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Decorating with Mirrors

Updated on December 31, 2013

How Do I Make a Small Space Bigger ?

As an interior designer one of the questions I am always asked is "how do I make a small space bigger?".

My first response is always "mirrors".

When doing any kind of decorating, include mirrors in your decorating plan. Not only will a mirror make a small space bigger and enlarge any room, it will also bring more reflective light into a room and help distribute the negative and positive energy in the room.

Mirrors - A Colorful & Superstitious History

Mirrors have always had a colorful history and a somewhat superstitious reputation dating back to the early Romans. You can find tales of mirrors being used in espionage codes and messages and also to blind enemies with their glaring reflective qualities during war times.

They have been collected by royalty and became a must-have fashion accessory for women in the 1920's. Women either carried their compact mirrors in their handbag or wore them on a chain around their neck or waist. These were often gold or silver and were beautifully and intricately engraved.

Yet with all the magic they seemingly possess, they are also attached to much darker images associated with bad luck or energy, the devil and evil spirits.

Who hasn't heard the expression or believed that if you broke a mirror it was 7 years bad luck?. Or have gone to pay your respects to the home of a family who's in mourning and found all the mirrors in the house covered with dark cloth?.

Even today, mirrors certainly reflect the light and dark of our lives and we still hold them to certain superstitious beliefs that have been passed from one generation to the next.

How to Make a Small Room Larger

Along with furniture placement and planning, mirrors, because of their reflective properties can appear to double a small living space, brighten dark corners and add a personal touch to any room.

They can bring the warmth of the sunshine dancing across hardwood floors and the beauty of the outdoors in.

There are such wonderful designs today and in such a wide variety of different materials. You can definitely find a mirror suited to any decor style and available in all the Feng Shui elements to keep that "chi" energy in your home.

Here is a wonderful example of how a mirror enlarges a room in a small living space and also reflects back the beauty of the view across the room which is important.

Image Credit

Feng Shui & Mirrors - The Chi Energy

If you're familiar with Feng Shui you know that mirrors play a large part in the "Chi" energy (positive energy) of the home and their placement can either absorb or repel the negative and/or positive energy.

In interior decor, myself as well as other designers do keep Feng Shui in mind when designing small rooms and working with mirrors.

Along with light colors and efficient furniture placement, mirrors are the most effective way to make a small space appear larger.

When placing your mirror for "chi" energy, I think it's only common sense that your mirror reflect back something beautiful whether it be the reflection of an outdoor garden with flowers or trees or a eye catching object from across the room.

You certainly will not benefit nor receive any "chi" energry from a mirror which reflects a brick wall from the next building or the view of a toilet in a bathroom. So do be careful and keep that in mind when placing your mirrors in home decor.

The mirrors in this picture are placed in a good location in a foyer. If a mirror is placed directly in front of an open door (and this happens on an angled wall) it is believed that it will repel both bad luck but also good luck from your door.

Image Credit

A Stunning Addition to Any Decor

Extra Large Birch Branch Wood Sunburst Wall Mirror
Extra Large Birch Branch Wood Sunburst Wall Mirror

If you're going to make a decor statement in your home, nothing beats a beautiful Sunburst mirror. And these look fantastic over a fireplace !

I especially like this one because it combines water, metal and earth, three of the elements in Feng Shui.

 

Decorating with Mirrors

Feng Shui and the Right Way

Feng Shui Do's - Best Tips for Mirror Decorating

  1. Using whole, blemish-free and clear (not smokey) mirrors are recommended. Avoid tiled mirrors as it is believed that the cracks in the tiles encourage the positive "chi" energy to break up and become chaotic.This would also apply to any mirror that has a crack in it. Better to dispose of it and replace it with a new one.
  2. If using multiple mirrors as an accessory "theme"on a wall, mix up the shapes to create balance, unity and power in the room. You can accomplish this by using a round mirror (circle) which represents unity, a square or rectangular mirror which signifies balance and an octagonal shape which represents power.
  3. If you have a small grouping of mirrors together on a wall always group them together in odd numbers. Either hang one alone or with an accessory on either side of the mirror (a wall sconce for example - thereby making the grouping into 3) or a group of three or five mirrors by themselves.
  4. Hang mirrors high enough that you can see your whole head. It's considered bad luck to see only half your head in a mirror and the person that does see only half their head is believed to be plagued with a lack of self confidence due to the fact they are not seeing themselves as a "whole" person.
  5. In Feng Shui decorating, it is always encouraged to have a balance of the elements in the home. As the mirror itself represents water, it is a recommended to have a balance of the other elements ( Wood, earth, fire and metal) throughout the room.This of course can be accomplished with a mirror that has a wood frame (wood), a wrought iron frame (metal) , a red lacquered frame (fire) or a square frame in (earth) colors of green, beige or brown.
  6. The front foyer is a great place to have a mirror (as long as it's not in direct line with the front door). It gives the perception of spaciousness and attracts positive energy as soon as you enter the home along with reflecting light whenever the door is opened.
  7. Mirrors double the "chi" energy in a home and that's why they are so popular in dining rooms where the family shares and enjoys their meals together. The positive energy of happy times is expanded two fold along with the perception of "double" the food or "double" the wealth.

