on the Wall...
One of the Biggest Mistakes that Homeowners make When Decorating is How They Use Mirrors.
People are used to going into staged retail spaces that display home items and furniture… wanting to recreate what they see in those appealing, carefully crafted rooms ...
The most common place that you will see mirrors placed on those sales floors are above fireplaces, across from dining room tables AND above Sofas…
Here is the trick: that's marketing. Merchandisers want to display the furniture, light fixtures and the accessories in the best way that they can...part of that is what is reflected in the mirror. You see once when you walk by and subconsciously in the mirror. It's like presenting the same item to you twice; reinforcing the desire to buy... It's all the psychology of selling.
Just because it looks good in the showroom doesn't mean that it will look good in your home. There are usually no windows in those spaces, or very few, and items placed strategically across from mirrors are very often the most expensive merchandise in the store. Things very rarely translate from the showroom to the consumer's home.
Another problem with mirrors in the showroom, is that it makes it even harder for consumers to judge the size and scale of the space and the furniture displayed....
Making it more likely to take home furniture that doesn't fit properly in your home.
Another common suggestion is to hang mirrors across from windows. That is a perfect solution if your space looks like the Hall of Mirrors in the Palace of Versailles in France - Mirrors used opposite the beautiful windows that ran along the hall... to make it look like there are windows on both sides of the room...
Great trick! But, Versailles has Lovely Materials and a Gorgeous Space to start with!
Mirrors are VERY tricky when it comes to creating the right balance and energy in a space. It's either great or really bad... It's one of the few things that have such huge extremes in decorating.
There really are only a few tricks that you need to know to properly incorporate mirrors into your space...
- Always ask -
What is going to be reflected by the mirror?
Is it something lovely that you want to present twice or to bring/introduce into the room?
When you sit in that room - what is going to be reflected?
When you sit on the sofa does the mirror reflect the ceiling or the beautiful trees outside?
When You stand in that space - what is going to be reflected?
Move to many positions so that you know how it will look. An oddly reflected image can affect the feel of the space. It can make it very uncomfortable without really knowing why or without being able to pinpoint the source of the problem.
Is the Mirror Hanging at the Right Height?
When you stand in front of the mirror is it reflecting your image straight on or would it reflect an average height person or does it show the top of your head?
Size & Scale are important…
But, if you consider the two questions above…
You are well ahead of your neighbors and friends!
Prices & Quality Vary. Why does this matter? If you place an inexpensive mirror in a large space the reflection can look blurry. This is NOT a good thing and will greatly affect the energy and feel of the space. Most people are not aware that there is a difference.
Price depends on the quality and thickness of the mirror and the frame materials. Most quality mirrors are between 1/16 inch and 1/4 inch of float glass. The glass should be free from waves and imperfections. Larger mirrors should have thicker glass which helps make them more rigid and reduces the possibility of breaking.
A cheap mirror will look flat and have poor color quality, while a quality mirror has depth and color and an accurate reflection (look at yourself AND the items behind you that are being reflected). Take a quarter with you when you go mirror shopping. Lay the quarter against the surface of the mirror. The coin will appear to have 1/4 -1/2 inch of space between the mirror and its reflection. With a low quality mirror, the quarter will appear to virtually lay on top of its reflection.
Most Retailers have a few Mirrors that are stock. There are TONS of options online and you can always create a custom mirror by buying the size you want from a glass/mirror shop (find them in any directory) and then just add the frame you want (custom frames can be found at framing stores or retailers like Michaels craft store). Designers do this Regularly!
We carry a variety of options in our San Francisco Home store and studio location
Play With & ENJOY Mirrors!