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Decorating with Mirrors

by Nikki Willhite

When I was in college studying Interior Design, we looked at a LOT of mirrors. Mirrors have always been part of decorating. The only thing that has changed throughout the years is the style of the mirrors.

An interesting question to ponder is why mirrors have always played such a prominent part in interior decorating. Obviously we need to see ourselves for clothing and grooming purposes. Most of us also put a a mirror by the door so that we can make sure we look okay when we either answer the door or leave the house.

However, the mirrors in home decor go much further than that, and are found in every room of the house.

Mirrors used correctly can be an asset to the looks and feeling of a house. Here are some basic tips for decorating with mirrors


Always be mindful where you put a mirror as far as what you see when you look at it. A mirror should reflect something that is pleasant to look at. If you look into a mirror, and it takes your eye outside to view the neighbor's trash cans sitting against the side of their house, the mirror is not in a good place.

Move around the room, look into the mirror, and make sure that what it is reflecting is something you want to look at.

Always consider the proportions when placing a mirror on a wall. Large walls need large mirrors.

Small square mirrors, placed as groupings, have taken the place of larger one piece mirrors. You can achieve the look of a large mirror by using a grouping of small mirrors.

Mirrors come in all styles, from country to art deco. Be sure and choose mirrors that match your decor. That art deco mirror that looks so cute in the store may look horrible in your traditional house.

Mirrors placed a right angles to windows reflect the most light.

Mirrors visually expand space. However, large mirrors without frames are no longer appealing to most people. Mirrored covered walls and mirrored sliding closet doors are no longer considered attractive.

Mirrors with wood frames are versatile, as you can refinish the wood or paint them.

If you are placing a mirror above a fireplace, you can extend the visual size of the mirror by placing matching items on the wall on each side of the mirror.

This works if the items are on hung on the wall. Placing matching items on the mantel under the mirror does not extend the size of the mirror. In that case, the mirror should be larger.

Large bathroom mirrors can be updated by gluing a wide wood molding around the edges. You might be able to nail the molding, but you may break the mirror. Using glue is a safer choice.

Always save receipts, and take things back that don't work for you.

Mirrors can be an asset to a home. Choose your mirrors wisely. One thing that may help you is to only buy mirrors that you know will work in two or three rooms in your home. That will open up possibilities in the future, so that your money will never be wasted.

About the Author: Nikki Willhite, mother of 3 and an interior design graduate, has been writing and publishing articles on the topic of frugal living for over a decade. Visit her at - where you will find hundreds of frugal living tips and articles. Frugal Happy Families- more than just money! 

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