A mirror is something that most of us can’t live without. Aside from allowing us to look our best when we leave the house in the morning, a mirror can truly transform a room. It can make a cramped little apartment appear more spacious, add light to a dark and sombre room, and even serve as a bold statement piece. There’s just so much you can do with it!
That being said, here’s some useful advice on buying and choosing mirrors.
Think About Mirror Placement
Although our ego thinks having a mirror in every room is a great idea, mirror placement is something that should be well-thought-out. The mirror needs to both serve its purpose and look good.
This type of mirror is the most common, and it can be seen everywhere — in the bathroom above the sink or in the bedroom next to your dresser. Besides, wall mirrors usually come in multiple shapes and sizes, allowing you to match them perfectly to the design of the room.
Ladies will know just how important table mirrors are. They are a must when doing your makeup or hair. Add some lights around yours — and it will become the perfect makeup mirror.
Most commonly, a table mirror is small and comes with its own stand. As such, it doesn’t contribute much to the overall look of the room, but it is quite practical.
Sometimes, a small mirror just doesn’t cut it, as you can’t see your whole outfit in it. In addition, you may not be able to hang the mirror on your wall because of the water pipes.
If that’s the case, floor mirrors are your best option. You can either get one with a stand or simply lean it against the wall.
Use the Mirror to Enhance the Room
There are plenty of ways you can use a mirror. For starters, as we all know, its main purpose is reflection, so you’ll need a couple of mirrors around the house.
You should have a mirror in the bedroom, bathroom, as well as the hallway. A hallway mirror can come in handy when you want to check yourself out before leaving. Your guests will be thankful!
A mirror can also seemingly increase the size of a room and make it appear more spacious. For example, if you have a narrow hallway, you can place mirrors on either side of it to make it look wider. Moreover, you can add a mirror at the end of a small hallway, and it will appear to be much longer.
You can even add depth to any room by placing a huge and dramatic mirror in the corner. This method works especially well in large and busy rooms, such as the living room.
In addition, if there is a room that doesn’t have many windows and is therefore dark all the time, you can use a mirror to add some light to it. Simply place the mirror on the opposite side of a window to increase the natural lighting.
Think About Mirror Shapes
Today, mirrors exist in basically every shape imaginable. Because of that, you can easily find a suitable mirror for each spot and match it perfectly to the design of the room.
If you want something simple and traditional, you’ll most likely go with a rectangular mirror. It’s unassuming and subtle, letting other things shine while it only serves its main purpose — reflection. We most commonly see square mirrors in bathrooms.
Round and oval mirrors are also subtle, but they’re more elegant than square mirrors. If you’re into the vintage look, an oval mirror is the way to go. And if you pair it with a bronze Victorian-style frame, you’ll get a truly striking wall accessory.
As far as other shapes are concerned, there are teardrop, sunburst, geometric, ‘shattered,’ and many more. In other words — you can find a mirror that suits your needs, no matter how specific they may be.
Think About the Edges and Finishes
Aside from the shape, you should also consider the edges and finish you want the mirror to have. These can add a bit of dimension to the mirror, making it look like a piece of art. For instance, you can add some colour to the mirror by using tinted glass.
Also, if you prefer the vintage look, foxed and distressed mirrors can take the room’s interior to the next level. And if you have some time on your hands, why not make a DIY distressed mirror?
When it comes to edges, there are a few things you should know. For starters, if you have children, you should consider getting mirrors with seamed edges. They’re rounded, as opposed to the standard sharp pencil edges, which can pose a major safety threat.
There are also bevelled and curved edges, which create an illusion of a frame.
Choose a Complementary Frame
A frame can redefine the style of the mirror. Two identical mirrors can look completely different with different frames. For example, a sophisticated gilded frame can make a simple mirror exude opulence and grandeur, while the same mirror set in a weathered wooden frame might look like something out of a merchant ship from the 18th century.
If you want your mirror to give off a warm, cosy, homey vibe, a solid wooden frame is the way to go. Depending on the room, you may want to opt for something heavy and dark, such as mahogany or walnut, or something light, like ash or maple.
In case you prefer your rooms to be simplistic and modern, you should consider a glass-framed mirror. You can get it in many shapes and styles, but the most eye-catching variety is surely a mirrored frame. It consists of angled pieces of glass framing the centre mirror for a beautiful prism-like effect.
For those that like a more Gothic style, a heavy, metallic mirror frame will work like a charm. It will surely be the centrepiece of any room, attracting the attention of anyone that comes in.
Lastly, a frame-less mirror can also be a statement on its own. It’s great for bathrooms and other minimalist rooms, as it puts function over form. It can do wonders for small and cramped rooms, as well.
Take Good Care of the Mirror
Naturally, after you’ve spent all this time and effort on choosing the perfect mirror, you should take good care of it. Don’t worry — maintaining and cleaning a mirror shouldn’t require too much effort, provided that you mount it correctly first.
How you’ll mount the mirror depends on its size. For instance, mounting a big mirror directly on the wall is a definite recipe for disaster. A heavy, full-size mirror weighs more than you think, and mounting it directly on drywall could cause a huge chunk of your wall to fall off. To prevent such accidents, install mounting hooks and screws into your support beams and hang the mirror on those.
However, before you hang the mirror up on the wall, make sure that the side touching the wall is sealed properly. If you hang an unprotected mirror on a moist surface, you can cause damage to the back of your mirror, ruining it completely. You can get a cheap sealing solution at your local hardware store. Apply it on the back and the sides of the mirror before you mount it on the wall.
Once you’ve set up the mirror on your wall, you’ve done most of the hard work. When the time comes to clean the mirror, start off with a dry cloth. It will pick up any loose dust. After that, use your glass cleaning solution of choice or a simple water-vinegar solution, and wipe the mirror with some crumpled newspaper. As a finishing touch, you can wipe the mirror again with a clean microfiber cloth.
Finally, avoid using strong chemicals to clean your mirrors, as those can easily damage the backside and cause black spots to appear (unless you’re going for that vintage patina look).