Tips & Ideas for Hanging Mirrors in Any Room
A mirror is one of the best ways to add depth, interest and light to your space and should be considered a KEY PIECE in your decorating toolbox (mirrors and wine – vital for success).
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One of the best things about mirrors is that they add light to spaces that are low on natural light and energy. Low energy spaces are often north-facing and have insufficient natural light. Mirrors are great for these spaces because they act like windows – moveable ones!
However, you can’t just slap any ole mirror on any ole wall, as with everything related to decorating, there is a method to the madness…
TIP #1 USE ONLY 1 MIRROR PER ROOM
- try not to have two mirrors in a room unless it’s a large room and you can have them in opposite areas (not reflecting each other)
- most rooms do well with one mirror on a wall that doesn’t have a window
- it’s ideal to position the mirror within the room so that it can reflect the natural light from your window and bounce it around the room
Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Gray
TIP # 2 DON’T REFLECT THE FRONT DOOR
I’m not a feng shui expert, but apparently, if you have a mirror reflecting your front door, any good energy coming into your home will be bounced right back out, which makes a lot of sense and I’m sure as heck not going to tempt the Gods.
This next entryway has very low energy due to the lack of natural light. Adding a mirror increases the energy of the space and gives the homeowner a chance to check her makeup on the way out the door…
Sherwin Williams Anew Gray
TIP #3 MAKE SURE YOUR MIRROR IS THE RIGHT SIZE
It’s VITAL that your mirror is proportional to the piece it’s hanging above (or the wall it’s hanging on).
- if you’re hanging a mirror on a bare wall (with no furniture underneath it, the mirror should be approx. 1/2 – 3/4 the width of the wall space
- if you’re hanging a mirror over a piece of furniture, again, the mirror should be approx. 3/4 the wide of the piece of furniture it’s hanging above
- if your mirror ISN’T 3/4 the with, use home decor to add to the visual width, creating a decorative vignette
In the above photo, I would move the candle scones just a BIT closer to the mirror
TIP #4 KEEP METAL FINISHES COORDINATED
Using a mirror to repeat, or compliment a finish or pattern in a space is a great way to cement a theme.
- If the fixtures in your home (plumbing/lighting) are a certain finish, you can repeat that finish in the frame of your mirror (you can also consider frameless OR wood)
- If you have a mix of finishes, be careful about your partnerships. For example, black goes well with chrome and gold, and regardless of what you see on Pinterest, I think gold and chrome/nickel look terrible together, creating a mismatched look.
- If you have shapes or patterns in your space (especially the bathroom), you can use the shape of the mirror to repeat these OR counteract them. By tying in finishes and shapes you will add to the flow of your home.
- PERSONALLY, when it comes to bathrooms, I’m inclined to stick with ONE metal finish for simplicity and flow – but you do you boo
I do love this little gem that’s up next (MAN I have some talented clients!). The round mirror balances out the horizontal lines and is hung at the PERFECT height above the backsplash (which you’ll learn more about shortly)…
Sherwin Williams High Reflective White
WHY & HOW TO HANG A MIRROR IN A DINING ROOM
Almost every dining room suits a mirror. Why? Because they reflect light and are most often hung centered on the dining fixture, they add to the ambience of the space, adding interest and visual depth.
Thank you for noticing the cobweb around the light fixture, I left it there purposely for Halloween
WHAT’S THE BEST SIZE & HEIGHT TO HANG A MIRROR IN THE DINING ROOM?
- the mirror should be centered on the dining table, which should be centered on the light fixture
- if the mirror is hanging on a bare wall OR above a piece of furniture that’s shorter than 30 inches, the CENTER of it should sit approx. 58 – 62 inches off the floor
- if the mirror is hanging above a cabinet, buffet or console table (or wainscoting) that’s taller than 30 inches, there should be anywhere from 4 – 8 inches between the top of the furniture piece/wainscoting and the bottom of the mirror
- as it relates to dining rooms, in particular, if there’s no buffet or console table, the mirror should be 3/4 the width (or bigger) of the dining table (whereas on other bare wall spaces, it’s 1/2 – 3/4 the width of the wall space)
In this next room, the mirror alone isn’t proportional to the wall space (which is important as it’s not hanging above any piece of furniture). The smart use of candle sconces gives the overall display more width, creating a nice focal point for the space. Also, notice the amount of wall space between the top of the wainscoting and the bottom of the mirror…
In this next dining room, look at how the mirror reflects the light fixture. and while the artwork to the right should be a bit higher (centered on the mirror) I like how the decor was used to give the mirror a bit more horizontal bulk…
WHY & HOW TO HANG A MIRROR IN YOUR ENTRYWAY
I love seeing mirrors in entryways. Why? Well, entryways are often the darkest areas in a home (short of hallways) and need all the help they can get as to light reflection! And that’s just what mirrors do, they reflect whatever light they’re given and BOUNCE it back; acting like windows in their ability to increase the visual energy of a space!
- as mentioned earlier, it’s IDEAL if your mirror doesn’t reflect your door (in order to satisfy the gods of Feng Shui)
- mirrors are great for you and your guests to check themselves before leaving
WHAT’S THE BEST HEIGHT TO HANG A MIRROR IN AN ENTRYWAY?
