Why Mirrors Will Always Be Impactful in Design, Part 1

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There are very few all-encompassing design solves I can think of that can be applied to any style, any home, and any space. And the one element I keep coming back to is the tried-and-true mirror.

Whether artful or strategic, mirrors work wonders to draw attention to a space with their reflective faces, and they move mountains to make any room feel more open and dimensional than it really is. Running the gamut of every style, color, shape and size under the sun, these design tools can suit (or intentionally contradict) any aesthetic. And, dare I suggest, they’re considerably more timeless and versatile than a piece of art, as a mirror’s face is essentially a blank canvas.

What can I say — here at Design*Sponge, we just can’t get enough of mirrors. So much so, in fact, I’ve broken this post into a two-parter. There are simply too many stunning mirror moments not to share. —Kelli

  1. This is so true. My parents had a gigantic, modern beveled mirror in the living room of their 1960 house. It made it look bigger and brighter. We have some antique mirrors, and we recently bought a pair of historic apartments, and we bought the 6-foot-tall heavily decorated mirrors that were above the fireplaces (probably for several generations) along with them. They add light, they go with every color, they add shine.

  2. Emily says:

    I have a mirror question: can a large living/dining room take more than one mirror? I’m not talking about a grouping, but rather placing mirrors on different walls. What do you think? Too busy? Too awkward?

    1. Grace Bonney says:


      Definitely! I think using mirrors to bounce light off of each other is a seriously smart move, especially in a space that needs some extra light :)


  3. mel says:

    This mirror is amazing, first of all. I never used to give mirrors too much thought but I guess they really do open up a room :) This one is adorned perfectly!

    xx, mel

  4. Jill says:

    Wonderful examples. Can’t wait for part II!

  5. A collection of mirrors on a wall is so much more interesting than a collection of empty frames.

  6. JD says:

    I completely agree with your comment about mirrors being timeless in home decor! We have quite a collection of large mirrors throughout our home – some with very industrial frames, others with art deco lines, and others with antique frames. I especially love hanging the mirrors in a way that they reflect off of each other. For example, when standing in the main entryway of our home, you can glance to your left and see a mirror that shows the reflection of our pool in the back of the house. The mirrors positioned like this offer different views of different areas of our house, depending on where you are standing. I also love finding large vintage picture frames, and I convert them into mirrors – doing this allows you to experiment with a variety of frames.

  7. CA says:

    Could it also be that mirrors are popular because people love looking at themselves?

    Not trying to be snotty, I just often wonder if that is part of their appeal.


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