Mirrors - the secret interior design weapon
From amplifying the light and space in a room to adding depth and drama, here’s why mirrors are a key weapon in your interior design armoury - plus tips for choosing the right one...
Mirrors are so much more than just practical objects for checking your reflection. They can be used to create a sense of space and airiness, open up narrow hallways, frame a great view, or highlight a favourite statement piece - and they can be a beautiful focal point in themselves. With the clever use of mirrors, you can really add extra ambience to your interiors.
Increasing light and space
Mirrors are a very effective way of maximising light and accentuating space. A well-placed mirror can make a small space feel bigger, while helping to reflect light around a larger space.
When positioning your mirrors, it’s important to think about the main sources of light in the room.
Placing a large mirror next to or opposite a window will reflect the natural sunlight around the room, effectively acting as an ‘extra’ window by doubling up the amount of light and helping to bring the outside in.
Meanwhile, placing a mirror behind an artificial source of light, such as a table lamp or wall light, can add a feeling of depth and help to make a small space feel bigger.
To help open up a cramped space, try placing floor length mirrors behind large pieces of furniture. Hanging two large mirrors on opposite walls can also increase the illusion of space in a smaller room, and help to disperse light across a larger space.
Of course, a strategically placed mirror can also help detract attention away from any less desirable features, such as sloping ceilings or awkward gaps or corners!
Opening up a narrow space
There are a number of ways you can use mirrors to help open up narrow or darker areas such as a hallway or corridor, making them feel brighter and more spacious.
To help maximise the available light, try making a ‘hall of mirrors’ by positioning a series of mirrors along the wall, each of which is angled to bounce the light along the space.
You can also make a narrow hallway appear more capacious by placing a long mirror at the end of the hallway - instantly making it appear twice as long.
Another good way of opening up a small or narrow space is to hang a full-length mirror opposite the doorway, to reflect the light in from other rooms.
Highlighting statement pieces
When you’re choosing where to hang your mirrors, you should always think about exactly what they will be reflecting. Try to avoid hanging your mirror where it will reflect a busy or cluttered area, or conversely hanging a mirror opposite a plain or bare wall with no interesting features.
In fact, mirrors can be a great way of showcasing a specific area or object, such as a favourite painting, a piece of art, or an interesting architectural feature.
Place a mirror behind your chosen piece and angle it to create the perfect reflection, and add in some targeted lighting for the ultimate effect.
Meanwhile, to create a balanced and harmonious feel in the lounge or dining room try highlighting a central feature such as a fireplace by placing a mirror above it, or hanging a pair of matching rectangular mirrors on either side.
Creating a centrepiece
As well as highlighting key features and objet d’art, mirrors can also be stylish works of art in their own right, which can increase visual interest as well as helping to unify and complement your design scheme.
If you're looking to add a touch of drama, creating a gallery of mirrors on a single wall can add extra depth and create a beautiful decorative focal point, which helps set the tone for the rest of the room.
Try making a dramatic display by grouping together a range of mirrors of different shapes and sizes. Or choose one large statement mirror and surround it with smaller mirrors.
Bigging up a bedroom
Mirrors can be a powerful way of helping to create ambience and set a particular mood. If your bedroom feels small, cramped or lacking in character, adding in some mirrors can help to create a more light and airy feeling.
Placing a large mirror above the bed will increase the feeling of depth and help to reflect light around the room.
A vintage style mirror placed on or above a chest of drawers will create a classic, cosy feel - and a stylish table lamp will complete the look, while also bringing in extra light.
Meanwhile, try combining a series of mirrors and soft wall lights to create a more relaxed vibe, or using a full-length mirror and a stylish floor lamp to illuminate and open up any darker corners.
Choosing the right mirror
Both practical and artistic, mirrors are an extremely effective interior design tool which can help to transform a space, reflect your individual style and complement your design theme.
At Raft, our mirrors come in a range of shapes, sizes and styles, from traditional to more contemporary elements, depending on the look you want to create.
With its yellowing brass frame and large mirrored surface, our Hoxton mirror measures in at 38x38cm and is ideal for helping to open up spaces while adding a touch of vintage style.
For a classic look that will suit any space, the Brooklyn mirror has a 2cm black trim and comes in a choice of small (50x110cm) and large (60x180cm).
Or if you’re looking to add a dash of decorative drama to your space, our Gothic mirrors feature smart bevelled edges, finished off with a delicate design detail. Choose from whitewash, pewter, or black and gold finishes. They’re available in a range of sizes and shapes, and can be hung vertically or horizontally.
Finally, our range of beautiful, minimalist teak mirrors will really help to bring your room together. The stunning natural grain of the 100% reclaimed teak makes a style statement of its own, and will add a natural synergy to any space. Choose from natural teak or dark teak finishes. Or for a truly rustic look, try our unmilled teak mirror. Our teak mirrors range in size from 80x80x3cm to 185x95x3cm.