When it comes to mirrors, we have never shied away from incorporating one or two or ten into our interior styling.  That could be considered a whole lot of vanity for a desire to see our own reflections, but in fact there is so much more to gain in a mirrored space than self-adoration.

The gains that mirrors add to a space range broadly, and should do, according to the intended purpose. Mirrors can make spaces feel bigger, bring in light, and also increase the impact of a view, or even serve as a decorative piece of art.  It is all about understanding what you want to achieve and how and where to place a mirror to get the most out of it. 

With a small space using mirrors really does have the potential to improve the overall feel and even make people more comfortable and less hemmed in. By simply using a focal point and angling a mirror towards it you can totally change the feeling and add an illusion of depth.  This is particularly the case with a dark space, it can either bring in natural or artificial light to add a feeling of increase liveability.  Try the mirror on every angle and consider everything it reflects before you lock it in and attach it to a wall. If you don’t test the reflection you will get, your placement of the mirror might just bring in the air-conditioning unit from the neighbours! 

We used the mirror ‘space expanding’ idea in our last Block home by mirroring the entire back wall of the master bedroom’s walk-in robe.  Not only was it perfect for checking yourself out trying on outfits but it gave the wardrobe the feeling of endless space and made it a more comfortable space to be in. We’ve also used mirrors as splashbacks in kitchens to add light to the work area, bring in the great outdoors and create more space in small kitchens – just make sure its toughened glass for a work area where there’s heat and the risk of cracking!

Never position a mirror purely as a piece of art on a wall without considering its impact.  Not to suggest a beautifully framed mirror cannot be a piece of art, but unlike art, the mirror will reflect everything it is capturing in its view.  Make sure whatever it reflects is adding to the room. This could be adding light, bringing a magnificent outside view in, or even reflecting a beautiful wallpaper, furnishing or artwork.  

The purpose of the mirror should also be reflected in the frame you choose for it. If the mirror is all about increasing the feel of space, adding light or reflecting a view, you want it to do a practical job and potentially not be noticed. In this case it may make sense to go for a very minimal frame or one with very little detail.  

On the other hand, when your mirror is a showpiece, it can stand proud as a piece of art.  It can still do all the practical jobs but also set a specific tone for the room with a cleverly selected frame.  Be it a beach house vibe, country cottage, regal mansion or even city chic, the right framing of a mirror positioned correctly can be a showpiece to add wow to a room.  

Taking mirrors into the great outdoors is also growing in popularity.  Whether your great outdoors is a parklike sanctuary or an apartment balcony, the same principles apply whether it is a show piece or practical tool.  Just make sure your mirror is designed to cope with the outdoor elements, otherwise it will be a very short-term outdoor mirrored life.

Bathroom mirrors can do so much, both practically and aesthetically, but that is a whole story on its own, so we’ll come back to you with that one next week and give it the attention it deserves. 

June 15, 2022 — Mark McKie

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