Mirrors have graced walls and brought light and beauty into spaces for centuries. But a mirror placed just anywhere lacks intention. The right decorative mirror, thoughtfully chosen and positioned, can transform the entire feeling of a room.
From glitzy Hollywood Regency apartments to cozy cottage bedrooms, a statement mirror amplifies the decor. It catches and reflects light from windows and fixtures, making rooms feel more open and bright. Decorative mirrors expand and accentuate the architecture and finishes of a space. And they provide a dash of personalized style that reflects your aesthetic.
But with so many sizes, shapes, frames, and placement options, deciding on the perfect mirror or mirrors requires consideration. In this article, we’ll explore what to think about when selecting decorative mirrors. You’ll learn mirror styling tips and techniques to play up your space. Let’s examine how to choose mirrors that reflect your personal flair.
Key Factors To Mull Over When Choosing Wall Mirrors
Before mounting any mirror, assessing a few practical elements helps ensure it fits and functions as intended. Consider the following factors:
The Size and Shape Should Fit Your Space
First, consider the footprint of the wall space where you want to hang the mirror. Then determine an appropriate size and shape mirror to fill it.
Oversized mirrors make a dramatic statement in an open living area or master suite. For a small powder room, an oval or round mirror as wide as the vanity provides functionality. Pay attention to not only width but also height proportions. A horizontal rectangular mirror can widen a narrow hall. While a tall and lean mirror adds height in compact quarters.
With an ornate vintage frame, go large for presence. Or keep it smaller to let the frame detail shine. For a minimalist metal rim, err toward a bolder mirror to make it pop.
In bathrooms, make sure there is adequate mirror space for daily grooming tasks. For dressing areas, ensure mirrors are visible from typical vantage points in the room.
Consider the mirror’s shape as well. Beyond expected rectangles and circles, explore unique shapes like waves and clouds for whimsy or geometric angles and lines for drama.
The Frame Makes the Statement
The frame ultimately creates the mirror’s style. Classic carved wood boasts Old World refinement. Distressed wood feels casual, contemporary, and approachable. Sleek metal frames vary from industrial to elegant. Mosaic tile or shell frames bring natural, artisanal texture.
Determine the mood you want to set, then consider:**
- Ornate carved frames for traditional decor
- Distressed wood frames for casual, coastal, or farmhouse rooms
- Polished metal frames for modern and contemporary spaces
- Colorful painted frames for a pop of brightness
- Beveled edges to diffuse light in formal settings
- Frameless for minimalist style
Match the mirror’s frame finish to other wood tones and metals in the room – a bronze frame to echo bronze sconces, for example. For a cohesive look, the finishes don’t need to perfectly match, but they should coordinate.
Mind the Placement
Strategic placement enhances both aesthetics and function. When possible, hang mirrors on walls opposite windows. The glass will amplify incoming natural light. Position mirrors to reflect attractive views like landscapes or architectural focal points.
Anchor a mirror visually by flanking with matching wall sconces or artwork. This makes it look more like a deliberate design choice than a random hanging spot.
Use smaller mirrors in groupings to create a gallery wall effect. Floating shelves holding decorative objects make excellent companions to frame mirrors both visually and functionally.
When arranging a mirror gallery, repeating frame styles ties the look together. Combine different mirror sizes and shapes for interest. Layer mirrors vertically up the wall, horizontally across it, or in diamond-like clusters.
Above dressers, center mirrors to align with your reflection sitting on the bed. In entryways, a mirror hung vertically adds height.
Play With Lighting For Dramatic Effects
Proper illumination enables a mirror to function well. But creative lighting transforms it into a striking focal point.
For task mirrors, like in a bathroom, ensure adequate functional lighting – usually ceiling fixtures. Wall sconces flanking a mirror provide both ambient light and accenting shine.
Picture lights mounted above or sconces alongside a mirror create distinct, eye-catching silhouettes. Backlighting a mirror from behind or pointing track lights directly at it increases drama.
Dimmable bulbs allow adjusting brightness for both mood and utility. Try warmer light bulbs to combat shadows and glare.
With backlit or spotlit mirrors, limit lighting elements to just a few fixtures. Choose matching metallics and finishes between the mirror frame and light fixtures for a cohesive look.
Play Up The Details For Added Interest
Beyond the frame itself, additional ornamental accents can make your mirror pop. Some ideas:
- Add crown molding trim atop the frame to boost its presence
- Antique the mirror backing for an aged, timeworn aesthetic
- Choose a frame with built-in candle sconces or decorative carvings
- Select a mirror with unique hinges like wraparound leather straps
- Complement with tile, stone, or faux bois trim
- Paint or wallpaper the wall around the mirror
Coordinate these decorative details with other finishes in the space – an antique gilt frame works well against navy blue or emerald walls, for example.
Now that we’ve covered the key considerations for selecting mirrors, let’s look at a few popular decorative styles.
Top Mirror Styles To Reflect On
The options for decorative mirrors today go far beyond basics. Here are five on-trend styles to reflect light and your personal flair.
1. Stately Overmantel Mirror
No room gains gravitas quicker with a large mirror mounted high above a fireplace. The architectural centering point begs for a dramatic statement piece to anchor it.
