It’s a well-known fact that mirrors can be used to make small spaces appear larger and more open or that they’re must-have features for spaces like the entryway or the bathroom but what’s not so popular is a mirror’s role as a decorative object. You can sometimes tell that a mirror is meant to be decorative by its form or design. Decorative mirrors often feature unusual forms which don’t really make sense from a practical point of view and in some cases they have frames which feature intricate details.
There are no specific rule when it comes to mirror decoration. You can use mirror in any room of the house, not just the entryway and bathroom. Just think of mirrors as alternatives to artwork or other wall decor options. You can, of course, choose to have decorative wall mirrors anywhere you want and they could be both practical and ornamental. Such hybrids suit spaces such as the bathroom or the bedroom.
In areas such as the living room or lounge space, large decorative mirrors can become focal points of the decor. A round or an oval mirror, for example, can be positioned on the wall behind the sofa, either high up on the wall or partially hidden behind the backrest. Of course, you shouldn’t limit yourself to a single decorative mirror if you feel like the space could use two or even more than that.
There’s also a great way in which you can display a variety of different small mirrors. You could create a gallery wall on which you hang small decorative mirrors just like you would do with framed pictures or other decorations. This design strategy can be used with lots of variations. The mirrors can have different shapes and sizes or they can have framed which highlight them in different ways.
Your design strategy can involve decorative mirrors with specific roles, depending on the circumstances. For example, a mirror can be strategically placed on a wall in order to reflect a view or to bring more natural light into the space. This strategy is often used in small areas or long and narrow hallwaysand rooms with small windows. A mirror’s role can be to coordinate with other features in the room or to complement the decor in a unique and eye-catching way.
The size and shape of the mirror, its position in the room, its frame and the relationship between all these elements and the rest of the room decor is important for the cohesion of the space. It’s important to look at the big picture to be able to figure out the best proportions between the furniture and the decorative elements. Mirrors are just one example. This also applies to artwork, murals, light fixtures and pretty much everything else in the room. As you can see, decorative mirrors have more uses that first anticipated. They’re very versatile and they can be displayed in lots of creative and interesting ways. So, now that you know a few things about them, where would you put your decorative mirror?
How to choose the perfect mirror
There’s a lot of different reasons why anyone would want a mirror so before you actually start your search it would be good to take some time and figure out what exactly you’re looking for. Here’s a few things to keep in mind:
What room is the mirror intended for?
Depending on what room you want to put the mirror in there’s a few distinct criteria to keep in mind when shopping. For example, if you want a mirror for an entryway or a hallway, that most likely means it should mainly be functional. Size and shape in this case are important.
For a space like the living or the dining room, you can focus more on decorative mirrors which have interesting and unusual shapes or ornate frames. An oversized mirror is also a cool option in this particular case.
Bathroom mirrors are quite different. There’s a separate section just for them and there’s a variety of different types and models to choose from. There’s frameless mirror which are great if you’re going for a minimalist aesthetic, backlit mirror which create a nice ambiance, mirror with built-in shelves or storage or mirrors that are attached to cabinets.
You can also put a mirror in other spaces like a bedroom or a home office for example. In this case you have the option to either go with a large mirror that you can actually see yourself in or with a decorative mirror which can be small or intricate and can be placed on a wall in order to create the impression of a larger space.
- Size matters
Deciding how big a mirror should be should be done based on the space that the mirror is meant for as well as its intended use. For example, if you want the mirror to become a statement piece, something to fill a blank wall and to serve as a decoration, a fairly large one between 25’’ and 31’’ in width should do.
A large mirror can also be a strategic choice if you want to make a small room seem bigger. This applies to all types of spaces like the living room, dressing room, entryway and of course the bathroom too.
If the mirror is intended as an accent piece then its size should complement the proportions of the other elements around it. If there’s wall art or furniture around it, make sure the mirror doesn’t clash with them.
- The shape is important
Mirrors come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. The shape is a particularly interesting characteristic because it can impact the way the mirror itself and the space around it are perceived. For example, a tall mirror can be used to make a room with a short ceiling seem higher.
Square mirrors typically have a traditional vibe but can also be used in modern and contemporary contexts.
Round mirrors are nice because they can soften the harsh look of straight lines and angles so use them in combination with minimalist furniture or in areas that you want to look welcoming and inviting like the bedroom.
There’s also lots of irregular and unique shapes that mirrors can have and this is usually typical for decorative mirrors. This helps them stand out and is great if you want your mirror to make a statement.
