Once relegated to bathrooms and bedrooms as a means to look at one's reflection (hence the term "looking glass") and make yourself presentable, mirrors have moved out of private quarters and transitioned from purely practical to decorative as well. From floor-to-ceiling to handheld, mirrors are hard-working interior design tools that make rooms feel brighter, impart the illusion of more space, and, of course, add a touch of glamour and style.
Mirrors come in a variety of styles, shapes, sizes, materials, and even colorful tints making them a valuable accessory in a range of interiors including kitchens, foyers, living spaces, and dining rooms. They can be hung in seemingly endless ways including small groupings, propped against the wall, inset into cabinets, and layered on top of one another. But before you commit to a specific idea, be sure to consider your mirror placement, height, and what it will be reflecting.
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Curious how to make mirrors work for you? Check out these 20 wall decor ideas.
1. Introduce symmetry.
Bookend a fireplace with mirrors on either side to create symmetry and balance. It's a great way to make use of the space that often flanks a hearth, as proven by the set of floor-to-ceiling mirrors in this elegant living room by Chango & Co. The simple wall decor imparts an expansive feeling and reflects natural light while serving as a sophisticated adornment.
2. Fill an empty corner.
Floor mirrors are also the perfect solution for filling an awkward nook or empty corner. Take inspiration from this setup spotted on Lulu and Georgia, and lean an oversize design in an underutilized space to pull double-duty — functioning as a decorative element that illuminates "lost" areas, while making them feel purposeful.
3. Anchor a gallery wall.
Mirrors are an affordable alternative to artwork, but they can also be mixed in with original pieces to amp up the visual impact. This eclectic gallery wall in a living room by Liz Caan intersperses a set of mirrors in differing shapes and sizes among sculptures and art for a unique look that's full of personality.
4. Complete a vignette.
Place a small (or large) mirror behind artwork or various objects for a layered look that adds depth and interest. Interior designer Amber Lewis curated an effortless-looking vignette on top of a wooden armoire that enhances the room's soothing scheme.
5. Install a conversation piece.
Use three-dimensional mirrors in lieu of a sculpture for an architectural bent on the reflective piece of decor. This trio from CB2 can be hung in a myriad of ways, allowing you to personalize the installation. Plus, the absence of a frame makes the modern and sleek design feel artful and unique.
6. Choose a multi-paned mirror.
Multi-paned mirrors resemble steel-framed windows and doors and impart industrial flair. A blackened metal version adds visual weight and helps ground this bright and airy dining room by Kelsey Design Co., while introducing a linear pattern to the expansive wall.
7. Keep proportions in check.
Heed a room's overall proportions when selecting a mirror so that it doesn't overwhelm or look lost in the space. The round version in this craftsman-style living room is perfectly suited for the low ceiling and petite picture windows on either side. The gold frame adds a hint of glam without distracting from the charming handiwork of the fireplace and built-ins below.
8. Ensure the frame complements the overall aesthetic.
An elevated room deserves an elevated mirror. This sophisticated living space by Lee Owens Design features picture frame molding on the walls, flowing drapery, and tight-back furniture, all of which are deserving of an ornate mirror. While an unexpected choice, leaning the lavish piece behind the sofa visually opens up the room.
9. Add interest to a blank wall.
Hang mirrors in the same shape, but in varying sizes, to add visual interest to any room. This scene spotted on Ochre Home uses a smattering of round wall mirrors hung in a freeform (but not random) pattern to punctuate an expansive surface. The ivory-hued frames pop against the inky backdrop for pleasing and dramatic contrast.
10. Opt for an unusual shape.
Forgo predictable circular-, square-, and rectangular-shaped mirrors for one that's unusual — like the clover-inspired beauty in this eclectic space by Chloe Berk. The curvilinear silhouette functions as a centerpiece while not taking itself too seriously.
11. Consider cabinet fronts.
Satisfy the universal desire for clean, bright kitchens by including reflective surfaces. Inset mirrored panels break up the monotony and heaviness of all-wood cabinetry and are a welcome alternative to glass fronts since the contents won't be on display. Antiquing the mirror finish, like Jean Stoffer did in this greige cook space, renders fingerprints less noticeable.
12. Make a big statement with a large mirror.
Push the size boundaries of your mirror selection by installing one that really makes a statement. A larger-than-life round mirror in this boho bathroom by Sarah Sherman Samuel gives the feminine space a bit of edge, while the muted color palette, wood vanity, and organic accessories keep the look free-spirited and warm.
13. Introduce warmth and pattern.
A wood frame counters the cold and impersonal feeling that some mirrors give off by imparting an organic quality and a touch of warmth. This design hung over a cobalt credenza also introduces an interesting pattern.
14. Be creative with the installation.
While mirrors are typically hung on the wall, don't be afraid to get creative with the installation, especially if you run into any design challenges or obstacles that you need to work around. The ingenious solution to a bathroom with windows behind a pair of pedestal sinks, instead of a blank wall, was to suspend the mirror from the ceiling. The result is a romantic focal point that doesn't obstruct the lush garden view.
15. Clad closet doors.
Don't overlook the power of mirror-clad closet doors — they'll provide a full-length spot to view oneself while getting dressed as well as make the room feel larger. Where wall space is at a premium, say in a spatially challenged bedroom, affixing mirror panels to the closet doors will solve two problems at once without creating visual clutter.
16. Add character and patina to a dining room.
Antiqued mirrors are a sophisticated alternative to the plain variety, thanks to their signature mottled appearance that imparts a dose of pattern and atmosphere. This dining room by Studio William Hefner adorns an arched inset with antiqued panels from floor-to-ceiling for a soft diffuse reflection.
17. Make a small space look distinguished.
A mirrored backsplash is a considered detail that injects elegance and old-world charm wherever it's installed. Use it in a kitchen design, or follow the lead of Jessica Helgerson, who clad a wall behind a built-in bar with aged mirror paneling for a dramatic look with a sense of history.
18. Invite light into a foyer.
Mirrors are a no-fail addition to foyers and entryways, which tend to be dark and narrow. They also provide an opportunity to take one last look at yourself as you head out the door. This perfectly edited entryway by Jute Interiors flaunts an industrial-inspired mirror design hung horizontally and at eye level to reflect ample natural light and balance the elongated rustic console table.
19. Accentuate high ceilings with period details.
If you're lucky enough to live in a home with original millwork and high ceilings, a wall mirror can beautifully enhance these timeless details. But don't just take our word for it; this handsome sitting room by Elizabeth Roberts showcases a rectangular pier mirror that highlights the surrounding decorative trim. The bay window, parquet floors, and intricate woodwork complete the enduring living space.
20. Layer multiple mirrors.
If you're the more is more type, consider layering mirrors. In this scene by Traci from @adornment_ondisplay, three mirrors — in varying shapes, sizes, and finishes — are artfully displayed on top of a fireplace mantel. But you can also hang artwork or a decorative mirror on a mirrored wall for a similar effect.