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The ultimate guide to home mirrors & mirror wall décor
The humble home mirror can do so much more than help you choose the perfect outfit.
Mirror décor is a clever way to uplift your home's style and, with such a huge range of shapes, frames and sizes available, you can find a quality mirror to suit any home at Spotlight!
- What kinds of mirrors are there?
- How can I use mirrors at home?
- Bathroom mirrors
- Lounge room mirrors
- Hallway mirrors
- How do I clean a mirror?
- Where not to put a mirror and mirror mistakes
What kinds of mirrors are there?
The kinds of mirrors you can use in your home come in lots of varieties, each that will suit certain rooms and uses.
- Full-length mirrors - a full-length mirror is designed to show the full body of a single person and is ideal for checking how a finished outfit looks. These mirrors are usually hung flat against a wall or stand on their own in a posable frame.
- Hanging mirror - these mirrors are hung flat against the wall and are usually round or rectangular in shape with a horizontal spread. They are used for showing someone from the shoulders up and can be found all over the home.
- Magnifying mirror - these small mirrors are fantastic for facial grooming and makeup purposes, and are usually found in the bathroom or bedroom. Handheld mirrors are less common these days - most magnifying mirrors are on a tall stand with an adjustable head, allowing you to angle it towards your face and use both hands for your grooming.
- Decorative wall mirrors - these mirrors are less for looking at yourself with and more of an art piece. Because they don't usually serve a function, decorative mirrors can be almost any shape and even can be lots of small mirrors grouped together in a certain style.
How can I use mirrors at home?
While the function of mirrors is often for use as a looking glass, they can be used in many other clever ways around the home.
Create the illusion of space
Ever almost walked into a mirror because you thought it was the continuation of a room? A clean and cleverly placed mirror can create the illusion of space where there is none, which is especially handy when you are working with a small area.
A mirror placed behind a shelf can help create the illusion of depth, and if your shelf ends at a right angle to another wall, placing a mirror at the end of the shelf can 'extend' its length.
Mirrors also work well on blank walls, especially if they are angled to reflect something interesting in your home. Use them to reflect an indoor plant, window or doorway to trick onlookers into thinking there's more to your home than meets the eye.
Mirrors are a great way to light up your home without shelling out for actual electrical lights. Whether it's natural or man-made light, the careful positioning of a mirror can illuminate dark corners or lighten a room easily. A large mirror can catch a lot of light on its surface and can make for a gorgeous feature as well as a source of light. Try positioning mirrors opposite windows and glass doors to bounce natural light around your home!
As home décor
Mirrors are more than just a piece of glass! Whether it's the shape of the glass, the design of the frame or the cut of the pieces, mirrors can be (and often are) used purely for decoration and not for reflecting. The frame in particular has a lot of potential for home decorating, as it can add colour, texture and height to a room. Mirror décor is a popular home styling trend and is a great way to add interest to a bare wall or sparse room. Check out some of our mirror decoration ideas below!
The mirror found in bathrooms are most commonly used to help us clean up, adjust our style and put on makeup. Because they are in an environment that often gets humid, bathroom mirrors don't tend to have wooden frames, instead opting for metal or plastic ones - or not having a frame at all! Need some bathroom mirror ideas for your home? Check out some of our inspiration below:
The main mirror in the bathroom is the one usually placed above the sink, called a vanity mirror. This will be a larger mirror (usually big enough for at least two people) that is used for personal grooming. Many households have a mirror cabinet in this space, as it provides all the usefulness of a mirror with some much-needed extra storage space. Some bathroom mirror ideas for your vanity include:
- A classic shape for bathroom mirrors is a rectangle, as it provides plenty of horizontal space for couples to make use of. If you have a taller bathroom, you can opt for a long mirror to take advantage of the space.
- Circular mirrors are a good choice if you are uncertain about what will suit your bathroom, as they create a soft edge that creates a relaxed feel. If you have space for it, you can even have two circular mirrors instead of one large mirror!
- If you have ample space around your mirror, you can opt for a frame that matches the rest of your bathroom décor. Try to keep your mirror frames small and simple, as ornate frames often look too busy in the small confines of a bathroom.
A small magnifying mirror is a common sight in many bathrooms, as they are very useful for doing fine work on the face that requires you to see very clearly. Due to the vanity often being in the way it can be hard to get right up close to your large bathroom mirror - this is where a magnifying mirror comes in. Perfect for shaving, applying makeup and other tasks that require a steady hand and good eyesight, these mirrors often have a normal side and a magnifying side you can switch between - some even have a built-in light!
