If you’re looking to increase a room's natural lighting or complement the light fixtures already installed, adding a mirror is a great option. The most cost-effective home décor strikes a good balance between form and function, and after lighting, nothing does that better than using mirrors to decorate your home. Every new house and renovation project needs the perfect finishing touch, and I've discovered that mirrors usually do the trick - especially in a few key rooms.
Make the Bathroom Mirror "Float"
Every bathroom has a mirror (hopefully). It's hard to imagine getting ready without one, isn’t it? But most people don't tap into the creative potential of the bathroom mirror, and I want to help put an end to that. I recently learned a trick that incorporates lighting into mirrors in a gorgeous way. Simply attach LED light strips to the back of the mirror, following its entire perimeter. Because they're eco-friendly and long-lasting, they can stay on all night long, creating a very cool effect as the mirror seems to hover or float against a burst of ambient light.
No tacky plug-in lights will be necessary to guide your way to the bathroom at night. LED strips come in a whole rainbow of colors, as well as a multi-color version that changes, so you can pick one that matches your bathroom décor, or go with a solid white color for a sophisticated, yet futuristic look.
Let More Light Into the Sun Room
The sun room (or three season’s room) is all about light flow, and mirrors can help distribute the natural light into adjacent rooms, or reflect direct light into softer angles. With some creative placement, mirrors can also make the whole space more livable. For example, many sun rooms come with multiple exits in addition to wall-to-wall windows. By hanging a large, framed mirror over one of the doors, you gain an additional wall to place furniture. This also frees up space to move around, making any sun room more versatile and hospitable.
Open Up a Narrow Hallway
The best way to make a small hallway look bigger is to install a floor-to-ceiling mirror. I love hanging artwork on the opposite wall, especially if the mirror is visible in other rooms, because it immediately doubles the visibility of each piece and draws attention to an otherwise little-noticed part of the house. A long, slim end-table can also break up the mirror visually, and turn the hallway into an entryway.
Another option is to designate a long, blank hallway wall for framed photos, artwork, and postcards. Mount a few framed mirrors that homeowners can surround with matching, staggered frames, for a seamless style statement.
Turn the Basement into a Gym or Bar
If the basement will double as a bar or personal gym, big wall-to-wall mirrors always help complete the transformation. Underground rooms tend to have low ceilings and less square footage, so the illusion of extra space is another great perk. Install recessed overhead lighting for a more intimate, "finished" look, and arrange furniture or exercise equipment to face the mirrored wall.
If the staircase to the basement is long and narrow, a safety mirror in the corner will increase visibility. I recommend this for families with small kids, because it helps take away the frightening factor.
Keep an Eye on Your Children
Mirrors are a great way to keep an eye on the kids without staying planted next to them. Hang them in strategic locations, such as the hallway outside a child's bedroom or looking down onto the living room floor. The great thing about mirrors is that they can blend into any design aesthetic, with the right choice of frame and complementary décor.
I enjoy installing light fixtures on either side of a mounted mirror, but pairing the mirror with light is especially useful in spaces where children will spend a lot of time. A well-lit environment is a safe environment, and when the room has to serve a formal purpose, I recommend dimming the lights for an ambient effect. Of course, mirrors should always be securely mounted to the wall. I also recommend the shatter-proof variety, especially if the mirror will have a large surface area and there are kids in the house.
Give Your Living Room a Focal Point
If a living room doesn't have a fireplace, you can balance out a visually prominent flat-screen TV by hanging a large mirror on the opposite wall. A cluster of smaller mirrors also works, but a big rectangular mirror will create the added illusion of extra space, opening up a smaller living room. Choose a bold, sturdy frame that matches the aesthetic of the light fixtures. If the mirror is big enough, the frame can be bulky - think canvas paintings on museum walls - and it will still make the main living area look bigger.
Every new house and renovation project needs the perfect finishing touch, and we at The Lighting Gallery are happy to answer any of your questions.