Design Recipes: The magic of mirrors
Using mirrors may not be a new design trick or tool, but with many people looking to downsize or gravitating toward smaller living spaces, the use of mirrors is making a comeback.
No longer purely functional in spaces like bathrooms or walk in closets, mirrors hold true aesthetic value that can not only help brighten, but also expand a space. Mirrors offer a true opportunity to bring light into a space with little light, reflect light in areas with perhaps few windows and make smaller rooms feel bigger.
Because of their reflective nature, mirrors automatically act like windows. They can be used to reflect wall color, a beautiful piece of art, natural surroundings or perhaps just the opposite side of a room. Mirrors both large and small — the larger the mirror, the more they reflect — can almost magically expand a space.
Big or small?
Mirrors come in all shapes and sizes, and you are going to want to choose a mirror that is appropriate for your space. Choose smaller mirrors for areas that are above a tall piece of furniture such as a sideboard, chest or buffet. Consider round mirrors for these spaces as well. Round mirrors also work well above desks. Long mirrors can be hung both vertically and horizontally and can help elongate or widen a space. A mirror hung vertically can help make a ceiling height feel higher, while a horizontal mirror can help make a room feel wider or bigger.
Tricks of the trade
There are some wonderful ways to creatively incorporate mirrors into a space. Here are some my Design Recipes tips:
■Consider hanging mirrors in sets, groups or in a series. Hanging several identical mirrors along a single wall can truly have a powerful effect. You will be surprised how the room will be instantly opened up!
■Experiment with color and shape. From round to rectangular and square, there are many different shapes of mirrors to choose from.
■Consider different finishes. From metals to shells, leather and beveled glass, there are a number of styles to choose from.
■Hang them as you would artwork. A good rule of thumb is to hang mirrors so the center is a little above 5 feet from the ground. It is also a good idea to involve the help of a professional when hanging heavy mirrors.
Cathy Hobbs, based in New York City, is an Emmy Award-winning television host and a nationally known interior design and home staging expert with offices in New York City, Boston and Washington, D.C. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her website at cathyhobbs.com.