Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall … Adding Magic, Style & SPACE to your Interior Design with Mirrors

Restoration Hardware Entablature Mirror In Reclaimed Oak

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall…who’s the fairest of them all?

(The correct answer being YOUR HOME if you follow these Designer Tips on why & how to use Mirrors in your Home… A Designer ESSENTIAL)

Elle Decor - Designing with mirrors 4

Designer Todd Romano created a wall of antique mirrored mercury-glass panels that serve as a backdrop for the seating area as well as for an antique still-life painting… FRESH, lux and sexy…

Images from the Designer ESSENTIAL Elle Decor

Mirrors have within them a sense of wonder, mystery and playfulness… or what I like to refer to as the Alice In Wonderland principle… meaning their innate ability to add a sense of magic to any and every room.  As the age old adage says “It’s all smoke and mirrors” .  The underlying Design principle being that mirrors add/intensify light and create both visual and conceptual depth in a room.  My Grandmother used to say that mirrors were “windows you can move around as you like or as your room needs” … meaning that beyond their practical and functional abilities (aiding us in our grooming rituals and helping us channel our inner Lea Michele), they also have an endless multitude of aesthetic and mood enhancing properties and abilities that have the power to completely transform a room/space/environment.

Designer Diana Viñoly creates a stunningly glamorous, eclectic and elegantly graphic effect with this authentic antique French-window with its distressed paint that has been inset with an oversized mirror. STUNNING

Designer Diana Viñoly creates a stunningly glamorous, eclectic and elegantly graphic effect with this authentic antique French-window with its distressed paint that has been inset with an oversized mirror. STUNNING

A well known Design “secret”… the usage of mirrors can take a small room or narrow/awkward hallway and make them feel drastically more spacious visually and mentally.  This “magic” effect can be even further accentuated when being more creative with the placement, size and style of mirror used.  Think about the placement of the mirror… do you want to accentuate the height or the width, do you want to reflect a focal point or create a focal point with the mirror itself?   Don’t be afraid to think outside the box… a mirror can take many forms…from an entire wall of installed mirror, a series of vertical or horizontal segments, gorgeous hand carved framed possibilities, a collection of frames inset with mirror, a massive floor mirror dramatically leaning against the wall…. the options are endless.  The usage of a well placed mirror can in fact restore balance to an awkward or problematic space.

This dramatic dining area features a mirror frame that was salvaged from a château (of course) which is then paired with chandeliers from Holly Hunt. the mirro is dramatic and rivets our attention while at the same time maximizing the light and mood of the table and the guests soon to be seated at it... by candlelight this space would become magical.

This dramatic dining area features a mirror frame that was salvaged from a château (of course) which is then paired with chandeliers from Holly Hunt. The mirror is dramatic and rivets our attention, while at the same time maximizing the light and mood of the table and the guests soon to be seated at it… by candlelight this space would become magical.

Remember, just because a space is small does NOT mean you should use a small mirror… in fact the opposite is required.  Think of a small powder room… by using an entire wall of mirror or a magnificent and oversized mirror you can transform a small, perfunctory space into something dramatic, inviting and memorable.  (just remember in an enclosed space that for the mirror to work its magic effect, GOOD lighting is essential… think a stunning chandelier or sculptural wall sconce).  The power of a mirror is magnified by the creative usage of light… in fact the two Design elements “reflect” off each other and enhance each others best qualities.  You can achieve a decorative and romantic effect by placing a candle in front of a mirror. Through the thoughtful combination of mirror and lighting you can create a romantic or calm mood that invites your guest to enjoy and savour the space.  When used properly, a mirror itself becomes the artwork in your room, regardless of specific styles (modern, minimal, LUX, traditional, contemporary, eclectic…etc.)

This sculptural mirror is a work of Art, giving this bedroom a sense of lightness, playfulness and elegance. The stunning piece is cast bronze by Hervé Van der Strad. The Farrow and Ball paint colour "Bone", perfectly pops the refined beauty of the mirror.

