If you’re hoping to improve how the rooms in your home look and feel but have a very small budget, the next best thing after a really good painting and decorating job might just be well-placed mirrors.
Most of us have walked into a room after a large, lovely mirror has been hung in it and thought ‘Wow, it looks so much bigger now’.
That’s the beauty of mirrors. Pick the right style to match a room and by positioning one well you can transform a space.
Here are 10 tips for on the best places to put mirrors if you want to take advantage of the magic illusion of extra space they can bring.
- Large windows – A large mirror placed near, or at right angles to a large window can work superbly to heighten the size of the window and show off the feature even more.
- ‘Increase’ a room’s size – It’s an optical illusion of course, but mirrors can make a room look bigger. If the mirror is well-placed, perhaps on the largest wall to reflect as much light as possible back into the room, you can trick the eye into thinking the room is double its actual size.
- Big mirrors, small rooms – Choosing a large mirror for a small room isn’t a problem. The general rule of thumb is to pick the largest wall and buy the biggest mirror possible for it.
- Cupboards and wardrobes – Cupboards and wardrobes with reflective glass doors heighten the sense of space in a room and, again, bounce light around to enhance the feeling of size.
- Place mirrors where the eye first looks – Large and full-length mirrors work best when placed on the wall which the eye naturally looks at when a person first enters a room.
- Reflect light from windows – Try and position mirrors near or opposite windows. This will help them to throw the most light possible, and also potentially reflect the outside (this is particularly lovely if it’s a nice garden), exaggerating the sense of space inside still further.
- Mirror over a fireplace – a mirror over a fireplace is the classic positional choice for good reason; it counters the effect of the dark fireplace and acts as a focal point for a room (make sure it’s attractive!). Try and ensure the mirror’s as tall as possible as it will help make the ceiling look higher too.
- Mirror next to a fireplace – If you have a piece of art or some other focal point above a fireplace in a room, and don’t want to replace it with a mirror, consider positioning one in an alcove next to the fireplace. It visually makes the chimney breast recede, while reflecting almost the whole room.
- Hallways – Hallways may be ‘big’ in that they can be very long, but almost any will be enhanced by a mirror. Try and get the biggest possible mirror (small mirrors shrink when placed on a large wall, and can look ugly); it will add depth and a feeling of lightness, improving a hall instantly.
- Bathrooms – Forget buying a typical small-to-medium round or square mirror and placing it above a bathroom’s sink. Go ape and cover a whole wall in mirrors! Or, buy one huge mirror for your bathroom, while retaining a mirrored cabinet or smaller mirror above the sink.
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James is a journalist and digital editor with over 13 years’ experience writing and editing for media and finance businesses. He specialises in personal finance and economics, but also covers property, travel and news.