Decorating with mirrors, in the right hands, makes the most of a room’s natural light, enhances views and opens up a small space, but mirror can also add something more interesting to your space, too. The key, of course, lies in placing the right mirror, in the right location to maximize its decor-uplifting potential.
‘Mirrors are arguably one of the more versatile of accessories you can incorporate into your design scheme,’ says Helen Pett of home interiors brand Arteriors. ‘Brilliant for creating the illusion of more space, mirrors can be used in virtually every room in the home to reflect light. Light and colors bouncing off mirrors can create a real impact as we head into the winter months.’
If you want to use this versatile decor piece to its full potential, then take a look at these designer-approved ideas, and give your bedroom, bathroom, hallway, or living room wall decor ideas more impact.
Aditi is a homes writer and editor with several years of experience. Her articles, backed by expert insights, offer suggestions aimed at helping readers make the best home design choices. For this article, she spoke to leading designers to understand how to decorate with mirrors.
10 ways of decorating with mirrors can give your home a fresh look
1. Bring an antique mirror into a modern scheme
Whether looking for a bedroom or living room mirror, you can’t beat a good antique, and while you may find that an antique mirror finds a natural home in a period property, that doesn’t mean you can’t bring it into a more modern scheme, too. In this scheme by designer Chad Dorsey, an ornate gilt mirror brings an opulence to the modern architecture of this home – creating a beautiful balance between old and new.
‘Antique and vintage mirrors have dual purposes – they act as pieces of art, while also dispersing light effectively around the room,’ says interior designer Noorein Kapoor, founder of NKD (opens in new tab). ‘An ornate frame can make for a stunning centerpiece to a living area. Going for gold adds a luxurious touch to a space and it’s a trick that works in any style.’
2. Create or break symmetry
Combining two or more mirrors can create a mood, uniformity, and symmetry in a home. If you love equilibrium and want your home to look sharp and smart, a great way is with arranging your wall decor or other items in an orderly manner.
These two hexagonal mirrors, hung over a modern, brutalist console table, create an even more striking vignette than a single mirror would. The lights hung just between the gaps of the mirror add to the symmetrical look, too, helping to highlight this boldly decorative idea.
For a symmetrical look, using the same mirrors is key, but you could even combine different shapes and styles, breaking the symmetry, for a more eclectic mirror trend.
3. Reflect something interesting
Mirrors help create a focal point, but the mirror itself doesn’t just have to be the statement – what they reflect can be, too.
‘Mirrors are interesting art forms, in the way they play with dimension, reflection, truth, and illusion,’ says interior designer Martin Waller, founder of Andrew Martin (opens in new tab). ‘In terms of placement, think about what you want to reflect: through a mirror you can spotlight your favorite artwork placed in an unforeseen corner of the room. You can hang the mirror opposite a window to bring the outside in or place it in a passageway as a keyhole for what the next room has in store.’
This beautiful fireplace idea by Baxt Ingui Architects sees a large mantle mirror reflecting the satellite-style chandelier in this living room, doubling the impact this lighting fitting has in the room.
4. Use a mirror to break up patterned walls
Mirrors are a practical addition to any bedroom, but try to think creatively when positioning them. These not only add functional value to the room, or a decorative touch but also add depth or help open up the aesthetics.
Want to break the heavily decorative wallpaper? Try with a mirror. The circular shape will provide relief to the busy walls, add an element of reflection to the room, help ease the visuals into a lighter setting, and add layering to the wall’s decor.
5. Experiment with shapes
Have a console table that needs spicing up? A flashy sunburst mirror on the wall above it can immediately uplift the entire arrangement. There are very few decorating dilemmas that a good sunburst mirror can’t help with. Have a big, blank space above a bedroom headboard? Need something to fill up an empty corner in a room? Wondering what to place above the TV? Wonder no more – a well-secured sunburst mirror should do the trick.
‘Experimenting with shapes is great in interior design,’ says Noorein. ‘Circles, ovals, and rectangles are all regular shapes but don’t be afraid of uneven, asymmetrical, and weird shapes. These, in fact, are a key contemporary mirror trend, so feel free to get a wiggle on.’
