After consideration, mirrors have to be one of the best additions to any home. Whether it’s a modern bathroom, living room or dining room, no space is complete until you add a mirror.
But why is this? Mirrors add so much more to your home than just showing off your reflection. Yes, they are a functional piece of living room wall decor to make sure we look presentable before we leave. But if carefully positioned, with light bouncing around the room and creating the illusion of a larger space, they are the smallest but most powerful finishing touch.
However, when it comes to adding a mirror (or two) to your four walls, there are a few mistakes to avoid. You need to consider a few questions. For example, how big should your mirror be? Should I hang it? Or position it neatly in a corner? And how can you make sure it works with your space, rather than against it?
To answer all these questions and more, here are the mistakes to avoid when installing mirrors in your home.
10 mistakes to avoid when positioning mirrors
1. Hang a mirror too high
It’s fine to place a mirror in your space. But before you put a nail on the wall and take up the cause, really consider how high you’re hanging it.
“A common mistake I see is hanging a mirror too high above a piece of furniture, so there’s a big space and no relationship between the two pieces,” says interior designer Jennifer Jones, founder of the award-winning interior design company based in San Francisco. Niche interiors (opens in a new tab). “Another disadvantage of mounting a mirror too high is the lost functionality of being able to actually see your reflection in the mirror.”
So what can you do instead?
“A good rule of thumb is to start by positioning a mirror about 10-12 inches above a sideboard or console table and then adjust from there,” says Jennifer. “You want the center of the mirror to be at or near eye level, so adjust according to what works for you in the space. Layer decorative items such as vases, books or bowls in front of the mirror to add visual interest.
2. Choosing a mirror that is not the correct scale
We are big fans of all types of mirrors, whether small or oversized. However, when choosing your mirror, choosing the right size mirror for your space is crucial. Whether it’s your bedroom or your hallway.
“Always measure and choose a mirror that looks proportional to the other elements in the room,” says Kasee Smith, senior designer at Interior Design Department, Havenly (opens in a new tab).
“The mirrors here are the perfect width compared to the bedside tables, which makes the whole room feel to scale,” Kasee adds. “The mirror should not exceed the width of any object under it, but it is perfectly normal for it to be a few centimeters smaller on each side.” Now, if it’s grouped with other pieces, pay more attention to the scale of things around it, like artwork.
3. Do not do your hair in front of the mirror
Yes the best wall mirrors can be a statement in itself. But you can make your mirror even more effective by accessorizing in front and on the side. Take a look at this modern design from Havenly.
“One of our favorite vignettes — especially on a mantle or sideboard — is a statement mirror (bonus points for a vintage feel) layered with artwork, vases, and candlesticks,” suggests Kasee.
“Feel free to place a mirror directly on an architectural feature or piece of furniture and stack smaller pieces directly in front of it. It helps fill the moment and grounds the mirror with meaningful elements.
4. Make your floor mirror an afterthought
Mirrors can be very versatile in that in addition to being hung on the wall, they can also be placed neatly against the wall so that they lean against each other. But whichever way you look at it, remember to make your living room mirror the star of the show — not an afterthought.
“It needs to line up vertically with other elements like the artwork above that fireplace,” Kasee explains, “or be at least a few feet higher than the furniture next to it. Also, make sure it doesn’t look too skinny and tiny. The thing with floor mirrors is that if you have one, make it a substantial, foundational feature in the room – not an afterthought.
5. Not considering placement
Just like with a piece of art, the placement of a mirror is essential – no matter what room, size or space you need to work with.
The best way to decide where to place your mirror? We take note of Giulia Chiarlitti, New York-based director of interior design at The Up Studio (opens in a new tab).
“We’re designers, so everything, including the placement and location of the mirrors, is drawn first,” Giulia explains. “If you don’t have the ability to do this, I always recommend gluing your desired mirror size to the wall before attaching anything.”
This way you can step back and see how the size and location feel in the space.
6. Not thinking about thinking
One of the main reasons you hang a mirror is to see your reflection. But sometimes it can be forgotten. The rule to follow?
“A mirror that reflects a cluttered corner, for example, is not a good idea. But a mirror hung to reflect a beautiful work of art would be ideal,’ Emma Gurner, founder of the award-winning interior design studio Folds inside (opens in a new tab) said.
7. Hang a mirror in the bedroom
Some designers advise against hanging a mirror in the main part of your bedroom. “Hanging wall mirrors in the bedroom or where you sleep is a common mistake,” Noorein Kapoor, lead designer at Design by Noorein Kapoor (opens in a new tab) said. “A bedroom or any space dedicated to sleep should be made for this. Mirrors affect peaceful sleep and should be avoided in the bedroom.
But that doesn’t mean you should avoid hanging a mirror in your sleeping space at all costs.
“If you want a mirror in the room,” Noorein tells us. “Avoid placing it where it mirrors the image of the bed as it can bounce energy around and keep you awake while you try to sleep.”
8. Place a mirror in direct sunlight
Using a mirror to reflect light back into the room is one of the oldest tricks in design books. It can help inject much-needed energy, a dose of vitamin D, and character into your space. However, according to Noorein, mirrors should not be placed in direct sunlight.
“Leaving mirrors at such high temperatures can make them dull and their reflective quality will decline after a while,” says Noorein.
9. Hang a mirror instead of tilting it
Not all mirrors are created equal. Some are meant to be hung, while others would look better standing. According to Noorein, this is a common mistake, especially for full-length mirrors.
“You can lean full-length mirrors on the wall instead of hanging them,” she says. “It makes the room feel bigger while serving as a decorative piece with the oversized reflections of objects visible in the mirror.”
“It also makes the mirror a focal point in the room, adding beauty to the space.”
10. Do not consider a mirror as a work of art
In our opinion, anything that can be hung on the wall is a work of art. Whether rugs, pictures or curtains. And mirrors are no different.
And Jay Britto of Miami-based luxury interior design firm, Britto Charette (opens in a new tab) accepted.
“Don’t be afraid to think of mirrors as art,” he says. “Mirrors can truly become art in a room – the way they capture and bounce light and views can be truly stunning.” We love incorporating mirrored walls into our designs and we also love playing with the design and texture of the mirrors themselves.
How to properly hang a mirror?
This is perhaps the biggest mirror error of all. And believe it or not, that’s easier said than done.
“A mistake people often make when hanging/positioning mirrors is not measuring correctly and/or not being prepared with the right tools to do it because they’re just not aware of the complexity of the suspension process,” Los Angeles said. interior decorator Bregan Jane said. “For example, always have a stud finder, tape measure, and hanger level handy to get the job done right.”
‘Always measure your space and mirrors before attempting to hang them to ensure a smooth hanging process. There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to hang a mirror that’s too small or just too big to fit on a chosen wall.