- The frame is not mandatory
Mirrors can be framed or frameless and both types are valid and equally useful and versatile. Mirrors that have frames tend to look more traditional which can be a limitation but at the same time it means there’s a ton of frames that you can possibly choose from.
Frameless mirrors have a more modern look thanks to their simplicity. They’re perfect for minimalist interiors and they’re very versatile because there’s nothing to distract from the mirror itself.
What material should the frame be made of?
If you decide to go with a framed mirror there’s all sorts of details to take into consideration. The material of the frame is one of them. This is something that helps to define its style and appearance.
Wood for example is a very popular material and is often associated with the traditional, rustic or farmhouse styles. Wooden frames tend to look more classic and they’re also quite heavy in a lot of cases. At the same time, wooden frames can look very elegant and have a unique texture.
Metal frames are less common and have a very distinctive look. They suit styles such as rustic, vintage, boho and industrial and they can also fit in modern and contemporary decors. Finishes such as gold or brass are appreciated for their sophisticated appearance.
It may not be the most elegant or sophisticated material but plastic has plenty of advantages as well. For one, plastic frames are inexpensive and come in lots of different colors. They’re also lightweight and can have all sorts of intricate and interesting shapes.
A trio of overalpping mirrors
Decorative mirrors offer lots of freedom in terms of design and overall aesthetic. They’re not designed to focus on functionality or to be practical in the typical sense. There’s no strict limitations when it comes to their size, shape or placement. A nice example in this sense is the Cromartie mirror which features 3 overlapping circular frames with a beautiful antique silver leaf finish.
Paneled arc mirror with metal frame
It’s not an arched window but it can definitely fool you into thinking that for a moment. The Jamori mirror has an arching shape and is divided into panels. The frame is slender and made of metal which gives the mirror a modern appeal. The design is elegant and quite clever as well. Hang it in a small room to make it seem bigger or to give it a more open and airy feel.
Gold leaf diamond mirror
The Hogan mirror is interesting for a variety of different reasons. The most obvious one is the shape. The mirror is a series of three overlapping diamonds which form two smaller diamonds at the intersection points. Also, it has a wooden frame with a beautiful golf leaf finish which gives it a stylish and elegant appearance.
Large mirror with an ornate Baroque design
In the case of many decorative mirrors it’s actually the frame that stands out the most. The Creasey mirror which you can see here is a prime example of that. The mirror has a rectangular shape and sits at the center of a beautiful and very ornate frame made of polyresin. The frame has an intricate Baroque-inspired design as well as an antique silver finish.
Circular mirror cluster
Like a lot of other decorative items, mirrors can be displayed in cluster for an eye-catching effect. In the case of the Bella mirror we’re talking about a series of 9 circular mirrors of various different sithzes which are clustered together to create an interesting installation. They have thin and simple framed made of metal with a gold finish.
Driftwood accent mirror
The Victoria mirror is perfect for beach-inspired and coastal interior thanks to its driftwood frame. It has a textured look and a circular beveled mirror at the center and it measures 27’’ in diameter overall, frame included. It could look really cool in a lot of spaces like the entryway, hallway, living room or even a stylish bathroom.
Beveled frameless mirror
Although it doesn’t have a frame in the traditional sense, the Makaila accent mirror has its own way of looking amazing and balanced. It features an interesting shape which gives it an elegant appearance and a beveled edge which actually creates a sort of built-in mirrored frame.
Accent mirror with a rope-wrapped frame
The Dresden mirror stands out and it’s because of its rather unusual frame. The entire frame of this rectangular mirror is wrapped in rope and has a series of decorative stripes which add a bit of contrast and variation to the design. The rope also gives the mirror a textured look and a coastal-inspired aesthetic.
Mosaic tile mirror
The Alasdair mirror also has a really interesting frame design. In this case the frame is decorated with tiny mosaic tiles in various color themes like blue, brown or gold for example. The mosaic tile frame allows the mirror to stand out but doesn’t interfere with its functionality, making this a suitable accessory for spaces like the bathroom for example.
Decorative mirrors hanging from chains
In the case of the Dima mirror set what’s really interesting is the hanging mechanism. This is a set of three circular mirrors and each one can be hung separately via a metal chain that can be attached to a rounded wall-mounted knob. This also makes it possible to switch the mirrors around and to play with the way in which they interact with one another.