Six Angles on Mirrors

Why do decorators love mirrors? They can be used in so many ways (mirrors, that is). Here are six of our favorite mirror moves – doubtless you can come up with dozens more on your own.

1. Cluster in multiples

Group an array of mirrors together on a plain wall to create an art-like display. Try arranging the same mirror in a uniform pattern for a clean, modern look; you can use an evenly spaced grid to make a “headboard” behind a bed, or a long row to enliven a backsplash. For a more unstudied, dynamic effect, cluster different mirrors in a free-form arrangement. If you have a completely open wall, cover it floor to ceiling with mirrors for major drama.

OC White and Mirrors         sized_mass_lg

2. Amplify a view or light

Place a mirror opposite a pretty view to double the effect. Or, if you want to amplify available light, place the mirror perpendicular to a window – not directly across from it, which will only bounce the light right back outside.

3. Lean instead of hanging

Try simply propping a mirror on top of a mantel, console, or dresser; larger mirrors can even sit on the floor. A leaning mirror adds a refreshingly casual note to any room (and is easier to relocate if the mood strikes). Use museum putty under the bottom edge to prevent slippage.

Leaning Mirror

4. Create a “window”

In windowless or window-scarce rooms, you can conjure the effect of a window with a large reflective surface, particularly if you choose a rectangular mirror that has an outline similar to a window. Grand 18th-century houses often employed this technique in hallways, placing mirrors in between windows to create a long, light-filled gallery.

5. Choose an unexpected spot

Mirrors are ideal for creating interest and intrigue, so consider placing one in a nontraditional spot: hang a mirror on the back panel of a bookcase, take one out to the garden (make sure it’s weather-safe first), or use a mirror as a tray on a table (remove any hanging hardware, so it will lay flat).

6. Replace a medicine cabinet

If you have other storage options in your bathroom, consider swapping in a decorative mirror for a medicine cabinet. The mirror will help dress up and personalize your room.

Alexandra Bath