Lounge room mirrors
Mirrors in your lounge room will be primarily used for decoration, and they're a great place to make a statement with your mirror décor. Living rooms are a great place to showcase really artistic decorative wall mirrors in unusual shapes, or to even dedicate an entire section to mirror wall decorating! Impressive frames are a great addition to your living room mirrors if there is space for them - choose a frame material that matches your living room décor to create a cohesive look.
Often a dark and overlooked part of the home, the hallway is the perfect place to pop a mirror, as it will lighten up the area, create the illusion of space and make an impact on guests as they enter your home. Depending on your space and home styling choices, hallway mirrors can either be small and decorative, full length or even a floor-to-roof mirror wall! Some great hallway mirror ideas include:
- A round mirror with a thick frame above a side table. The table gives you room to place things keys and wallets while the mirror will occupy the blank space above. It's also a great last stop to check your face before you head out to an event!
- A long, horizontal mirror running the length of the hallway is a fun option for wider hallways and will instantly make your hallway look much bigger, especially if it extends towards the roof as well.
- Mirror wall décor such as well-fitted hexagon mirrors in a honeycomb pattern or a collection of antique framed mirrors add points of visual interest down your hallway and should be hung around eye height.
How do I clean a mirror?
Once you have your mirror, most of the time they are easy to maintain.
Decorative mirrors in living rooms, hallways and bedrooms are not usually touched or exposed to the outdoors, so should only need a light dusting every now and then to keep them clean.
Removing prints and stains
Bathroom mirrors are often the culprits that need cleaning in the home, often becoming covered in fingerprints, toothpaste and water stains. To clean these mirrors:
- When the mirror is dry, use a microfibre cloth to wipe all the dust off the surface of the mirror.
- Spray either a commercial window/glass cleaning spray or a mixture of water and vinegar onto the mirror. Wipe this onto the mirror and then off with your microfibre cloth (if you have stubborn stains, work them with a cotton ball and rubbing alcohol to get them off).
- Buff your mirror with a dry cloth for extra shine!
Preventing and fixing mirror desilvering
Desilvering occurs when moisture gets between the surface of the mirror and the backing, causing the backing to lift and dark brown spots or patches on the edges of your mirror. This is why you often see it in areas where there is a lot of water around, like bathrooms, kitchens and outdoors.
A frame can help prevent water from getting into your mirror, but if your mirror is frameless then you need to be extra careful when splashing water around your mirror. You should also be careful when cleaning your mirror not to allow water or excess cleaning fluid to build up at the edges of your mirror.
Once a mirror starts to desilver, unfortunately, you cannot fix it yourself. While dark spots can be covered up with a wide frame, resilvering mirrors should be left to professionals, as it involves stripping away the old backing and adding a fresh one with factory equipment.
Where not to put a mirror and mirror mistakes
We've talked about where in your home you can style a mirror, but there are a few places you should avoid mirrors. Both for your safety and the health of the mirror itself, have a read of these mirror hanging no-nos:
- Above or opposite the bed - the danger of your mirror falling from its hung position is minimal if it's done properly, but don't take the risk and make sure your bedroom mirror is to the right or left of your sleeping space. Opposite the bed is also a no-go, as it can be distracting as you sleep and bounce light towards you, even at night.
- Opposite clutter - we talked before about hanging mirrors to show off the parts of your home you love, and this applies in the opposite way too. A mirror reflecting a messy room, cluttered laundry basket or overflowing toy chest will make your home look messier than it is.
- In strong, direct sunlight - while it doesn't happen often, there have been times when mirrors have reflected strong sunlight onto a flammable surface and started a fire. The usual culprit for this is magnifying mirrors aimed at curtains, so be very careful when placing any mirror to check what kind of light will be hitting it and what it is facing.
Find amazing decorative mirrors at Spotlight
Now that you know the ins and outs of hanging practical and decorative mirrors, it's time to find the perfect mirror for your home at Spotlight! Make your purchase online and you can choose from home delivery or click and collect options for your order - otherwise, head to your local Spotlight store and our team can help you find the right mirror for your home decorating needs.
For everything else home decorating, check out our home decorating section online, as well as our helpful buying guides. And if you're in a crafty mood, try making our beaded mirror project!