Decorative Mirrors: How to Choose One and How to Hang It

 

Mirrors are the perfect neutral wall decoration. They're not as difficult to coordinate as wall art or wall sculptures. In essence, mirrors are just reflective shapes in ornate frames. If you know you need to dress up your wall with something but you aren't sure what you're feeling, it's just about impossible to go wrong with a mirror. 


Decorative mirrors are tried and true staples of interior decorating. Every room will look a little more stylish and inviting if paired with the right mirror or set of mirrors. The perfect mirror for your room will depend on a few factors: the decor of the room, the size of the room, and the complementary features that will work in conjunction with that mirror. 



The Frame of Your Mirror

Frames are the most exciting part of the mirror. The mirror itself is only showing you the rest of the room. A mirror is more or less only worth its frame. Frameless mirrors or mirrors with beveled edges work best in minimalist or futuristic rooms. Every other design scheme will work best with a different kind of frame.


Mirrors with wooden frames have a traditional feel. Wood has a tendency to translate as warm and homey. It's also a versatile material. Wood frames look beautiful in rustic homes, country homes, and Victorian homes. Wooden framed mirrors look especially great when hung in conjunction with wood-framed photographs and wall art. If you like to keep things simple and classic, go with a wood frame.


Metal frames are modern. Simple metal frames add a small touch that won't distract the eye. Matching metal framed mirrors to metal chairs or bar stools will create the perfect complement to a room. 


Ornate frames make a bold statement. Large detailed gold or silver frames have an exquisite air of elegance, especially when the mirror is oversized. These make wonderful entryway pieces, dining room pieces, or above-mantel pieces. 


Decorative or sculptural frames act as statement pieces. Mirrors in irregular shapes or mirrors with sculpturally embellished frames make very bold statements. They're best left isolated on a wall, as pairing them with other pieces of art would create too much visual chaos. 



The Shape of Your Mirror

Round or oval mirrors are simple. Oval shapes translate best to larger mirrors, and round shapes translate best to smaller mirrors. Square and rectangular mirrors are the most traditional shapes. If you're not sure what shape you want, opt for something with four corners. These kinds of mirrors are easy to hang, and they work well above other furniture like console tables. You can hang them the same way you'd hang a picture, which takes a lot of the guesswork out of the process.


Irregularly shaped mirrors demand a lot of attention. They work great as focal points or statement pieces. If you want your mirror to do most of the decorating for you, pick an unusual, elaborate, or complicated shape. 



The Size of Your Mirror


Putting one small mirror up probably won't do much to change the decorative ambiance of a room. If you like smaller mirrors, consider purchasing several and arranging them in a cluster. They'll have the same footprint of a larger mirror, better helping them to mimic the effect.


Medium-sized mirrors are always a safe bet. If you want the mirror to make a statement in a room without being the first thing people notice, a substantially sized mirror that doesn't overtake the wall will usually do the trick.


Large mirrors should be used when you want your mirror to be one of the most important decorative elements in a room. Oversized mirrors are perfect for entryways or dining rooms. Keep in mind that they won't work well in smaller or busier spaces, like bathrooms or kitchens. 



Where to Hang Your Mirror


There are two great places to hang mirrors: above a piece of furniture, or in the center of a bare wall. Mantels, console tables, couches, and dressers with open space above them are great places to hang a mirror. Just center the mirror above the piece of furniture, leaving enough of a gap between the furniture and the mirror to prevent accidentally bumping the frame and knocking it off the wall. If you have other decorative pieces you want to place on top of that piece of furniture, make sure they comfortably fit without overlapping the edge of the mirror's frame. 


Alternatively, you can place a mirror in the center of a bare wall. The wall behind your dining room table would be a prime candidate. If you choose to, you can also flank your mirror with decorative wall sconces to draw more attention to the frame. The light source will naturally draw eyes to the mirror, establishing it as a focal point in the room.



Hanging Mirrors in Small or Dark Rooms


Mirrors in small rooms serve a far more important purpose than mere decoration. They can help rooms feel larger by removing the walls' perceived limitations and bouncing light around the space. Since mirrors won't introduce any new colors or patterns in the same way wall art would, using them as wall decorations will prevent the space from feeling too busy or crowded.


In dark rooms, try to place your mirrors across from windows so they can easily capture and reflect daylight as it begins to pour in. This is a great way to allow natural light to enter a dark bedroom in the morning. As the sun rises, your eyes will begin to adapt. You'll wake up gradually and gently. You can also hang decorative mirrors in rooms like small bathrooms that only have one window. You'll make the most of your natural light, rather than flipping on the switch at 3 PM. 



<h3> How to Hang Your Mirror</h3>


Smaller and lighter weight mirrors are easier to hang. Many of them will go up the same way a picture frame will. A single nail or screw is all it takes. Larger mirrors will require multiple screws, and they'll need to be hung from studs. 


Start by purchasing anchors and mounting hardware. Both of these things will state their weight rating on the packaging. Don't cut it close - add a few pounds to the weight of your mirror to make sure you're in the clear. If you don't know how much your mirror weighs, use your bathroom scale. Step on without the mirror, and step on again with the mirror. The difference will be the weight of the mirror. 


Take a look at the back of your mirror. You'll find D-rings, or another designated place for the heads of the screws to go. Measure the exact distance between these spots, and transfer the markings onto your wall. You can use chalk to mark the wall without leaving any lasting damage, in case you ever want to move, paint, or rearrange the room. 


Use an electronic stud finder to locate the studs in your wall. If you don't have one, there are other methods. Pick your spot by marking the wall for two hangers you can use to evenly distribute the weight of the mirror. If the hangers aren't spaced evenly, the mirror won't be stable on the wall. One side will take on more of the burden, and the mirror might fall. You can use a liquid or laser level to assure that you're placing your hangers in the right position. 


Create pilot holes on your marked spots. These pilot spots will tell you where to put your anchors, which is what you'll need to do before you put the screws in the wall. The screws will go right into the anchors, which will expand and keep the screws secure in the wall. 


Once your screws are in place, you can go ahead and hang your mirror. Hanging a heavy mirror is usually difficult. You might want to have someone hold the other side and look behind to help you make sure the mirror is lined up. Without that second set of eyes, you won't really be able to see where you're putting it or know if you're catching the screw. 


If you're nervous about the whole ordeal, don't attempt it yourself. If you can't lift the heavy mirror and you don't have much experience working with tools, hanging something heavy may not be the best way to find out you aren't built for DIY work. This is what friends and family are for anyway, right? 



Conclusion


Decorating with mirrors is equal parts art and science, with a little bit of handyman work thrown in just for good measure. Once you have a basic understanding of the way interior decorators utilize mirrors, it's a cakewalk. You already know what to look for. Now you have the fun task of picking out the mirrors you love. Whom is a wonderful place to start looking. Our collection of mirrors boasts numerous shapes, sizes, and frame styles that will perfectly complement any room they're hung in!




Sources:

https://www.countryliving.com/home-design/decorating-ideas/advice/g677/fireplace-designs/

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-do-mirrors-reflect-ph/

https://www.bobvila.com/articles/how-to-find-a-wall-stud/