on mirror placement while creating very interesting effects in your space by combining different sizes of mirrors.

Brighten Up Those Dark and Unused Corners:  If you have areas in your home that lack lighting and need some brightening up, then consider displaying long mirrors there. 

This will give the feeling that the space is larger while giving it a brighter effect. 

Grouping Mirrors:  When hanging a group of wall mirrors together, it’s a good idea to vary the size of the mirrors because the different frames and sizes will provide an interesting and lovely visual effect. 

Consider finding wall mirrors with frames that complement one another, such as all dark wood framed mirrors or gold framed mirrors. 

You can also combine a group of, for instance, matte aluminum framed mirrors with antique silver mirrors
.





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