After we picked up a giant mirror (seriously, it’s huge) for $5 at a local garage sale, we thought it was about time we mentioned the incredible superpowers that mirrors possess. Yup, short of adding a window, a french door or a major addition, mirrors are the best way to visually expand your space and reflect a ton of light. And everyone knows an airy and bright room is right up there with hardwood flooring or a fireplace in the dream home department (it can even make your house sell faster and for more money). So what’s the hold up, people? Let’s start reflecting.
But mirrors can’t just be placed willy nilly all over your home. There’s a method to the mirror madness, and the main takeaway is this: be sure you’re reflecting a pro of the space, and not a con. For example, if a mirror above the sofa merely reflects your giant black tv, it’s not exactly something you’d like to duplicate in the space (although your hubby might disagree) and all that dark machinery might just make the room feel more cramped! The three single best things to reflect are: a pretty light fixture, a window, or some subtle and light wall art (because lord knows you don’t want two Black Sabbath posters in your space either). Reflecting a pretty light fixture can mean anything from hanging a mirror on the wall of your dining room at the height of the chandelier to bounce some more light around, or even leaning/hanging a mirror behind a table lamp (for example, two matching mirrors behind your night tables with matching lamps would add so much sparkle and ambiance to your space. But enough yakking, onto the pictures.
We hit the mirror jackpot in the guest bedroom (pretty much by accident) when we brought home this beast of a mirror and propped it up on the dresser. As you enter the room, it reflects a big picture window that looks out into our backyard- so the mirror almost becomes another window (offering light and a pretty green view).
But wait, that’s not all. It also reflects the smaller window above the bed when you’re standing across from it, so it’s like we added two windows in a room that already has two windows- it almost feels as if there’s a window on all four walls.
The feeling of added spaciousness is especially obvious when windows are reflected, since the objects out the window are in the distance. By duplicating the distance and depth that a window adds to a space, it feels infinitely more expansive. In short, the room feels a heck of a lot bigger than it did yesterday.
So what do you guys think? Do you have any more mirror tips and tricks, or some pretty before and afters involving the addition of a mirror? Share and share alike.
Very cool! I love how you layered a mirror on a mirror.
Looks great! It gave me a great idea for our guest room as well! yay garage sales!
Also, received our magazine print “G” in the mail the other day- it’s fabulous!
I love this idea! We need to find something to put over our Ikea’s Besta unit (http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3276/2665128882_dcf7a45b7b.jpg?v=0) and mirrors may be the answer. Now we just need to find the right configuration. Maybe two square ones? a long, narrow one?
OMG, I can’t believe you got that big beautiful mirror for only $5! That’s incredible. And it looks amazing in that space! I love how you leaned the smaller mirror in front, too.
We have a really small entryway with a wall staring right back at you as soon as you walk in our home. I decided to a floor to ceiling wall grouping of little mirrors from IKEA to open the space up a bit more. Here’s a link if you’re interested in checking it out: http://tinyurl.com/5boloh
I love the mirrors you have in the space.
And, I love your use of “willy nilly”! My husband and I say that all the time and it made me laugh out loud.
MaryB in Richmond says
I may have mentioned I’m removing wallpaper/repainting my son’s bathroom. :-) Well, step one was removing the mirror over the vanity — a HUGE plain glass no-frame deal. Well, my son couldn’t get over how much smaller the room seems without it! He keeps saying “It’s like a tunnel, now, instead of a room!”
So there’s proof of the pudding — when a 17 year old boy notices that a missing mirror makes a room smaller, you KNOW a new mirror can make a room bigger!
I love that you have Postsecret books. I make sure I check that website/blog every Sunday. :)
What is your suggestion for a small, dark entry way? Would mirrors open it up even if there isn’t much light?
inspired by your website, I’ve spent the past week painting my bathroom white and magnolia instead of a nasty 70s cream/brown. Today, I put together the two new bathroom cabinets with mirror fronts, and added a row of mirror tiles high up in the unused space on the wall above the bath. They reflect the light into the room from a high vantage point, mimicking the natural direction of the sun. Mirror tiles are a really cheap and very fast way of adding mirrors in a room! Next step: change the nasty green blinds for some natural bamboo.
I did luck out by putting some extra mirrors in my house when it was up for sale. At the time there were two other houses for sale in my community. They were both for sale first, then I came along about 5 months later. I did several things around the house for not a lot of money, so everything looked nice and neat. Money ended up not being an issue before I sold the house because I had always kept things up to date. Lets just say my neighbors were pretty upset because my house sold before their did. If I remember correctly, I believe I put up about four extra mirrors throughout the house.
We have done the exact same thing in our little house. In our small bedroom, the head of our bed is against the window, so we put a mirror on the opposite wall. In the morning, the sun shines at the mirror, and reflects back onto us — and we have a view of the outside!
What’s really innovative is your smaller mirror leaning on the large mirror (on the dresser), because they would each offer different views! I am going to do that in my basement apartment, for the functionality, and the cool factor!
This is the first post I’ve read of your blog, and it’s all great! My husband and I are young(ish) too, and we live in an old(ish) house, and I’ll definitely be visiting more often!
Anthony Benari says
I love your style, and you guys are a really cute couple. I’ve enjoyed your ideas and your writing. This is another awesome idea.
Naveed Paj says
We have a full length mirror in our master bedroom, and it lives in the corner. It does help to make the room brighter by reflecting natural light across the bed.
Ah yes, the (smoke and) mirrors trick! Anyway, great suggestions, and great writing style!
We discovered this effect by accident. We had a mirror we were going to place in our bedroom. While waiting for a hook, we put the mirror on the floor in the hallway, and we realized we needed a mirror in the hallway, too.
Morris B. says
My wife and I were really frustrated one weekend when we tried to budget for an extension on our house. We had to give up (for now), so we went to Ikea to get some cheap things to makes us feel better. We bought a cool mirror, and besides looking cool, it did make the room that we wanted to expand feel bigger!
I love the mirrors in your house. I love your whole house. I love your blog. I hope to follow in your footsteps one day (if I ever make it to graduation…)
I do have a little mirror trick, actually. I wanted to spray paint the frame of a mirror white, but I did it outside during the winter. Because of the cold weather, the paint didn’t dry smoothly, but it created an awesome rustic effect instead. A happy accident!
Mary K. says
I’ve got a mirror in a hallway that is reflecting another mirror in a bedroom, to bring the light from the bedroom into the hallway. It’s like a hair salon experiment, but works great!