The Complete Guide to Finding the Perfect Decorative Mirror for Your Home

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Looking to add a little more flair to your home? Want to make your space appear brighter and more spacious? Decorative mirrors are the perfect solution! Mirrors can completely transform the look and feel of any room. They reflect light to make spaces feel more airy and open, plus creatively placed mirrors can also serve as beautiful focal points.

But with so many options on the market, how do you choose the right style, size, and shape mirror for each room? This complete guide will walk you through everything you need to know. We’ll discuss:

  • The top 5 most popular decorative mirror styles and key tips for using them
  • What to consider when choosing the perfect mirror for your needs
  • Common mistakes to avoid
  • Frequently asked questions

Let’s dive in!

The Top 5 Decorative Wall Mirror Styles

Mirrors come in so many creative shapes, sizes, and frame designs. Here are 5 of the most popular styles for home decorating:

1. Round Mirrors

This classic style features a circular reflective surface within a round frame. The frame may be simple, ornate, modern, rustic, or anything in between. Sizes range from tiny 20 inch accents to giant 50 inch statement pieces.

Key tips: Round mirrors work with nearly any decor style. Smaller versions are great for entryways and hallways while larger sizes can anchor furniture groupings and walls. It’s easy to creatively cluster multiple circular mirrors together for an artful look. They soften hard edges and add feminine, welcoming energy to both contemporary and traditional rooms.

Ideal locations: Bedrooms, living rooms, entryways, above console tables, flanking a fireplace

2. Rectangle Mirrors

These sleek mirrors have an elongated rectangular reflective surface and come in a variety of tapered or linear frame designs. Lean narrow floor mirrors against a wall or hang horizontally shaped mirrors anywhere from 24 to 60 inches wide.

Key tips: The streamlined look has a very contemporary feel. Skinny rectangular mirrors give the illusion of height on a wall while wide horizontal mirrors widen a space. Use asymmetry and hang rectangles in vertical and horizontal pairs or clusters for drama.

Ideal locations: Dining rooms, hallways, modern bathrooms, above sideboards

3. Sunburst Mirrors

This glamorous mirror style features a central round or oval mirror surrounded by radiating metal rays or spikes, like sunshine beams. Sunburst mirrors range from about 24 inches across to over 4 feet in diameter.

Key tips: Sunburst mirrors deliver instant old-world charm and modern luxury. Use as a bold living room focal point, gallery wall centerpiece, or over a console table. Leave breathing room around this substantial style and combine with complementary rounded mirrors.

Ideal locations: Grand entryways, above a fireplace, large living room accent wall

4. Frameless Mirrors

No frame at all – just a reflective pane of glass mounted directly on the wall. The mirror edge aligns tightly to the wall with metal hardware clips or adhesive for a seamless, minimalist look.

Key tips: Frameless mirrors blend into the background and amplify light to feel more spacious. Use in contemporary, trendy or industrial spaces. Easy to keep clean without frame crevices.

Ideal locations: Contemporary bedrooms and bathrooms, over modern dressers or console tables.

5. Mantel Mirrors

Mirrors designed specifically for mounting over a fireplace mantel. Most are rectangular in shape, 50 to 60 inches wide with a beveled edge. Some feature decorative pediments or tapering.

Key tips: Proportioned to accentuate and draw attention to ornate or decorative mantels in living rooms. Use mantel mirrors as a strong anchor for seating arrangements.

Ideal locations: Formal living rooms, over traditional wood or stone fireplace mantels.

Now that you know the most common decorative mirror styles, it’s time to learn insider tips for choosing the perfect mirror for your needs.

How to Choose the Right Decorative Mirror

Selecting a mirror for an ideal look and fit requires a bit more thought than just grabbing whatever is available. Follow these expert tips:

  • Measure first. You need adequate wall space for the mirror size you want. Account for the frame, hanging hardware and edges. Leave several inches border.
  • Match your decor. Choose classic ornate frames for traditional rooms, sleek metal frames for modern lofts, rustic carved wood for cabins. But mixing styles can work beautifully too.
  • Mind the height. Standard height to aim for is about 60 inches from floor to bottom of mirror. But you can place higher to draw the eye up or lower for an accessible area.
  • Shape impacts perception. Horizontal mirrors widen a space while vertical mirrors emphasize height. Ovals and sunbursts make a statement. Circles soften corners.
  • Complement nearby furnishings. Place rectangular mirror over rectangular credenza. Round mirror warms up sharp edges of a console table.
  • Prioritize function. Make sure sink or mantel mirrors are properly sized and placed for checking your appearance.
  • Light matters. An effectively lit mirror will look like jewelry on your wall vs. gloomy or glaring. Plan any needed lighting adjustments.
  • Safety first. Select reinforced stable mirror hanging hardware and anchors for heavy mirrors. Don’t overload delicate drywall.
  • Find the sweet spot. Decide if the mirror will be the main event or a supporting decorative accessory on your wall.
  • Reflect room size. A substantial mirror can overwhelm a tiny powder room. An itty bitty mirror gets lost on a large blank wall.
  • See the big picture. Visualize total wall look – how mirror complements hanging art, shelves, wallpaper, window treatments.
  • Double check over time. View the mirror during day and night. Make sure you still love the look at all times of day.

