Solutions: Mirrors, mirrors on the wall

Jeanine Matlow
Special to The Detroit News

Though mirrors are meant to reflect an image, they serve a number of decorative purposes as well. The selection has never been better, whether you’re searching for something old or new in this classic category.

Dawn Newkirk, director of fashion merchandising for Gorman’s Home Furnishings & Interior Design, says that oversized mirrors are among their best sellers, “They create an optical illusion in the room. They make a narrow space feel wider and a small space feel larger.”

The right mirror can also make a dark space feel twice as bright, she says.

Clustering small mirrors together is another popular option. “In a bland entry, you can bring in architectural features like these that you might not have in your home. They give a ‘wow’ factor to a space,” says Newkirk.

In a traditional home, an antiqued mirror lends a lovely touch. “It adds instant age to a room and it’s always timeless and elegant,” she says.

While styles are often rectangular or square, there are other fun shapes like a starburst mirror. “They can go over a buffet in a dining room or over a headboard in the master bedroom, which is something less expected,” says Newkirk.

You can also get creative in kitchens and baths with mirrored backsplashes and different styles above double sinks in a bathroom.

Even the frames have come a long way from the standard silver, gold or wood varieties to include metal, tile and shell-encrusted frames.

Whatever you choose, make your mirror a reflection of you. “You can bring your personality into a room with mirrors. They’re like artwork for the room,” Newkirk says.

Older styles are another way to go. According to William Daviddi, co-owner of Daviddi Antiques in Farmington Hills, there are advantages to buying vintage and antique mirrors. “You can get a very beautiful mirror for a really good price,” he says.

In most scenarios, a more expensive mirror is an investment that doesn’t depreciate, says Daviddi. “You can enjoy it and then sell it and make your money back, if not more, depending on the market.”

Their current inventory runs anywhere from $50 to $5,000. As Daviddi explains, different factors drive the price. Though some are more handcrafted than others, the biggest sellers at the moment seem to be the understated styles that reflect the current mid-century modern trend that’s so popular in the Midwest and beyond.

They’ve seen a rise in demand lately for simple art deco lines, and mid-century frameless styles are more desirable than beautifully carved or more ornate gilded mirrors.

At Daviddi Antiques, they provide repair services on most solid wood frames, but they don’t work with metal. They can also change the color of a frame and do gilding as well.

“We always try to avoid replacing the mirror, but if you have to, it’s not the end of the world,” says Daviddi. “It just won’t be period appropriate.”

What’s most important, he says, is to buy what you like.

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Jeanine Matlow is a Metro Detroit interior decorator turned freelance writer specializing in stories about interior design. You can reach her at