6. Add mirrors to wardrobes to create depth in a room
Apart from their good looks, bedroom mirrors are an excellent way to make a small space feel larger. One way to use their reflective properties to great benefit is with fully-mirrored wardrobes or doors. The mirrors reflect the floor and the ceiling, giving the illusion that the space is larger than it is in reality.
Plus, there is nothing more useful than a full-length mirror in a room, that allows you to stop, admire, contemplate and change your mind about that perfect outfit. These also add a little bit of glam to the bedroom.
‘Bespoke wardrobes can provide a modern, stylish solution to adding in mirrored finishes,’ says Rachal Hutcheson of Sharps. ‘Choosing a style of wardrobe door that incorporates mirrors can affect the aesthetic of your space through both their design detail, and their ability to make your space look bigger. Mirrors have the power to create an illusion of space through their reflective nature, which can reflect natural light into your bedroom and in turn make your room look bigger than it is. A mirrored finish creates a seamless aesthetic in which the fitted furniture doesn’t intrude, and the walls sink back.’
‘When it comes to dressing rooms, the ultimate combination is a double mirror with strategically positioned lighting to ensure all round glamor,’ says Helen Pett of Arteriors (opens in new tab). ‘Materials and finishes on mirrors can enhance the look and feel of any space, introducing full-on luxe or understated detailing.’
7. Choose an oversized piece to make a statement
Mirrors come in all kinds of shapes and sizes, but in a modern living room, a supersize mirror can make more a real feature. Fill a full length of the wall with a sleek, modern piece that maximizes light and opens up the space, plus extends the boundaries of any space.
Some retailers will customize the perfect size for you, based on the height you need, so ordering the ideal mirror is not as difficult as it once was.
8. Decorate a niche with a mirror gallery
An easy way to make a living room corner, a bedroom seating nook, or any other secondary space look and feel like the focal point is by adding a mirror above. Here, an artful arrangement of three mirrors (with interesting shaped frames) by Studio DB ties everything together.
Mirrors always catch the eye, so in this scheme it gives the daybed in the living room a lift. To make the arrangement look more eye-catching, play around with spacing the mirrors.
9. Insert mirrors inside display shelves
The beauty and versatility of mirrors are that they needn’t be stand-alone pieces. Add these tiny beauties inside storage units and shelves, and give an otherwise staid unit, a lift and a fresh look.
This is especially useful if you have a bulky storage unit in a small apartment living room. The little mirror elements within the unit make the room feel less crowded and claustrophobic and make the unit appear light and airy.
‘We envisaged the TV room as a library and extension off of the living room,’ say Justin Capuco and Brittany Hart, Husband.Wife (opens in new tab). ‘With that in mind, we wanted the library to open fully onto the main living space. Since the views from this apartment are so incredible, we expanded the sightlines, backing the shelving unit with a mirror. With that reflective element, every seating area has a beautiful view of the city.’
10. Don’t neglect small, narrow spaces
Let’s be honest. How often do we think of the decor of the hallways when we have our large living rooms, bedrooms, and kitchens to take care of? But don’t miss out on the opportunity to make the narrow hallway the little jewel box of the house.
Sure this space may seem like a tight squeeze but that’s when mirrors come in. Those who love the gallery wall look but don’t know what to put in their frames can create an installation of framed mirrors, that look like art pieces and bring additional light and visual space into a small and dark hallway. Otherwise, one long, horizontal mirror too can do the job.
‘A fun approach is using mirrors as art and making an eye-catching statement by creating a gallery wall of mirrors; not only will this fuel visual interest it allows you to incorporate a variety of styles that reflect your taste,’ says Helen.
What decor should I use around a mirror?
There are several ways you can decorate around a mirror. For one, placing asymmetrical mirrors and creating a lovely gallery wall is a good way to extend the wall decor of the room.
Placing a console below the mirror, and adding tall plants that are reflected in the mirror will help create a nice vignette. This is also a good small entryway idea. You can hang pictures around a mirror, wall plates, layer the setting with macrame hanging plants, or even place two sconces on either sides of the mirror.