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The magic of illusion

Mirrors are one of the most elegant, practical and affordable decorating tools. They blend well in any interior, whether your decor style is traditional or contemporary. Mirrors can give the illusion of depth to a flat wall, light to a dull corner, and space to a small room.

 

Mirrors offer versatility in any decorating scheme with the option to choose shape, size and style, adding that extra touch of polish to a room without any effort. Not only practical in a bedroom or bathroom, mirrors also serve as works of art that blend with any decor style, and when surrounded by a beautiful frame and decorative details, a mirror is art.

If hung on a wall opposite a window, with their silvery colouration and reflective quality, mirrors can be used to mask problems such as inadequate space and poor light whilst adding elegance and drama to a room. The most extravagant and luxurious effects are created where a mirror completely covers a wall. You can give the impression of a room being longer by fitting a floor-to-ceiling mirror panel in the centre of an end wall. But the junction of the mirror with the ceiling and floor must be hidden. The whole effect is lost if the mirror extends down only as far as the skirting board or up as far as the picture rail. For the illusion to be successful there must be no obvious break in the reflected image.

Smoked or sand-blasted mirrors gives can be used to great advantage in many situations where a bright clear reflection is not essential. In living rooms it can give a sophisticated appearance to an alcove or wall.

Perfect position
When hanging a mirror, consider the height, which is critical to getting the best reflection. Check what will be reflected in the mirror by standing where it will hang and looking at the opposite wall. Play around with the positioning until you achieve the desired effect. Mirrors with frames that are more important than the reflection, such as starburst mirrors, work well at a higher level.

 

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Hang it right
When hanging framed mirrors, use picture hangers on either side of the back of the frame as opposed to wire. The hangers will keep the mirror flat to the wall, whereas with a wire the mirror hangs at an angle - distorting the reflection.

Consider the colour of adjacent walls when using a wide mirror because the colour will be intensified. A particularly dark hue on the walls will cast a stronger blue tint in the mirror. White, beige, and grey marble, however, sparkle in bathrooms with expanses of mirror, which is the reason why this combination appears often in luxurious bathrooms.

Mirrors are simply the most elegant, useful, and under-appreciated decorating tool. Use these guidelines when incorporating mirrors into your home:

1. Hanging a mirror
When hanging a mirror, consider the height, which is critical to getting the best reflection. Over a headboard, a mirror may be too high to see yourself or the room in the reflection and might end up reflecting the ceiling. Mirrors with frames that are more important than the reflection, such as starburst mirrors, work well at a higher level.

2. Reflecting light
Unless it is used for primping, a mirror looks best when it reflects light from a window. Check what will be reflected in the mirror by standing where it will hang and looking at the opposite wall.

3. Hang is right
Use separate picture hangers on both sides of the back of the frame, rather than a wire. The two hangers will keep the mirror flat to the wall whereas a wire can cause the mirror to hang at an angle, distorting the reflection.

4. Adding natural light
A dining room can be a wonderful place to bring in a mirror or a mirrored tabletop, but make sure it does not reflect strong glare from recessed lighting or chandelier bulbs. Chandelier shades or a chandelier that uses candles helps reduce glare.

5. Enhance the space
Clear clutter when installing a mirror above a table or countertop. You don't want the accoutrements of daily life reflected two or three times.

6. Colour effects
Consider the colour of the adjacent walls when using a wide mirror because the colour will be intensified. A particularly dark hue on the walls will cast a stronger blue tint in the mirror. White, beige, and gray marble, however, sparkle in bathrooms with expanses of mirror. This combination appears often in luxurious bathrooms.

Mirrors offer versatile ways to open up a small space, add light to a dark room, and even add drama. You can never have too many mirrors in a home!

If you can't afford the expense of a large mirror, look at the various ways to use small mirror tiles to create your own unique mirror art.

source: time inc - elle decor