Overmantel mirrors tend to skew sizable, ranging from four to six feet wide in most standard living rooms. Rectangular and arched top shapes best complement the lines of a typical mantel.
Elaborate molded frames in antiqued gold, silver, or painted finishes add elegance. For a lighter look, a simple iron frame makes the mirror itself the star.
Hang the mirror approximately six to ten inches above the mantel. Illuminate it with wall sconces or hi-hats to either side. Add artwork, sconces, or decorative candlesticks atop the mantel to tie the look together.
2. Circular Sunburst Mirror
A mirror with radiating beams emanating from a circular center instantly brightens and opens up any space. Sunburst style mirrors work in laidback and refined settings alike.
Sunburst mirrors come in a range of sizes from 18 inches up to four feet across. Smaller versions suit tight entryways or powder rooms. Oversized sunbursts make a splash behind a sofa or anchoring a dining room.
The frame usually comprises metal rays in finishes like antique brass, black, or polished chrome. Some boast metal accents on a simple wood base. Mirrored rays add extra shine.
Hang solo above a console or sideboard. Group with other circular mirrors and artwork for a gallery effect. Spotlight at night for added radiance.
3. Modern Geometric Mirror
For contemporary environments, a mirror with clean lines and angles brings mathematical allure. Triangles, diamonds, concave curves – geometry provides almost endless artistic options.
Geometric mirrors often employ simple metal frames and beveled edges to enhance the crispness. Pared down, line-based wood frames also maintain a minimalist edge.
Size them generously to let the intriguing shapes take center stage. Place against a flat wall with no competing art or clutter. Dark paint or wallpaper intensifies the contrast.
Light these mirrors with recessed wall washing or tracks for chic ambiance. In bedrooms, lean against the wall alongside a nightstand for instant urban edge.
4. Rustic Wood Mirror
In farmhouse, cottage, or cabin environments, a mirror framed in raw unfinished wood blends perfectly. Knots, cracks, and inconsistencies in the grain add aged authenticity.
Rustic wood mirrors encompass many frame styles – simple planks, arched tops, distressed carvings, reclaimed barnwood. Wider planks and heavier looks suit oversized mirrors. Delicate carved wreaths work for petite powder room versions.
Rough wood frames with inherent imperfections match living spaces with reclaimed furniture and textiles. For contrast, mix with painted walls, tilework, or marble and brass accents.
To prevent an overly rugged look, limit rustic mirrors to one or two groupings. Spotlight them to highlight handsome woodgrain.
5. Oversized Leaner Floor Mirror
Lean an extra-tall mirror against the wall to create the illusion of expanded space. A floor mirror angled outward invites movement around it and beyond.
Leaner mirrors range from just under three feet tall to over seven feet. Super slim profiles, roughly four to six inches deep, prevent tipping when positioned at an angle.
Unadorned wood, metal, or painted frames keep the look light and contemporary. Stick with clean lines – soft curves or ornate carvings undermine the floating effect.
Place beside an entry table to make a narrow hallway feel less confined. In a bedroom corner, angle near a chair or bedside. Just avoid blocking traffic paths.
Light from both sides to prevent shadows and glare on the tilted glass. For stability, adhere floor mirrors to the wall with brackets.
Mirror Buying Guide: How To Select The Perfect Piece
Once you’ve settled on mirror style and placement, a few buying tips ensure an ideal fit. Here’s a checklist for choosing well-made mirrors built to last:
- Carefully measure the intended hanging space – width, height, and depth. Note obstructions like moldings or lights. Be precise!
- For online orders, read all size specs, policies, and shipping details.
- In stores, try mirrors in place before purchasing whenever possible.
- Assess the frame’s durability – solid wood and metal withstand moving and hanging best.
- Check that mirror backings include hanging hardware and reinforcements.
- With custom framing, determine needed margins and sizing early – alterations are expensive.
- Beveled edges on mirrors reduce glare – opt for them in frequently used spaces.
- Ship framed mirrors upright and have another person help lift; the glass is heavy.
- Install securely into wall studs, especially for extra-large mirrors.
Shopping locally allows you to evaluate mirrors in person before committing. Big box stores, antique shops, and home decor boutiques typically stock a wide selection.
Ordering online is convenient yet risky without an in-person gauge of scale and quality. Read reviews and shop reputable sites like Wayfair, West Elm, and Ballard Designs with generous return policies…just in case.
For a truly one-of-a-kind mirror, explore custom framing services and specialty artisan sellers on Etsy. Expect added costs for intricate frames and customization. But for an heirloom-quality focal point, it’s worth the investment.
Reflecting Your True Style
A glance in the mirror provides a glimpse of your inner self every day. Thoughtfully chosen mirrors likewise reflect your tastes and spirit out into the rooms you inhabit.
By minding the size, shape, frame style, placement, and lighting, you can select decorative mirrors that augment and accent your home’s design.
Hang them with purpose to illuminate, expand, and elevate your space. And enjoy watching your personalized style shine through.
We hope these tips and inspirational ideas spark creative ways to incorporate mirrors into your home. May the reflections fill you with brightness and beauty. Let us know if you have any other mirror design questions!