Five Ideas on How to Use Mirrors to Add Light and Space

Mirror, mirror on the wall. Many of us would like to achieve more light and space in our homes. In today’s Blog I discuss five ideas for achieving this by using mirrors.

Let’s have a quick look at the history of mirrors – the first mirrors, from around 600 B.C., were very simple. They were polished surfaces from natural materials that could reflect an image. People then started making mirrors from copper, bronze, gold and silver. These metals are heavy, so the mirrors were very small. They couldn’t really be used to see a reflection so they were mostly for show.

Glass mirrors like we have today were first made in the Middle Ages. They didn’t have the modern technology used today, so the mirrors were difficult to make and expensive. In the Renaissance period, the technique of making mirrors developed. They were still very expensive so only the rich could afford them. The process for making modern mirrors was developed in 1835.

I love using mirrors, they have such a range of uses and add so much to the look and feel of an interior.

Five ideas on how to use mirrors:

1. Reflecting a view

Mirrors are wonderful for reflecting a view from one side of a room to another. Place a mirror either on the opposite wall to the actual window or on the perpendicular wall. This will reflect the view from the window and also add more light to the room. You need to play around with the placement of the mirror (have a couple of people holding it for you) so that you can maximise the view reflection.

2. Spreading light

Many rooms benefits from enhancing both natural and artificial light. Using mirrors to reflect natural light from windows can add so much additional light to your room. Again play around with the actual position of the mirror to maximise the light.

Don’t be scared to use full-length mirrors, both to add additional light and to add a sense of drama and scale.

Using a combination of lamps and mirrors does a wonderful job of spreading soft light. In a bedroom you can place a mirror behind bedside lamps. This looks great and is also very effective for softly lighting the room.

The same combination of lamp and mirror can be used in living rooms too. A great solution for adding light to a dark corner of a room and it looks beautiful too.

3. Adding depth and space

Many rooms are smaller than we would like them to be or maybe out of proportion, either long and skinny or not high enough. Using one or more mirrors in these rooms can play visual illusions and add size and height to a space.

In a long narrow room, use a large mirror on one of the long walls to add depth to the room. This is amazingly effective and can easily bring a room back into balance.

A tall mirror can also add a sense of height into a vertically challenged room!

In a small space add a wall mirror behind a piece of furniture. Another visual illusion, suggesting there is more space than meets the eye.

4. Adding to a design style

The style and look of your mirror can really enhance the overall look of your space, it can add to the “story” you are telling, whether through a colour story or design theme.

For example, you could use an art deco, ornate or rustic style mirror to best complement your look.

Large driftwood frame stand alone mirror in bedroom

5. Adding an element of surprise or quirkiness

I love the idea of using mirrors in your garden. Here are some great photos of how mirrors can be used to create some great optical illusions.

Let your imagination run wild!!

If you would like to look at more mirror ideas and inspiration, look at the Nicola Manning Design Pinterest Mirror Board.

Question: How have you used mirrors to great effect? You can leave a comment by clicking here.