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Mirrors Can Be a Versatile Piece of Home Decor

Anyone who has placed a mirror in an otherwise uninspiring space knows that they work magic. Indeed, people have known about the magic of mirrors for at least 2000 years, when the ancient Greeks, Romans and Etruscans made mirrors of polished bronze or rarely, a piece of glass with a metal back, which is used today. Mirrors balance out the space, making a room that’s too long or a room that’s too small seem proportional and making it more comfortable. They double the candlepower of any lighting fixture, make natural light brighter and make unappealing structural features like beams and unwieldy angles go away. A mirrored wall can be just the thing in a room that needs an unobtrusive partition, and a room with a beautiful view can have it duplicated when the viewer looks out a window, then turns around and sees the view again in the mirror.

Mirrors and Their Use in Decor

Ways to use mirrors in decor almost defy listing, but here are a few examples:

  • Is there an empty stretch of wall in a room? Install a mirror, even a mirror that’s nearly the size of the section of wall itself.
  • Place a simple rectangular mirror along much of the length of a mantelpiece, or hang a large mirror with an ornate frame on the wall above it between matching wall sconces.
  • Install a mirror, simple or with an ornate frame, in the middle of photos or artwork on a gallery wall.
  • Let the mirror influence the rest of the room's decor. For example, a mirror with an elaborate Venetian frame can set the tone for a room filled with beautifully carved and richly upholstered furniture. On the other hand, a frameless, modern mirror can set the tone for a room with a contemporary decor.
  • Hang more than one mirror on a wall. The mirrors can be more or less identical in size, shape and period, or they can be wildly different yet complementary.
  • An oversized mirror placed on a blank wall between two areas in an open plan house can serve as the borderline between the two spaces such as the living area and the dining area.
  • Install mirrors on otherwise boring closet doors.
  • A wall covered in mirror squares can make a statement in any room.
  • The mirror does not have to be hung on the wall. A large, fancy mirror tilted against the wall can be a focal point in a room.
  • A painting placed in the center of a large, mirrored space also draws the eye to itself.

Using Mirrors To Make a Room Appear More Spacious

Mirrors have been used to make a space look bigger than it is for untold years, and here are a few ways to do this.

  • Turn the mirror into a fake window. Arched mirrors with mullions that resemble French doors or oversized windows are often used to make a guest think the room is bigger than it is. Like all mirrors, the way these window mirrors bounce light around also makes the space brighter and airier. Homeowners shouldn't be nervous about putting mirrors in their kitchens either. It not only makes the space look bigger but makes preparing and eating meals more enjoyable.
  • Install a tall, rectangular mirror on a wall. The mirror pulls the eye upward, which makes the room seem more spacious.
  • Put mirrors in the hallway. Hallways tend to be dark and narrow, and an arrangement of mirrors placed on their walls opens them up.
  • Again, install more than one mirror. This is not only a good idea to enhance the decor but also makes a room look bigger and brighter. Some people only add three or four mirrors that match, though a bolder option is to install a lot of mirrors in different sizes and even shapes.
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