Decorating with Mirrors

Mirrors can add style to any room, visually expand a small space, plus brighten even the tightest quarters. Learn how to decorate with mirrors in your home.

Mirrors are a favorite wall accessory because they both reflect and create beauty. No matter what your decorating style, a great mirror can provide a textural element to a blank wall. Plus, it's fun to search garage sales and flea markets for interesting shapes and sizes. So where do you begin when decorating with a mirror? Follow our pointers, below, to get a look that reflects your personality.

front entry with dark blue wall and white trim

The right placement of a mirror makes all the difference in how a room feels. Mirrors can reflect and expand the features of a room, so you want to make sure you place it across from a view worth looking at twice. In the entryway above, a bold mirror serves as a statement piece that instantly expresses the style of the home when you walk in the door. It also functions as a quick stop to check your appearance before you head out for the day. Now everyone—and everything—looks put together.

bathroom with dark floral wallpaper and white sink
Kim Cornelison

A mirror can transform a small or dark room by bouncing light around. This small powder room with large floral wallpaper remains bright and charming thanks to an oval mirror placed near a window. It reflects natural light back into the room and visually enlarges the space. If your powder room has an outdated mirror stuck to the wall, you can easily update it to match any style by adding your own frame.

antique wooden entry table with modern gold framed mirror, blue lamp and vase of flowers

Mirrors do more than just reflect—they can also be a statement of art all on their own. Find a mirror with a distinct texture or graphic style. Update it if necessary with paint. Metal frames are easy to repaint. If you're painting over stained wood, be sure to sand it and use a stain-blocking primer before you paint. Then pair it with a console table, cabinet, or bed to create a stunning focal point for any room. Add a lamp near the mirror for more light throughout the entire room. And you don't have to stop at just one mirror—you can double the impact in a small bedroom or living room with a pair of mirrors.

detail shot of white fireplace with prints, gold-edged mirror, white candlesticks with blue tapers; and gray vase with large frond

Mirrors work well as a base for a layered mantel display. Select a large mirror with a simple black or white frame if you want it to recede into the background. Opt for a more ornate frame design or color to make the mirror pop within the display. Accessorize the mantel with art and other decor items for a rich layered look. This approach is great if you like to switch up your room decor frequently. You can easily swap out art (without damaging your walls) and update colors at a moment's notice.

bathroom with pedestal sink round mirror patterned wallpaper
Nathan Kirkman

Mirror styles also offer a gentle nod to your locale. Without going over the top with beachy decor, the rope mirror above adds a nautical touch that pays homage to the home's seaside setting. You could achieve the same effect in different parts of the country with materials that reflect your surroundings. In a rural area, you could select a weathered barnwood mirror. In an urban loft, you might opt for an industrial metal-framed mirror. Or go with the style that speaks to you!

living room with white fireplace and chihuahua on chair
David Tsay

Who says you can only have one mirror in a room? Maximize the light-boosting effects of decorating with mirrors by doubling up. An oversized mirror hung above the mantel works seamlessly from season to season. And it makes the room brighter throughout the entire year. Pair it with a floor mirror that leans against the wall near a sitting area—or move it from room to room as your mood and styles change. Using multiple mirrors is a great way to make a little room feel more spacious.

Add Mirrors to Small Spaces

Floor mirrors aren't just for walk-in closets. We're seeing them pop up in entryways, living rooms, hallways, and bedrooms. When tucked in a corner, a classic floor-length mirror enhances this room's natural light to create a well-lit reading nook.

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