Six ways to jazz up your living space using mirrors


Cozy living room with foldable mirror for decoration.

Photo credit: Pool | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Your bedroom mirror can be both functional and aesthetically appealing.
  • A mirror can be styled as one large out-scaled piece, or you can cluster three or five small ones.

Mirrors are usually installed for their functionality and only in spaces where they will serve this function. It is why landlords screw them – frameless – into wardrobe doors and above bathroom and toilet sinks.

Beyond their functionality, though, mirrors are imaginative and decorative accessories for styling just about any space in your home.

They can make a space feel brighter, larger and airier – they just have to be thoughtfully placed.

Here are some tips to guide you in achieving this:

Bedroom mirror: Your bedroom mirror can be both functional and aesthetically appealing. Getting a custom-made one kills two birds with one stone.

There are no standard dimensions per se for a full length mirror, I suggest you craft one measuring 1.5 meters by one meter. That’s a pretty large mirror for your bedroom. You will have this custom mirror mounted on one of your bedroom walls, so go as wide and as tall as your walls allow.

To add on a wow factor, frame your mirror in something stylish. Something carved, perhaps? Metal is a versatile option because you can paint over it to complement the other décor pieces in your bedroom, say your bedside lamps, wall brackets and other light pendants.

Consider gold – gold complements just about any hardware such as black or copper. It also stands out on its own. You can also lean your full length mirror against the wall or in a corner against its own stand. Just make sure it is secure and will not fall to break into smithereens.

Mirror paired with your console table: This is one of the more popular ways to style a mirror outside of the bedroom. Most homeowners and stylists I have encountered have this console table in the entryway, or as the first piece of furniture someone sees when the main door is opened.

The mirror drives the styling of the console table. This mirror is more about aesthetics, so go gaga with the styling of its frame. Sunbursts mirrors are another popular option for this console table. You can however go as gaga as you want.

The dimensions of this mirror is determined by the dimensions of your console table. Either way also works. A mirror wider than your console table works as fine as a console table wider than your mirror. There will be symmetry.

What you must take to mind here is not to ruin this styling with too many accessories cluttering the table. Give the accessories – and the table – room to breathe.

The mirror is where the eye will naturally be drawn to, so first install the mirror, then style the table. Again, play around with the frame to nail the styling you are after. Make sure that it complements the other styling in your living and dining room.

Hanging your mirrors: As mentioned, you can either prop your mirrors on the floor or leaning against your wall, you can mount them to walls with a nail or a hook, or you can hang them.

Hanging them provides another opportunity to style your mirrors, so think about leather straps, a brass chain, a vintage rope, some distressed rope, braided sisal... these materials further add texture to your styling.

Mirrors as a backdrop: You can also hang them behind your living room couch, behind one of the chairs in your dining room, behind an occasional chair in your lounge, in a bare corner of your living or dining room, above your fireplace, the wall on your staircase landing… the spaces are countless, the styling options limitless.(Not your ceiling though, it will be uncomfortable for the people using that space. They will feel as though they are being spied on.)

Just remember to use your eyes to achieve visual symmetry and to have the mirror complement the other styling elements in the space. If you have an ornately styled living room, then go for a simple mirror.

If you have pared back with your furniture, then go to town with the mirror. Mirrors reflect light – play around with placement so that your mirrors can reflect light (natural and artificial light), and make your space feel larger and brighter.

Clustering your mirrors: A mirror can be styled as one large out-scaled piece, or you can cluster three or five small ones (an odd number of mirrors somehow has a greater effect than an even number. It is all a matter of how the eye perceives things).

Rather than lining up three or five mirrors, cluster them in a playful and creative manner on a bare wall.

Have them in different sizes and in different but cohesive frame stylings to achieve a dramatic effect. That means you can have them in circles, ovals, squares and rectangles, and the frames are different shades of metals, or different stylings of wood or metal.

Mirrors for your gallery wall: Adjacent to your framed artwork and photographs, consider putting up a framed mirror. A framed mirror on a gallery wall is an unexpected visual treat.

You can have your large mirror as the island of your gallery wall, with the other framed elements surrounding it. Or it can be the same size as another frame next to it. Maybe smaller.

Use your eye and sense of style to guide you on the frame, size and placement. Clustering them on a gallery wall, though, is not advised because it will make the wall look busy, misplaced and tacky.