The Feng Shui Bathroom

This is a beautiful example of the Five Elements in a Feng Shui Bathroom; those being Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water. When decorating a Feng Shui Bathroom remember that colors can represent the elements also.

Image Credit

Decorating with Mirrors

Feng Shui & the Wrong Way

Slat Mirror

Perfect for the modern condo, this gem would be a focal point of any room!

Image Credit

Feng Shui Don't's - Best Tips for Mirror Decorating

  1. It is believed that a mirror placed at direct eye level and in front of your front repels anything arriving at your door, good or bad. Most people do like to have a mirror in their front foyer to check their appearance as they go out and that's not a problem. Just move it to the side wall and keep that positive "chi" energy inside the home.
  2. When cooking in a kitchen it is believed that a mirror placed above the stove and burners magnifies your wealth. This actually serves two purposes especially if you're working at a stove where your back faces the kitchen door/opening. In order to be the "Commander" of your own kitchen, you should always be able to see behind you.
  3. Feng Shui discourages mirrors in bedrooms but when you have a small bedroom, it's important to magnify the space. It is not recommended to have a mirror directly across or above a bed where a couple is sleeping as it is believed it interferes with the energy of the relationship and is a sign of third party interference. If you want to expand the space in a bedroom have a mirror against a wall that doesn't reflect the sleeping area or the bedroom door.
  4. If you're working in an office and your desk is situated with your back to the door again. like in the kitchen it is recommended for good Feng Shui "chi" to have a mirror in front of you so you can see behind you. And it makes good sense. There is nothing more nerve racking than someone sneaking up behind you.
  5. There are of course, some things that should not be "doubled" by a mirrors reflection. Those items are old newspapers (a sign of living in the past), open fires and bills or credit card statements (double the debt or reduced cash flow) to name just a few.

Extra Large & Unique Mirrors

It's often so hard to find those extra large and unique mirrors for your home. Here are five you might like and are available through Amazon.

Extra Large Antiqued Gold WINDOW Arch MIRROR Wall Floor Iron
Extra Large Antiqued Gold WINDOW Arch MIRROR Wall Floor Iron

This is a mirror that never ever goes out of style. The perfect addition when you have a long hall or very high ceilings.

 
3D Acrylic Mirror Wall Sticker Clock Decoration Decor
3D Acrylic Mirror Wall Sticker Clock Decoration Decor

Perfect for the loft décor, mirror stickers are the hottest rage right now for any room in the house!

 

Expanding Your Garden - Add Mirrors in the Garden

Mirrors also hold a place and are becoming quite popular in today's outdoor gardens especially if you have a very small patio or balcony area and want to expand your outdoor space.

They look wonderful in a grouping and hung on wooden fences reflecting container pots filled with flowers or scattered throughout a garden in the form of mirrored gazing balls.

The same Feng Shui rules apply for using mirrors outdoors as in the home. Be sure to place the mirrors where they are reflecting a pleasant and attractive view.

Image Credit

Mirror Trivia & Superstitions

Some Mirror Trivia - Superstition or Fact?

  • The Victorians believed that when a person died you had to cover all the mirrors in the house as the deceased persons soul could get trapped between the glass and their soul would never rest. This practise is still done today. In fact, I remember my Grandmother (who was from England) following this tradition.

    This was also practised in the Jewish religion and is a form of respect for the dead.

  • If a couple catch each other's eye in a mirror they will have a long and happy partnership.
  • If a mirror falls and shatters by itself, there will be a death in the home.
  • Someone seeing their own reflection in a mirror where someone else has died, will shortly thereafter die themselves.
  • It was believed that babies shouldn't look into a mirror for the first year of their lives as their soul had not yet developed.
  • Folklore has it that if you are a woman and want to see your future husband that you should sit in front of a mirror eating an apple and afterwards begin brushing your hair. The image of your future husband will appear behind you in the mirror.

Take The Poll!

Lots of families do have superstitions about mirrors and pass these down from one generation to the next. How about yours?

Does your family background adhere to any superstitions regarding mirrors?

See results

A Trip Down Memory Lane - Compacts You Might Like With a Modern Twist !

Who doesn't remember their Grandmother or Mother having one of these? I know my Mom carried one all the time. Today we have mirrors in our cars, on our cell phones but you can't take those everywhere. With a compact mirror, you can. Lucky for us, they've continued in popularity and you can find cute and modern designs today.

