Designing with Mirrors
Use mirrors to reflect your style and taste while opening up new vistas. Everyone knows that mirrors are useful, but did you know they can also solve a wide range of decorating dilemmas? You can use mirrors to make a room look bigger, to bring a lovely outdoor scene inside, to reflect light in alluring patterns and to fill a void on a wall. A mirror won’t clash with furniture like a painting or photograph, and it can blend with any theme, from the simplest country home to the most upscale contemporary design. Restaurant and nightclub owners have long used mirrors to create a mood. To attract customers, they place them strategically behind the bar to highlight the lights shining among the bottles. Mirrors often line exclusive dining establishments, where dim, provocative lighting reflects enough so patrons can still see their food and their companions while sharing the intimacy of both. You can duplicate this effect at home: place a mirror in your dining room and turn down the lights! Apartment and condominium developers often rely on mirrors to provide the illusion of space and largess. Walk into an empty condo with mirrors lining the walls, and you’ll feel as if you've just walked into a mansion. Full-length mirrors in tiny spaces make the walls look taller. Hang them sideways to create a wider feel to any room. Another trick is to strategically place a mirror near your front door so you can quickly check your makeup and hair or straighten your tie before leaving the house. A mirror hung opposite a doorway can let you see the three-year-old trying to sneak up on you. And full-length mirrors on opposite sides of a closet or bathroom provide for a full 360-degree inspection. Although a frame-less mirror can accent many interiors, a framed mirror offers another way to add a dramatic, elegant, or rustic touch to your decor. Look for a plain black or brushed chrome frame to set off the clean lines of a contemporary setting. If you lean toward the more traditional, use ornate dark wood frames to match the elegance of your furniture. Rustic frames made from reclaimed wood highlight the natural elements of your home. Placing a large mirror framed in natural wood tones over your mantle complements your fireplace, anchoring it as the room’s focal point. For decorative purposes, the height of a mirror is not that important, but for practical purposes, you should hang a mirror so that your eyes reflect in the middle of the mirror. Make adjustments as needed so that everyone in your family can see themselves without having to bend down. Use mirrors to open up a closed-in space.[/caption] If you don’t trust your instincts for design, here are a few standard rules for hanging a wall mirror:
- The top of a mirror should be no less than six feet above the floor.
- Keep at least 18 inches between the bottom of the mirror and the floor.
- Don’t place any mirror in front of lights. The glare will make it difficult to see the reflection.
- Leave three to four feet of empty space in front of a mirror so you have enough room to step back to get a fuller view.
- A bathroom mirror should not be wider than the vanity. Center the mirror over the vanity, not to the wall dimensions.
- When hanging a heavy mirror, use a drywall anchor if you can’t find a stud.
If you have questions about how best to place a wall mirror in your home, stop by one of our three locations and ask one of our consultants.