Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Using Mirrors as a Design Element

We all know that mirrors can make a room appear larger – and that’s a neat trick –  but mirrors are more than just one-trick ponies. They can also be used as a design element to help complete whatever look you’re trying to achieve. A mirror can provide either contrast or balance when used correctly. It can also unify a space or serve as the focal point. However, it’s important to make sure that the scale and proportion are harmonious with the setting.

Below are just some of the many ways you can use mirrors as a design element.

Suspended Mirror

A trendy New York bathroom for two. Image: SGH Designs

This mirror is suspended from the ceiling and serves as the room’s focal point while providing both interest and contrast. However, the mirror is also functional, serving to separate the two back-to-back vanities and allowing the users on either side to view it simultaneously as needed. In addition, the mirror is low enough to be used by people of almost any height, but it’s also high enough to avoid getting splashed with water.

Tile-Surround Mirror

A Naples Beach, Miami, FL powder room. Image: 41 West

This is just one of the vanity stations in this home’s master bath. The mirror – with beveled sides – has a glass mosaic iridescent tile surround with diamond glass grout. The mirror is the attention grabber in this small space with high ceilings, and the sconces are placed slightly above eye level to balance the room and draw the eye upward.

Mirrored Closet Doors

A walk-in closet in Chicago, IL. Image: Randy Heller Pure and Simple Interior Design

The walk-in closet in this Chicago lake home has antiqued mirror closet doors, in addition to the antiqued door leading into the walk-in. This touch of old-world glamour adds just enough bling to make the room stylish without being gaudy.

Mirror as Unifier

A Boston powder room. Image: Cynthia Discroll Interiors

In this elegant Boston powder room, the mirror unifies all of the room’s other elements. It brings out the polished chrome and crystal handles of the faucet and the chrome light fixture. The mirror also highlights the soft grays on the walls and countertop as well as the design in the charcoal drawings.

A Wall of Mirrors

A lobby in Miami, FL. Image: Pegasus Builders

This may look like the lobby of a commercial building, but it’s actually a Miami-based residential lobby. Using a wall of mirrors, it plays on the design element of pattern, which adds another level of interest to the room and complements the repeating pattern on the floor and cabinet.

A Mirrored Wall

A Sydney, Australia bathroom. Image: Ian Moore Architects

The horizontal and vertical lines in the wall of mirrors help to define this sleek space and focus attention on the wall-mounted sink and toilet. The mirrored wall also helps to bounce the natural light around the room.

Mirror Used to Complement Nature

A bathroom in a modern New York home: Image: William Reue Architecture

The view outside is clearly the focal point in the space. However, the mirror, wood floors and cabinets in this minimalist bathroom provide contrast to the otherwise all-white areas. The geometric shape of the bathroom mirrors also adds texture and interest, which keeps this space from looking sterile when the curtains are closed. The mirrors also provide a repeating pattern, a popular element in design.

Mirror Backsplash

A New York home with a mirror backsplash. Image: ML Interior Designs

This New York home uses a mirror as the kitchen backsplash, which is a unique way to add interest. The subway tiles create a repeating pattern and are also easy to clean since there are no ugly grout lines.

Mirror Furniture and Accessories

An elegant home office in New York. Image: Vanessa DeLeon

A desk is another way to incorporate mirrors in your design. And according to Lyndsey Dianne, owner and operator of DianneDecor.com,  mirrors can also be used in other ways to provide accents. “Mirrored trays and vases make great centerpieces, and they add a bit of glam to a space, particularly when paired with chrome or silver,” she says.  “A small mirror embellished with a few rhinestones or diamond wrap is a great design element, and it can be used as a lovely jewelry tray or a place to hold your perfume,” Dianne says.