Design Recipes: Mirror magic

By Cathy Hobbs
Tribune News Service

Mirrors come in all shapes and sizes, and they can be useful in a number of ways in home decor. For some they may serve as a less expensive alternative to artwork, while for others they can help trick the eye. The magic of mirrors relates to how you place, use and hang them. Here are some tricks of the trade.

A grid of mirrors creates the illusion of a wall of windows in this living space.


1. Hang mirrors in a pattern. Whether a series of mirrors or in a pattern or grid, multiple mirrors can be used to create a reflection wall that can be quite impactful in most spaces.

2. Experiment with different shapes and sizes. Round mirrors and those that are more ornate can add interest.

3. Hang mirrors vertically if looking for ways to make a space with a low ceiling feel taller.

4. Consider hanging mirrors vertically to help elongate a space. Long hallways are great opportunities.

5. Use mirrors in rooms that may not get much light or with limited windows, as mirrors can reflect light.

A mirror in an unexpected shape and design detail adds interest over a console.


1. Overlook leaning mirrors. These oversized mirrors can be used in areas where you may not want to hang mirrors or art, or to help create a focal point.

2. Use a grouping of odd-shaped or mismatched mirrors in an attempt to create a gallery wall. Mirrors of identical size, color and shape work best.

3. Forget mirrors can be used as an alternative to art or even to highlight art when used to reflect a key feature or decorative element in a room.

4. Ignore where your mirrors are placed. Be careful to place mirrors so they reflect an attractive area.

5. Forget a mirror in a key welcome point of entry area such as a foyer. Mirrors hung in an entry area can instantly help make a home feel open and bright.

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 or visit her website at