By taking these tips into account, you’ll be able to find a mirror with the perfect style, size and placement to make your room shine. Now let’s go over common mistakes to avoid.

Decorative Mirror Mistakes to Avoid

It’s easy to make missteps when decorating with mirrors. Here are some common errors to be aware of:

  • Hanging too high. A beautiful mirror loses its decorative impact placed too far above eye level. Keep top of frame about 60 inches from the floor or lower.
  • Not measuring. A glamorous oversized mirror might look fabulous in the store but could overwhelm your petite powder room. Always measure the room and wall space.
  • Forgetting lighting. A mirror in a dark corner or glarey sunny spot won’t reflect well. Factor in proper overhead and ambient lighting.
  • Ignoring weight. Flimsy lightweight mirrors and hardware can come crashing down, especially on drywall alone. Buy quality stable mirrors over 20 pounds.
  • Clashing styles. An ornate rococo frame will overwhelm a minimalist room. Rustic wood looks off in fancy spaces. Stick to styles that complement your decor.
  • Too many mirrors clustered. Limit to 2-3 mirrors creatively arranged together. Ten mirrors cause visual clutter and distort reflections.
  • Blocking the mirror. Hanging art or curtains directly over the mirror itself defeats the purpose. Leave the reflective area uncovered.
  • Disregarding furniture height. A mirror hung too high over a dresser becomes useless for checking your look. Adjust placement as needed.
  • Just filling space. Don’t force a mirror in an awkward spot just because there’s empty wall area. Thoughtfully choose most visually impactful location.
  • Forgetting cleanability. If you can’t reach all edges and corners of the mirror, you’ll struggle to keep it clean. Keep lower or detach from wall to clean backside.
  • Not considering personal taste. Just because an bold mirror style is on trend doesn’t mean it suits your room. Stick with your own style preferences.

Learning from these common mirror mistakes will help you avoid decorating pitfalls. Next let’s answer some frequently asked questions about decorative mirrors.

Frequently Asked Mirror Questions

Q: How big should a decorative mirror be?

A: An ideal decorative mirror is 50-70% the size of the furniture or wall space it hangs over. Measure the area then shop for a mirror scaled for that size zone.

Q: Should I center a mirror over furniture?

A: It’s not mandatory to center. Slightly off-center placement can look more organic and appealing. Just be sure the mirror’s edges align evenly with the furniture corners below it.

Q: Do I need special hardware to hang heavy mirrors?

A: Yes, use reinforced hanging wire, hooks or brackets rated for the thick glass weight of your substantial mirror. Adhesive plastic hangers could fail and cause the mirror to fall.

Q: Should my decorative mirror reflect anything particular?

A: Strategically place mirrors to reflect something pleasant like a vase of flowers, piece of art, view of a window. Avoid reflecting clutter or unattractive angles.

Q: Can I hang a mirror above my bed?

A: Mirrors can make small bedrooms feel more spacious but avoid placing it right over your pillows. The reflection could disrupt sleep. Instead hang over a dresser or side table nearby.

Q: How do I clean decorative mirrors?

A: Use a glass cleaner formulated for mirrors instead of regular window cleaner. You can also mix a solution of mild dish soap and water. Avoid abrasive cloths or paper towels and don’t spray cleaner directly on the mirror.

Q: How can I stop my bathroom mirror fogging up?

A: First, switch on the bathroom fan or point a fan towards the mirror during and after shower steam. You can also lightly coat the mirror with shaving cream then wipe clean – this prevents condensation from forming.

Q: Should I hang mirrors across from each other?

A: No, mirrors directly facing each other cause infinite reflections and a dizzying hall of mirrors effect. If you want two mirrors in a room, have them at a corner or angled placement instead.

Q: Is it safe to just hang heavy mirrors on drywall?

A: No, for substantial mirrors over 20 pounds, use secure anchors mounted into studs behind the drywall. There are also special heavy duty hollow drywall anchors that can support weight.

We hope these mirror facts, tips and solutions help solve your decorative dilemmas!

In Summary

The key points to keep in mind when selecting beautiful, functional decorative mirrors are:

  • Consider the mirror’s size, shape, style and placement carefully for your space.
  • Check that the mirror adequately reflects light and your gorgeous decor.
  • Choose a high quality stable mirror that aligns with your home’s aesthetic.
  • Strategically place your mirror to serve as an artwork focal point or accent your furnishings.

A well-chosen mirror adds beauty, brightness and visual expansion to any room. We covered the top five most popular mirror styles along with expert advice to help you successfully decorate with mirrors. Remember to avoid common mistakes and refer back to these answers for frequently asked questions.

We hope these tips help you confidently choose the perfect decorative mirrors for your home. For further help or inspiration, visit our home decorating studio to view our mirror collection in person! Our friendly design experts can provide additional guidance tailored to your unique home and style.

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