On Reflection – How using mirrors in interiors can help create the home of your dreams
Ask any interior designer and they’ll tell you mirrors can be pretty magical - and we’re not talking fairytale queens and princesses here. Forget genies and their wishes, godmothers and their magic wands - if you want a home that’s the best, brightest and most spacious of them all, some carefully selected and cleverly placed mirrors are all you need.
Expand your horizons
Working with an impossibly tight space? Alongside small prints, a pale colour palette and carefully curated key pieces of furniture, you can create an illusion of space with large mirrors. The most effective are floor mirrors, which create a feeling of height, as well as space. Where you wish to lengthen a wall, choose a long, skinny mirror turned on its side. If you’re working on a budget, then groups of smaller mirrors of differing shapes can be a cost effective option, and can also add interest while allowing you to run free with your creativity.
Have you ever noticed how boutique hotels use mirrors with illuminated edges in their bathrooms? This kind of ambient lighting is a great design hack to instantly create a relaxing sanctuary. There’s no reason you cannot apply the same principle if you want to create a sanctuary-like bathroom in your own home.
Feature walls filled with mirrors are a great way of making use of a space that would otherwise lack interest - choose different frame shapes, colours and finish effects, and team them with intermittent framed photos for a feature wall that’s packed with personal touches. Groups of smaller mirrors can also create more depth, without the weight, formality and imposing appearance larger mirrors have.
Showcase statement pieces
Own a beloved piece of furniture you’d like to make the focal point of a room? Placing a mirror alongside it can capture interest while showcasing almost every angle of the piece. This spring is all about the mixing and matching of eras and statement pieces, so consider a mirror that contrasts in design style – where there’s a traditional sideboard, you could go for a modern, angular and simplistic mirror.
If your property leaves you yearning for more windows, mirrors can be an excellent alternative. Large, rectangular mirrors placed at regular intervals create a feeling of space throughout a room; you should take a little time to experiment with placement however, and consider the windows you do have and how you can place your mirrors to make best use of natural sources of light.
To infinity and beyond...
For an especially dramatic effect, place two mirrors on adjacent walls. Take care to choose mirrors of differing sizes however, with the smaller of the two being oval and the largest being rectangular, as you may otherwise end up with dizzy guests, rather than wowing them with your interior design prowess.
The great outdoors
Your entrance hallway is the first area guests see when they enter your home, so if you want to make a great first impression this is the place to do it. Hallways however, tend to suffer from a lack of space and light – for which mirrors are ideal. If your hallway is completely windowless, you should consider teaming your mirror with down lighting, spotlights or even candles. If you are someone who loves their outdoor space, a well-placed mirror to reflect a garden view will bring a touch of the outside in. This idea can be particularly effective in urban apartments where you have only a small courtyard to make the most of.
Lesley Taylor is the author of 10 interior design books and has appeared on a range of network TV shows, including This Morning, giving inspirational advice on home styling.She lives in Wales where she is the Founder and Design Director of luxury interiors lifestyle store Taylors Etc.
Lesley’s Top Tips for perfect mirror placement
1. Mirrors in small spaces will make a room seem bigger
2. Check the reflection from every angle
3. Hang mirrors in areas where natural light is limited
4. For a spa-like bathroom use a mirror as a source of ambient lighting
5. Mirrors can be as much as decorative feature as well as functional