Mother of Pearl Bamboo Design Business Credit Name Card Holder Compact Mirror Set Stainless Steel Engraved Slim Id Money Case
Mother of Pearl Bamboo Design Business Credit Name Card Holder Compact Mirror Set Stainless Steel Engraved Slim Id Money Case

There's nothing worse than digging for business cards at the bottom of your purse while a client waits. Look professional with this business card holder AND compact mirror package!

 
Floxite Fl-10ccp-b 10 X Compact 2-Optical DFP Quality Glass Mirrors, Black
Floxite Fl-10ccp-b 10 X Compact 2-Optical DFP Quality Glass Mirrors, Black

A classy mirror that travels from one purse to another.

 

Do you think of Feng Shui when placing mirrors in your home or garden? Do you think you might now?

Your voice is important - what do you think ?

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    • Sugarshack LM profile imageAUTHOR

      Sugarshack LM 

      4 years ago

      @anonymous: Thank you!

    • Sugarshack LM profile imageAUTHOR

      Sugarshack LM 

      4 years ago

      @Gypzeerose: Thank you!! I appreciate the support !

    • Sugarshack LM profile imageAUTHOR

      Sugarshack LM 

      4 years ago

      @geosum: I do too. Especially in smaller spaces!

    • geosum profile image

      geosum 

      5 years ago

      Great lens. I've used mirrors to make a room look bigger.

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 

      5 years ago

      Will you please come live with me for a while? I am sure my home would look incredible when you left. Pinned to my home beautification board.

    • Sugarshack LM profile imageAUTHOR

      Sugarshack LM 

      5 years ago

      @JeffGilbert: Thank you! Appreciate you stopping by !

    • JeffGilbert profile image

      JeffGilbert 

      5 years ago

      A lot of great pictures and ideas of decorating with mirrors. Nice lens!!!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      The Article is very interesting and the Feng Shui bathroom and pictures are beautiful!

    • Sugarshack LM profile imageAUTHOR

      Sugarshack LM 

      5 years ago

      @squidoopets: I do too. I have a very small living room in a townhouse but blesses with being the end unit with a forest behind me. Lots of mirrors have brought the outdoors in. I love using them. Thanks so much for visiting, liking and blessing :)

    • squidoopets profile image

      Darcie French 

      5 years ago from Abbotsford, BC

      I love the way mirrors open up small spaces. Lovely job on the lens. Blessed :D

    • Sugarshack LM profile imageAUTHOR

      Sugarshack LM 

      5 years ago

      @nightbear lm: I'm glad you enjoyed it! Thanks so much for liking and blessing :)

    • nightbear lm profile image

      nightbear lm 

      5 years ago

      Very beautiful and interesting page. I enjoyed your work.

    • Sugarshack LM profile imageAUTHOR

      Sugarshack LM 

      5 years ago

      @anonymous: Thank you so much!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      Awesome stuff Carole!

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      Beautifully done!!!

    • Sugarshack LM profile imageAUTHOR

      Sugarshack LM 

      5 years ago

      @anonymous: Merci Monsieur :)

    • Sugarshack LM profile imageAUTHOR

      Sugarshack LM 

      5 years ago

      @anonymous: Thanks for your support Diane :)

    • Sugarshack LM profile imageAUTHOR

      Sugarshack LM 

      5 years ago

      @Nancy Hardin: Thank you SO MUCH!! I enjoyed writing it!

    • Nancy Hardin profile image

      Nancy Carol Brown Hardin 

      5 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      I love this lens. Your information on using mirrors to the best advantage is marvelous, the superstitions were enjoyable, and I loved that you included the compacts in this lens. In short, this lens is blessed.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      What a great informative article. I enjoyed reading about the superstitions and had no idea that a mirror represented water. I also liked the tip on making sure that your mirror should reflect beauty in a room. Tks. Carole!

    • Sugarshack LM profile imageAUTHOR

      Sugarshack LM 

      5 years ago

      @anonymous: Thanks for the support!! I appreciate it :)

    • Sugarshack LM profile imageAUTHOR

      Sugarshack LM 

      5 years ago

      @Rosanna Grace: That's wonderful!! Thank you!

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      Great job!

    • Rosanna Grace profile image

      Rosanna Grace 

      5 years ago

      I *love* this lens! Have bookmarked it because I will use this information while redecorating my home. Thank you : )

    • Sugarshack LM profile imageAUTHOR

      Sugarshack LM 

      5 years ago

      @anitabreeze: Thanks Anita! Isn't it a dream..I love it too :)

    • profile image

      anitabreeze 

      5 years ago

      Beautiful photos! Love that feng shui bathroom!

    • Sugarshack LM profile imageAUTHOR

      Sugarshack LM 

      5 years ago

      @carolinarobin: Thank you!! :))

    • carolinarobin profile image

      carolinarobin 

      5 years ago

      This is fabulous!

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