Mirrors 101

October 15, 2018

Mirrors 101

A mirror can be just as much a work of art as it is a reflective surface.

We’ve geared up with Max Humphrey, a Portland-based interior design guru, to show you how to make the most of mirrors as both a design element and functional focal point in your home decor.

Balance Function & Style

Keep in mind the purpose of the mirror when deciding on shape and style. If it’s being hung above a vanity or dresser, opt for a larger rectangle or circle to optimize viewing space. To kick it up a notch, get playful with the frame details. A floating border, bold pop of color, or distressed finish can lend new life into a traditional shape. Get creative with shape and symmetry for mirrors that are purely decorative, while still taking cues from your current decor style.

It’s All About Scale and Placement

Scale and placement of a mirror can make all the difference in altering the perception of a smaller space. To lighten and brighten the room, use rectangular mirrors with silver- and gold-finished framework—the light will not only reflect off the glass but the border as well! Add depth to a confined space (like a hallway or mudroom) with abstract framework that manipulates dimension or an overlay that mimics an expensive window treatment.

Enhance the Entryway

A mirror is a must-have in any entryway. It greets guests in style and provides one last chance to look at yourself before heading out the door. To create an eye-catching focal point, choose a mirror with a fun shape, like a hexagon, starburst, or teardrop, and hang it at eye level above a bench, console, or small chest of drawers.

Gallery Wall

We’ve all heard of the gallery wall trend (and we all love it!)—but this doesn’t mean you have to stick to only wall art, paintings, and prints. A balanced, symmetrical assortment of mirrors is just as stylish and works double duty to brighten up a bare wall. Start with a large mirror at the center. Then, add smaller pieces around it, essentially providing a frame. Incorporate a bold mix of textures, colors, and framework while being mindful of symmetry. We suggest configuring different layouts on the floor, snapping a pic, and choosing your favorite assortment before nailing anything to the wall.

Incorporate Mirrors in Unexpected Places

Mirrors can also live off the walls. More subtle accents (think mirrored picture frames and lamps, and inlaid eglomise glass trays) offer the same look and feel as a wall or floor mirror, but with added utility. Reflective finishes, such as polished chrome and hammered copper, also convey the sleek, streamlined feel of a decorative mirror.

–Holly Stephens

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