How To Use Mirrors For Interior Design

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All too often, mirrors are overlooked as purely functional, only to be kept in the bedroom and bathroom. While they certainly provide practical uses, mirrors are quickly replacing works of art in living rooms, dining rooms and entry ways. Ornate frames, stylized glass and strategic placement all contribute to the mirror's versatile design potential, creating bright, open floor plans in any room. Give mirrors a new purpose in your home by following these easy styling tips.


One of the greatest benefits of decorating with mirrors is the ability to bring light into dark rooms or hallways. Lightening up a room can not only make it feel more open, but increase the brightness and impact of paint colors and décor. Give any room a light new feel with these suggestions:

  • When placed opposite a window, mirrors reflect the natural light, instantly brightening the room.
  • Along a hallway with one wall of windows, place mirrors along the opposite wall to create the illusion of a second set of windows.
  • Placing a mirror behind a set of candles in dining rooms, bathrooms and bedrooms instantly doubles the soft, romantic light, spreading it throughout the room.


In small rooms, placing a large mirror on one or more walls immediately increases the appearance of depth, opening up previously cramped areas. Creating the sense of more space in a room will make it appear cleaner, and feel more comfortable.

  • In tight bedrooms, dining rooms and living rooms, a large mirror leaning against the wall not only adds a flare of design, but dramatically increases the sense of openness.
  • Arranging four square or rectangular mirrors with wood frames can create the illusion of a window in rooms without any.
  • The larger the mirror, the more dramatically the room will appear to be opened up.


Ornate frames, strategic placement and stylized glass have all given the mirror new life as artwork for your home. Rather than simply utilizing mirrors as functional pieces in a bedroom or bathroom, hang mirrors in the living room, dining room and entry way as fun, stylish conversation pieces.

  • Hang multiple mirrors in different sizes along one wall of the living room to create a gallery of mirrored artwork. By using various unique frame styles, the frames actually become the art.
  • Place a large, ornately framed mirror on one wall of the dining room to replace a stuffy painting.
  • In the entry way, place a medium to small sized decorative mirror where guests can check themselves when coming and going.
  • Mirrors can be purchased with concave or convex glass, creating optical illusions and unique perspectives on their reflection.
  • If a mirror will be used as decoration purely for the frame, it can be hung higher on the wall, as it will not be needed to reflect anyone's appearance.
  • Place a mirror on a wall opposite a beautiful outdoor view. The mirror will reflect the window, creating a photograph-like effect on the wall, and offer more angles to enjoy the great view.


Many pieces of furniture are available with mirrored paneling, allowing you to decorate with mirrors in a whole new way.

  • Dressers or cabinets with mirrored panels reflect flooring patterns and wall colors, enhancing the brightness and impact of a room's color scheme.
  • Table tops with embedded mirrors create unique surfaces to display statues, artwork and dinnerware.
  • Doors with mirrored panels create the illusion of open walkways, offering both privacy and an open air feel, and increasing the appearance of depth in rooms.
  • Mirrored shelves act like museum showcases, highlighting every angle of collectibles, statues, china and more.

Not only can mirrors provide functionality throughout the entire house, but they also add a splash of decorative creativity to every room. By placing mirrors in small or dark rooms, they instantly brighten and open the space. When hung in decorative frames, mirrors become works of art, enjoyed as much for their own appearance as their ability to reflect yours.

Last Updated: July 21, 2011
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About Alexandra Kerr Through Ideal Home Garden, Alexandra covers topics ranging from interior design to home improvement, gardening and cuisine. Having a passion for cooking and entertaining in her own life, she hopes to communicate her love of home design and decorating with her readers. 

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