Decorating strategically with mirrors can add plenty to your home: Their reflective surface can make a space look twice as big, not to mention lighter and brighter. Plus unlike artwork, a few well-placed mirrors can fit into just about any home decor. Yes, you can go overboard. But if you use a bit of discretion and avoid the dreaded “fun house wall of mirrors” effect, you can make a big difference in your place.
So if your home needs more bling, check out these mirror decorating ideas for your kitchen, backyard—and beyond.
Double the room
Do you sometimes feel like you’re eating in a shoebox? With a large wall mirror, you’ll practically gain another whole room as well as add ambiance to your Tuesday night spaghetti.
“A mirror gives the illusion of more space in the dining room, which is the most popular spot for homeowners to use,” says Kymberlyn Lacy, a lifestyle expert with International Flair Designs in Little Rock, AR. When positioning a mirror, make sure it’s hung to reflect natural light or highlight an architectural element or an eye-catching view, she adds.
Cook with sparkle
Mirrors in the kitchen can attract grease and grime, so most homeowners can’t be bothered. But the trend of mirrored backsplashes have increased in design popularity, says Lacy.
“If used strategically, you can add a little shine and increase the value of your home design,” she says. Mirrored tile backsplashes, like the one below, are a great addition to kitchens and bathrooms without windows, too.
A smoky, antique mirror is especially attractive in this kind of space because it’s easy to keep up—it shows fewer smudges, says Carole Marcotte, an interior designer and owner of Form & Function in Raleigh, NC.
“I love how it reflects what sits in front—it’s particularly great on a counter with a bar since it reflects all the pretty bottle and glasses.”
Curate a collection
Mirrors as art? Of course! Much the way you’d collect anything, a series of reflective glass in attractive frames makes a bold statement on a wall. Mirrors that are grouped and hung together have tremendous impact, says Marcotte.
“Various frames and styles becomes funky and eclectic, but all gilded and glamorous makes for an equally stunning collection,” she says. A collection of mirrors also creates a focal point and highlights architectural elements, like this dark blue wall.
“Hanging a mirror is very similar to hanging artwork—it should be hung at least 60 inches from the floor,” explains Lacy. “But when I don’t have time to measure, I always hang mirrors or artwork 4 inches above my client’s eye level—it works every time.”
Yup, you can hang mirrors on your deck or patio or in the backyard.
“I personally love the look, especially for outdoor entertaining during warmer summer months,” says Kirstin Hoffmann, director of merchandising and curation at Dot & Bo in San Francisco. Open up your lawn or patio by hanging a fun mirror on your fence or wall—it makes your yard seem much larger than it is. And the best part? “You can use old mirrors from your home or snag a few at your local thrift store.”
You need a mirror to get dressed in the morning, but don’t overdo the glass in this particular area, says Lorena Canals, a home living expert in Hastings on Hudson, NY.
“Mirrors can definitely be used in bathrooms and bedrooms, but be cautious about how many you use, their placement, and what they reflect (not where your laundry basket is kept),” she explains. If you hang a mirror in your bedroom, try placing it behind the lamp on your nightstand to reflect the light, suggests Kristy Craig Anderson, owner of Dwell Interior Staging and Design in Tampa, FL. And unless you go by the name “Hef” (and maybe even then), a mirrored ceiling over the bed is just an epically bad idea.
Mirrored door panels show just enough of your room.
Lighten your look
Dark walls, especially those in navy and deep charcoal, are all the rage right now, but they need a bit of bling to visually break up the dense feel, according to Anderson. This circular mirror reflects window light and gives the dark paint the contrast it needs. But if you don’t have a view to showcase, you can pick up a mirror in the shape of a window.
Make it metal
Mirrors are metallic—and metallics are luxe. Go for a mirror frame in the same vein, “especially when trimmed in silver or gold, and they’ll instantly add drama to any space,” says Marcotte. And when your other decor (rugs, pillows, curtains) have a lot of pattern, a mirror allows the eye to visually “rest.”
“Mirrors also save you from having to find that one piece of artwork that matches the rest of your design—they go with everything,” she adds.