- if you’re hanging a mirror on a bare wall, the center of the mirror should be approx. 60 inches from the floor (can be adjusted a bit higher if you 6 + feet tall)
- if you’re hanging a mirror above a console table or cabinet of some sort, there should be approx 4 – 8 inches between the top of the cabinet and the bottom of the mirror (assuming your furniture is 30 inches or taller
- if you’re hanging a mirror above a bench, the center of the mirror should be approx. 60 inches from the floor
WHY & HOW TO HANG A MIRROR ABOVE SOFAS & SECTIONALS
When it comes to dark living rooms and family rooms, mirrors can be LIFE-SAVERS, reflecting any light they’re given; whether it’s natural or artificial. However, there are a few things to consider…
- artwork often looks better above a sofa or sectional as you use the COLOURS in it to pull your colour scheme around the room, whereas mirrors are a more unisex addition to a space (unless you have a neutral tone-on-tone palette)
- if there are windows on the same wall, I advise not adding a mirror as, a) it won’t reflect the light from the window, and, b) it can be overwhelming in companionship with the light from the window without adding balance and colour to a space
And while PERSONALLY, I prefer artwork above the main piece of upholstered furniture, because this mirror (below) has personality and is flanked by sconces and an interesting rug, I quite like the overall approach and in fact, artwork would have the space looking too busy…
Benjamin Moore Rodeo
WHAT’S THE BEST HEIGHT TO HANG A MIRROR OVER A SOFA OR SECTIONAL
- the mirror should be centered on the piece of furniture – no excuses!
- assuming your furniture is taller than 30 inches (most sofas and sectionals are), there should be approx. 8 – 12 inches of wall space between the top of your back cushion and the bottom of the mirror
And I don’t even HAVE any other photos of living rooms with mirrors above sofas as I generally advise my clients towards artwork!
WHY & HOW TO HANG A MIRROR IN A BATHROOM
I’m pretty sure I don’t need to explain WHY, but I sure as heck can explain the HOW!
This mirror sits approx 8 inches above the top of the backsplash OR about 10 inches above the countertop/sink
WHAT’S THE BEST HEIGHT TO HANG A VANITY MIRROR?
- the vanity mirror should hang approx 5 – 15 inches above the sink, however, depending on the HEIGHT of the mirror, you might also choose to hang it so the center is approx 58 – 62 inches from the floor
- if 58 – 62 inches from the floor leaves your mirror too high and visually unattached from the countertop/vanity, you need a taller mirror, although you can sometimes supplement with a taller faucet
- alternatively, you can level 0 – 8 inches between the bottom of the mirror and the top of the countertop backsplash (the raised portion that’s approx. 4 1/2 inches tall)
In this next photo, while it’s DARN CLOSE, I would hang the mirror about 2 inches higher as there’s too much space between the top of the mirror and the light and the backsplash/bottom of the mirror look too squished together…
This next bathroom is a tricky one as while there’s no traditional ‘short backsplash’, the penny tile creates a visual connection between the countertop and the mirror, allowing for a higher, eye-level installation. Notice how a taller faucet was used to bridge a bit of that gap…
Sherwin Williams Gauntlet Gray walls
Now, the standard vanity light height is anywhere from 75 – 80 inches off the floor, and if this means you need to hang your mirror lower than what’s ideal – you need to get a shorter mirror!
Alternatively, you can do an installation like this one below, where the vanity lights are mounted on the mirror and the mirror nudges right up with the backsplash. This is a seamless look and creates the MOST light reflection!
WHAT’S THE BEST SIZE FOR A VANITY MIRROR?
While there’s a good amount of flexibility, the general guideline is to have your mirror a few inches shorter on either side than your total countertop width. So, if your vanity countertop is 60 inches wide, you might choose a mirror that’s 44 inches wide. HOWEVER, having your mirror the exact width of your countertop is very common.
In this next photo, ‘ideally’ the mirror would be about 5 inches narrower. I might’ve also considered a mirror that’s a bit taller so that it sits ON the tile backsplash and comes about 1 inch closer to the light fixture, just for a more seamless look (but that’s just me and I tend to overthink things).
Sherwin Williams Light French Gray
The same goes for the height, there’s a bit of flexibility depending on the height of your backsplash and light placement. Generally speaking, a bathroom mirror will be approx. 30 – 36 inches high.
WHAT’S THE BEST SIZE WHEN HANGING TWO MIRRORS OVER A DOUBLE-VANITY?
When it comes to two mirrors over a bathroom vanity, it’s less about the size of the vanity and MORE about the size of the sink and the space between the edge of the sink and a sidewall.
- the mirror should never be narrower than the width of the sink and should be the same width OR wider
- the mirror should not extend past the edge of the countertop
In this first photo, notice how the mirrors are approx. the same width as the sinks…
In this next bathroom, there’s a larger wall space between the two mirrors, which could be filled with a decor piece (artwork would be too busy, a simple vase is best)…
Benjamin Moore Super White
As shown above, the longer your vanity is, the more space you might have left between the two mirrors. If your vanity is extra long, consider the following:
- install one large mirror rather than two smaller ones, remember, you’ll be limited by the sidewall as to how wide your mirror can be
- if there’s a large wall space between the two mirrors, install a storage tower or use home decor to fill the space (ie. vase with flowers)
Sherwin Williams Egret White
In the above photo, I LOVE the base/branches! I’d also love to see some knobs on the cabinet doors that match the faucet finish (seriously, my brain never stops).
THE TOP 5 PLACES TO HANG A MIRROR
- any dark room
- on a wall that’s to the side of a window wall
- while many are averse to hanging mirrors in narrow dark hallways, they’re a GREAT way to expand the width or length of a hallway (depending on whether you hang it on a side or end wall)
- in a room that has an abundance of artwork, mirrors can be a great visual break
- in a bathroom…I’m a rocket scientist, I know
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ORIGINALLY WRITTEN WAY BACK IN 2014, MASSIVELY UPDATED IN 2021