"Mirror" by A.M. Kuchling is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Mirrors can show more than a reflection. For designing a home, mirrors can have a unique and exciting affect that enhances and significantly changes a room.

When selecting the placement of a mirror, consider two things: function and aesthetic.

The most important consideration in deciding where a mirror should be is deciding what is being reflected. Whatever that thing is, with the help of a mirror, you will be seeing it twice in the room, so keep that in mind.

This functional element also becomes the aesthetic. So before hanging it, ask yourself if you want to reflect something in the room or make it possible for people to see themselves.

When deciding where to most effectively place and hang a mirror, remember the three S’s — size, shape and style. Additionally, if there is a frame, you need to select the material, color and texture. It also has to fit the space and the decor of the room. Then there are choices for the edge. Decide if you prefer a beveled edge, plain edge or custom matting touching the frame. There are many things to consider for even just one mirror.

Mirror as a material comes in many colors — clear, black, bronze, gray, rose and green, to mention just a few. I love using colored mirrors and even combine the colors in a design to be a frame for the mirror. They add wonderful surprise and interest.

Mirrors are thought to make rooms look larger and often brighter because they reflect light. They can add sparkle by themselves. And we can also mirror walls, ceilings, and architectural details for dramatic effect.

Mirrored pieces in all sizes, shapes and color can be inserted on walls and furniture or mixed with other types of glass to create design accents and details. Mirror mixed with metal is particularly stunning because both materials are reflective, but create contrast and definition from each other.

There are many fun things to do with mirrors that are unexpected.

Whenever I hang a mirror, I first determine if it can be turned, 45 degrees, 90 degrees or 180 degrees. It doesn’t have the same limitations of hanging a picture or photo in terms of the direction it must be hung. The shape can become the focal point.

Have you ever seen a mirrored floor? It’s pretty spectacular. If not the whole floor, you can inlay small pieces of mirror into wood or tile.

I once had a client with a smaller-than-standard piano that needed refinishing. We decided to mirror the entire piano instead, creating something truly unique. Recently, I used black mirror for a banister on a staircase. First, we built the posts and then mirrored them. We built black-mirrored étagères on either side of the fireplace in the adjoining room and also mirrored the fireplace. It gave the home a dramatic look.

In my home office, I mirrored the space between the work counter and upper cabinets. I sit opposite the mirror, and it reflects the garden window behind me. This way, I have the benefit of the window light behind me and the window’s reflection in front of me.

When you love your room and want to have double the pleasure, mirrors are the answer.

Remember, rooms have no feelings, you do. JN

Barbara Kaplan offers personal interior design guidance, ideas and solutions for free in her monthly Zoom class. Email Barbara@BarbaraKaplan.com to claim a seat or visit: BarbaraKaplan.com & YourZoomRoom.com.

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