Mirrors have always held a certain fascination for humans. From Snow White, her stepmother and the magical mirror which couldn’t tell a lie, to Alice and her journey through the looking glass – they occupy an important place in folklore. These polished surfaces are as mystical as they are alluring.
So, it’s no surprise that these versatile accessories can work some serious magic on your interiors. Used to reflect light, create the illusion of more space and make the most of the colours around them – mirrors can transform a claustrophobic room into a place which feels almost entirely new.
Mirror, mirror on the wall
Not just a bathroom essential, the right looking glass can elevate any room – providing you take into account the effect this powerful furnishing can have on its surroundings.
Regardless of the shape, size or design; what’s most important when decorating with mirrors is taking into consideration what it will be looking at. In a room which doesn’t get much natural light, a properly positioned mirror can reflect brightness into the darkest of corners.
Whether it’s hanging on a wall, sitting on a surface or standing alone, placing your mirror behind a light source can create a truly enchanting effect. Once lit – be it by a candle, pendant light or lamp – your looking glass will double the amount of light, projecting it beautifully around the room.
Cramped, and often dark spaces like hallways can really benefit from the strategic hanging of wall mirrors. At the end of a corridor, or next to the door are both great options. In these spots, they reflect the outdoor light every time the door opens – plus they’re perfect for those last-minute reflection checks before you leave the house.
Even the biggest, airiest homes can feel cramped and dark if they’re overpowered by a cluttered decor. But mirrors – the necromancers of interior design – can bring overburdened spaces back to life.
Placed carelessly opposite an overcrowded spot, you’ll find the appearance of mess in your home multiplies. However, a strategically positioned mirror on a crowded wall – facing a blank area – gives your busy room space to breathe.
And when hung to reflect the colour of an accent wall or a statement piece of furniture, a mirror can tie bold design choices together with calmer aesthetics. And with flexible choices like a cheval mirror, it doesn’t matter where that show-stopping furnishing is; it can always draw the eye.
In Feng Shui, mirrors are often nicknamed ‘aspirin’ as they’re considered one of the most powerful cures for negative energy. The reflective surface is considered an expression of the element Water, used to bring refreshment and calm into a space. However, when placed in the wrong position, mirrors are also believed to wreak havoc on your peace and wellbeing.
So, without delving too deeply into the philosophy, what are the hard and fast rules for using mirrors to attract good energy?
- Full length mirrors allow you to see your ‘whole self’ both literally and figuratively. This not only ensures you’re looking good from head-to-toe, but you’ll feel peaceful and complete. Mirrors hung too high or too low, are a no-no for both Feng Shui and design!
- Place a mirror in your dining room for a particularly auspicious (and stylish) effect. In Feng Shui, this is thought to double your family’s abundance.
- If you have a garden view, hang your mirror to reflect the beauty of the outdoors. This will bring natural light into your room, and is supposed to attract healthy and positive Chi.
Function, fashion and fantasy
Mirrors are many things to many people. But whether you’re checking your outfit before leaving the house in one, using another to make a box room brighter or repeatedly asking it if you’re more attractive than your stepdaughter – the one thing they should always be is useful.
So, stop letting a little thing like square-feet or limited light dictate how you feel about your space, and start thinking about how you can perform your own magic tricks on troublesome interiors. The perfectly placed looking glass could turn your home into a wonderland.