Design with light: how decorating with mirrors transforms your living space

Interior design has moved on from the plain and functional mirror strategically placed where you need to see yourself. We’ve woken up to a wealth of mirror design ideas, using light reflection as a decorating material. It can add color, depth and movement to enhance your living space. 

Articles - 7 November 2016

Some things will never change. The traditional mirror over the washbasin, the living room fireplace, and the bedroom dressing table are still with us because they’re simply necessary. But you can take these principles and play with light to change the mood. Among mirror living room ideas, try casting a new angle on the traditional over-mantel mirror. It can be transformed from a traditional stand-alone feature to a background of light and space for a much-loved painting or photograph; surrounded by light and moving reflections, the artwork or picture itself is, quite literally, shown in a new light. You can take this one step further with a chimney breast entirely covered in mirror panels; clear mirror for a clean contemporary decor, tinted for a cozier feel, or antique mirrored mercury glass in a sophisticated decor complete with period furnishings.

miroir 2

One of the most dramatic mirror ideas is on a patio or porch. Mirror-lined sides and even ceilings placed behind a trellis with climbing plants can create a magical sense of glow and a multiplication of the fresh outdoor greenery. Hanging lanterns increases the almost organic-looking luminosity. Or think about bathroom mirror ideas for a small bathroom. A traditional mirror wall can look cold in a white bathroom, but try creating a mirror panel surrounded by an inlaid frame of colored or mosaic glass: it adds a cozy glow while expanding the space. In the kitchen, especially if you have copper or cast iron utensils worth showing off, create a mirror panel behind the shelf. It reflects the glow of the utensils and adds a warm depth to your kitchen. Whatever you do, prepare first by using a 3D free plan; 3D home design software from Homebyme can open your eyes to how things will really look, and inspire you to create more ideas!

5 tips for adding space and depth with reflected light

1 . Reflect the mood

In your living room, enhance the mood you already have with an extended over-mantel mirror. For contemporary spaces, line the whole chimney breast with clean, clear reflections; in an antique-style space, use antique mirrored mercury glass.

2 . Framing with light

With extended over-mantel mirrored panels, use the light to frame your over-mantel feature; a painting, photograph or wooden wall sculpture will all be warmed and enhanced by the surrounding light and reflected movement.

3 . A warm bathroom

Unless you’re lucky enough to have a city apartment with views, a clear mirror wall opposite the window can make the space feel cold. Create your own artwork that also expands the space with a mirror panel surrounded by colored or mosaic-style glass panels to keep it cozy.

4 . Kitchen glow

If you like the open display look, especially with copper, cast iron, or colorful utensils, line the back of your display shelves with a mirror panel. The depth and glow will add real warmth to your kitchen, as well as subtly enlarging the space.

5 . Patio magic

A patio or porch lined on the sides – and even the ceiling – with mirror panels will add a magical depth to a patio space, especially behind an open trellis with climbing foliage. Hanging lanterns will enhance the lovely effect.

Learn more