How to Use Mirrors to Make Your Room Feel Larger

Small spaces can often feel cluttered and stuffy, despite our many attempts to make a room feel larger by downsizing or rearranging the furniture. When arranged strategically and paired with proper lighting, mirrors and furnishings covered in mirrors can help open up the space.

According to HGTV host Vern Yip, "mirrors are the cheapest way to brighten up a dark room or give the sense of more square footage, but you really have to know how to use them if you're trying to achieve these goals."  We are sharing a few easy-to-implement ideas on how to increase the size of a room with mirrors.

Mirrored Accessories and Furniture
Marble walls and floors with an ornate mirror and a mirrored dresser

Light bouncing off a mirror produces the optical illusion that tricks us into thinking a room looks more expansive than it is. We can get the same trick of the eye illusion from pieces of furniture with mirrored siding, including boxes and chests, tables, and accessories such as mirror trays, candle holders, and vases.

Mirrored objects and mirror accessories brighten the room, drawing our attention to other decor decreasing the visual size of couches, chairs, beds, and other large furniture. This makes the entire room feel larger as a result!

A Gallery of Mirrors
A wall of small mirrors angles above wood floors and a small wardrobe.
If mirrored decor and furniture don't fit in with your personal style, a mirror gallery comprising various smaller and medium-sized mirrors might work better for you. A gallery of wall mirrors works like a wall-to-wall or one large mirror for a living room to create depth by capturing and reflecting light.

There is no one-size-fits guide to designing a personalized gallery of mirrors. Repaint and repurpose a group of decorative uniquely styled vintage mirrors, or go for a more uniform look with the same shape and style in varying sizes. For example, our medium-sized Pineapple Accent Mirror is the perfect piece to use as a focal point in a dining room or living room gallery wall.

A successful grouping of mirrors should look balanced and cohesive, not cluttered. When creating the layout of the mirrors, determine the general shape and how large of an area you want your gallery to cover.

Each mirror should be equidistant from the next, the ceiling above, and the floor below. If you have high ceilings, keep your gallery low enough on the wall for people to enjoy.

Living room velvet blue couch with a fuzzy blanket and pillows, a glass table ornate rug paintings in gold ornate frames and mirrors in gold ornate frames a wood and glass cabinet with vases, goblets and statues.

No one wants their guests to have to strain to look at a mirror or mirror collection. When hanging a mirror or artwork, the room mirror placement should be at eye level with the average person, somewhere in the range of 60-67 inches. 

Hanging a mirror over furniture is a common way to save space and add pizazz to the room. Following the 60-67 inch rule isn't going to work well with adding a large piece of furniture. Mount the mirror about 8-12 inches above a mantle, couch, or entryway table to avoid crowding larger objects and accent pieces.

Mixing and matching other wall decors with mirrors looks chic and creative. Remember to maintain a 2-inch border between a mirror and artwork or from the mirror and edge of a wall. The mirror cannot correctly reflect the light within its reach and give off the appearance of more space without symmetry. Being aware of the nearest source of light is vital in the same way.

Mirrors & Lights
Room with wood credenza with a lamp, vases, books on it hard wood floors, a decorative area rug in cream and orange a wheat plant in a wicker basket.
Mirrors can't do their job without a decent source of light. Hang a mirror adjacent to a window to harness and reflect natural sunlight. Try to pay attention to where the light will reflect into the room to avoid directing a beam of light at the TV or making a specific spot too warm at certain times of the day.

If the natural lighting is lacking in a room, there are a few ways to get ample light to reflect off a mirror. Place a lamp on a table across from a mounted mirror or hang a mirror behind a table lamp.

Lastly, LED mirrors are another fabulous option. An LED framed round mirror on a living room or bathroom wall can bring more light to targeted areas as needed. If there isn't enough wall space to place a mirror you really need, the following suggestion will work better for you.

A Mirror Hanging in Front of a Window
Floating double marble sink in bathroom with wood stool, marble floors, two area rug, a floor to near ceiling window and two square framed mirrors hanging in front of the window.
Sometimes we run out of wall space. Maybe we don't have enough of it in the first place. Having big windows that let in a lot of light is a great problem to have, but it means less wall space. An on-trend alternative to hanging or leaning a mirror on a wall is hanging a mirror in front of a window.

You can mount the mirror right onto the window frame or hang it on a metal pole or bar from the ceiling. This treatment works great in small rooms, big on windows but small on walls. A bathroom with a double vanity or a small bedroom with a window next to the closet will benefit from placing a mirror in front of the window. The added mirrors will make the room more functional overall.

If you have more wall space than widow space, sticking to the more traditional leaning or hanging full-length mirror is your best option.

Floor Length Mirrors
Sunny Industrial loft bedroom with clothes on a garment rack, a bean bag, small white dresser and leaning mirror with reflection of a plant.
We discussed making a room look bigger, with a few mind-bending techniques, but how about taller? Full-length or floor-length mirrors can make your room look bigger and taller! Our bedrooms filled with beds, night tables, dressers, and chairs can feel cramped.

Leaning a full-length mirror opposite a window or standing floor lamp for light reflection will make a confined space look bigger and brighter. Leaning mirrors are easy to style and can balance a room if paired with other furniture.

Placing a mirror on top of a dresser or vanity adds height to the room, reflecting light from a higher point and drawing our attention upwards.

Mirrors are the tricksters of design and so much more than just tools of vanity. They decorate, liven, and effortlessly transform our spaces.