This Designer-Approved Tip Is a Clever Way to Fake a Window

published May 20, 2020
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Credit: Apartment Therapy

The Small/Cool Experience at Home is bringing 20 trends to life by 20 designers—all in less than 120 square feet. Check out the whole virtual experience online and at @apartmenttherapy on Instagram from May 15-17. Thank you to our sponsors BEHR, Amazon Handmade and Tuft & Needle for making this experience possible.

All the designers who participated in the Small/Cool Experience curated rooms to tackle small-space living challenges in stylish ways. In the case of Abbe Fenimore’s crystal-inspired space, she tackled one common challenge in a unique way: recreating the sense of having a window using a draped mirror.

When touring her “Crystal Influenced” themed room, you’ll notice the gemstone-inspired wallpaper covering the back wall. It’s got white pleated curtains draped across its surface, which implies there might be a window behind it. But when the curtains get pulled back, a beautiful rectangular mirror in white lacquer is exposed, creating the illusion of a window.

Credit: Danie Drankwalter

It’s no secret that mirrors can make a room feel bigger when strategically placed in the right area. It creates an optical illusion in a space by throwing light around, whether it’s reflected from another window or installed lighting. Sure, it might not actually double the space, but it can open up areas of a room that otherwise feels closed off.

The drapery strengthens the mimicking effect, too. By framing the mirror with curtains, it helps recreate the visual experience of how windows are often dressed in a room. And hey, maybe it can help you mentally feel as though you’re near a window as well. Hello, placebo!

In addition to Fenimore’s look, Hilton Carter, aka the Plant Doctor, has a mirror in his “Bringing the Outdoors In” room that contributes to creating a similar effect (if his theme didn’t already hint at that). Located on the right side wall, you’ll see an arched mirror in a gold metal frame that is meant to stand in for a window, minus the drapes.

So if you ever find yourself dealing with a room that’s windowless (or close to it), try playing around with your mirror options. It’s a quick, low-cost fix with potential to add some stylish flair!