Home & Garden

The bigger the mirror the better

Big mirrors spread light and create a sense of space.
Big mirrors spread light and create a sense of space. Washington Post

It’s no secret that mirrors can help a small space breathe.

Often used in restaurants and hotels, they create the illusion that an area is larger and better lighted. And they take up very little room. Here are four ways to get the most out of them.

1. Go big: “The smaller the space, the bigger the mirror,” said Rockville designer Kristin Peake. “It’s one of those things that you try once and never go back. With mirrors, you can never, ever, go too big.”

Choosing a mirror that’s too small can actually make a room appear cavelike and cluttered. Large mirrors are particularly effective in tight areas such as hallways or office nooks.

2. Get creative with placement: Floor mirrors shouldn’t be relegated to the bedroom or closet. Place one in the living room behind an accent chair to open up the space, or across from the front door to make a powerful first impression.

Peake likes to place statement mirrors in unexpected places, such as her office conference room.

But for some, mirrors suggest narcissism, so be deliberate. Avoid the dining room, where they could distract from conversation.

3. Reflect and amplify light: If you’re looking to add light to a stuffy space and window or skylight construction isn’t an option, a mirror can do the trick. Hang it directly across from a window to bounce light off the mirror’s reflective surface and seemingly double the amount of light.

4. Consider mirrored furniture, within reason: Mirrored glass is a statement material, much like clear glass and crystal, and is most glamorous when used in small doses, like a mirrored jewelry case or knobs on a white chest of drawers.

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