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LifestyleHome and Garden

Using mirrors to lighten, brighten and make a statement

Adding a mirror in a small hallway opens

Adding a mirror in a small hallway opens up the space visually. Photo Credit: Dreamstime

If you thought mirrors were something framed to put over a fireplace or bathroom sink, think again. Mirrors can be used in decor in so many ways beyond their traditional placements in the living room, bedroom or bath. Using mirrors can create more light, more space and more interest in your home’s style.

A wall of mirrors

Mirrors have long been used to add more light to a room. They can also double the view if you place one opposite a scenic window.

A mirror is frequently only used as a framed piece, but mirrored walls can make a beautiful accent. Too often, though, the wall mirroring can look institutional when large, single pieces of mirror are added to a wall. Take a cue from Parisian and French homes, which show how mirrors can be added in a way that looks stylish and custom instead of commercial.

Start by adding a mirror that is antiqued for depth and interest. You can also add intrigue by cutting the mirror into blocks. Having multiple mirrors on a wall becomes less monotonous and adds texture. A common French technique is to add a large mirror panel in the center of a wall and then frame it with smaller mirror panels on the top, bottom and sides. Another stylish choice is to cut the panels into diamond shapes. Common in French styles is to add metal buttons where panels meet to dress up the mirror.

Decorative dimension

Another way to add depth with mirrors and to your decor is by adding decorative trellis panels over a mirror. This helps to create an illusion that the room is very large, adds extra lighting and makes your walls visually disappear. It’s a terrific option in areas such as long interior hallways, which can seem small, dark and cramped. Suddenly, the narrow, confined space of a hallway opens up visually.

Mirror paneling can also be added to doors to create an instant full-length mirror in closets, bathrooms, or on the back of a bedroom door. It’s also a nice way to define a powder room door.

Expect the unexpected

Try adding mirrors where it’s unexpected. In the dining room, a mirror is often placed over the buffet or on a wall; but why not try a mirror as your tabletop? An antiqued mirror would add glimmer and glamour to meals. You could also place mirror panels on the ceiling to bring a sparkle to holiday meals and entertaining.

In the bedroom, take down that mirror that came with your dresser and replace it with something with contrast, such as a sunburst or Venetian glass mirror. Or, brighten the bedroom with framed mirrors behind your bedside tables or on top of your nightstands, especially if your room is dark and you’d like to read in bed.

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