7 Design Tricks You Can Do With Mirrors

published May 18, 2018
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The idiom is called “smoke and mirrors” for a reason. Whether your goal is to seemingly cut a body in half or just make a small room appear larger, mirrors are a great way to trick the mind into believing that things are not quite as they appear. If you think you know all there is to know about mirror design tricks, read on and prepare to be amazed.

(Image credit: Jessica Isaac)

Bigger is Better

It may feel like the oldest trick in the interior design book, but adding mirrors to the walls of a room really can instantly make it feel bigger. Designer Isabel Muller of Harte Designs suggests incorporating mirrors into tight spaces like this petite dining nook, or transitional areas, such as entryways, hallways, and stairways.

(Image credit: David Foessel)

Double Deception

A wall-to-wall pattern broken up with a mirrored surface is like a double mind trick. Somewhat disguised by the hypnotizing pattern surrounding it, the mirror in the room above creates the illusion of there being another room beyond the sink. Bonus points if guests actually bonk their head trying to peek through it.

(Image credit: West Elm)

Window Woes

If you have a dark room with limited access to the world outside, create fake windows with mirrors. Positioning multiple rectangular mirrors in a grid, like West Elm did above, can create the illusion of a paned window. Where possible, hang your mirrors in a place that reflects the room’s existing windows to maximize this effect.

(Image credit: TheWhiteShanty)

Narnia Effect

Disguise doors and furniture by making their surfaces reflective. Here, a barn door is faced with a mirror, effectively camouflaging it into the room, instead of making it stand out.

Instant Art

Good art can be expensive, and splurging on a mirror is much cheaper than splurging on a piece of art (especially if it’s large-scale). Because mirrors reflect everything in the room, we suggest keeping surrounding decor to a minimum so your space won’t feel cluttered.

(Image credit: Alexis Buryk)

Light Love

There’s nothing like an abundance of good, natural light to make a space feel open and happy. If you’re limited on windows, strategically place mirrors to reflect additional light into your room. Bonus tip: keep your walls white so the sunlight bounces around evenly.

(Image credit: Helen Reed)

Seeing Double

If you have a piece you love so much you wish you had multiples, add a mirror behind it to reflect and accentuate it. Whether it’s a small antique, like this model ship, or a large piece of art on the opposite wall, strategic placement will have you seeing double (in a good way).

Not all homes are created equal, and that’s where good design comes in. If you’re not completely happy with the bones of your current space, try implementing these mirror tricks and you’ll be in for a treat (sorry…we had to). Do you have any mirror tricks that you swear by?