This sculptural mirror is a work of Art, giving this bedroom a sense of lightness, playfulness and elegance. The stunning piece is cast bronze by Hervé Van der Strad. The Farrow and Ball paint colour “Bone” perfectly pops the refined beauty of the mirror.

KEY to successfully using mirrors in your Interior Design is the location and placement of the mirror itself. What is it reflecting? Does it increase your light? What is the focal point of your room? … You need to ensure that you aren’t creating an undesirable reflection.  The goal is to always lighten a room both spatially and with the additional luminosity, which in turn will create a deeper dimension  and connection of a space.

This Venetian-style mirror beautifully enhances the elegance and sophistication of this space. The Benjamin Moore paint colour used is "Cliffside Gray", which acts a a beautiful cloudy background to the luminosity of the mirror itself and the sheen of the marble.

This Venetian-style mirror beautifully enhances the elegance and sophistication of this space. The Benjamin Moore paint colour used is “Cliffside Gray”, which acts a a beautiful cloudy background to the luminosity of the mirror itself and the sheen of the marble.

I have ALWAYS loved mirrors! (that doesn’t sound vain does it?)  I love that the possibilities of them are ENDLESS in regard to their shape, style, size or functionality.  Mirrors are incredibly versatile and always guarantee adding a sophisticated “polish” to a space.  Personally I adore their ability to add DRAMA, their sense of playfulness and their ability to BE Art.  When thinking of a making a statement with a mirror in your home, think of the 5 W’s (who, what, where, when and why) as each one is key in the placement and selection of a mirror in your Design.  Some Quick Tips when using mirrors are:

  • USE a full-size floor mirror when you want to make a dramatic statement… ESPECIALLY in a small space.  An oversized floor mirror with a chunky frame placed on the floor, “resting” against the wall, immediately gives your bedroom, dining room, living room or entrance hall a feeling of drama, impact, elegance, style and sexiness.
  • For a large wall or to create a dramatic and energetic feeling, try hanging multiple mirrors on the same wall.  Channel your inner “Black Swan” and create a bold, modern feeling through the repetition of the same sized mirrors, either side by side or stacked from floor to ceiling.  However, remember to NOT use small mirrors on a large wall (unless you are going to create a gallery wall of various sizes from side to side and floor to ceiling).
  • Don’t be afraid of being creative… I love unexpected placement and usage of mirrors.  I’ve used them inset into the mouldings on doors, on the backs of shelves in libraries, behind my desk in my study or in a series of repeated forms in a long hallway where I had the frames constructed with reclaimed wood with chunky beveled mirror inset… the possibilities are ENDLESS.
MOD, sexy and visually stimulating (one should always have some stimulation in a bedroom Design) ... I love how this sculpture of mirrors in effect becomes the headboard of the bed.

MOD, sexy and visually stimulating (one should always have some stimulation in a bedroom Design) … I love how this sculpture of mirrors in effect becomes the headboard of the bed.

A few of my favourite mirrors available nation wide are:

Restoration Hardware - Entablature Mirror in natural finish

 

The Entablature Mirror by Restoration Hardware

Restoration Hardware - 19th C. Baroque Ravenna etched mirror

 

The 19TH C. BAROQUE RAVENNA ETCHED MIRROR by Restoration Hardware

 

Restoration Hardware - Zinc triple mirror

The Weathered Zinc Triple Fez Mirror by Restoration Hardware

Restoration Hardware - Custom metal mirrors

 

The CUSTOM metal mirror line by Restoration Hardware

 

Mirror Mirror on the Wall... reflection is key.

I love how this space is both modern and rustic…calm and dramatic…sexy and casual…

Mirror Mirror... creating a dramatic focal point

DRAMATIC, sexy, bold, memorable and riveting… ALL THINGS one should have said of one’s boudoir … The mirrors here act like windows, creating more light and focusing one on the Bed.

 

  1. Evie Gordon-LongleyEvie Gordon-Longley01-01-2013

    I love the inspiration here. I wonder how it would work to have window shutters with a mirror on the back of each? Thus reflecting the room back into the room after dark.

    A friend of mine used a huge mirror at the bottom of her small staircase. It made one feel very elegant watching oneself stepping down each step. Very film star!