May 18, 2013

It turns out that the mirror is probably the single most flexible design tool in any design-savvy interior design tool box.

Mirrors are practical: they bring light into dark spaces, they make a small room feel larger, they give us a chance to check out our outfit before we step out of the door.

Not many men shave without using a mirror.

A mirror with a natural material for the frame brings the warmth and texture of nature into a room, like the rectangular framed capiz shell mirror from In the image above the capiz mirror has the size and scale of the window in the background and brings light into a hallway in much the same way as that window lights the bedroom.

Mirrors can be minimalist, sleek and extremely contemporary. 

When mirrors are hung salon-style on a wall, with different sizes and shapes, they not only bounce light into the space they create multiple reflections that activate the space.

In the post that I wrote on baskets I used an image of a profusion of baskets attached to a wall. Architect Rocky Rockefeller did almost the same thing when he needed to add some texture and light to a dark corner of J Nichols Restaurant that he designed in Marina Del Rey, California.

Chamcha wood mirrors

Image © Phillips Collection

Mirrors work in every single space you can name, from a bedroom to a dining room, from an entrance, exit or hallway to a bathroom. Keep them small and scatter them across a wall to add pizzazz to a cafeteria, a bar, a dorm room.

Line them up with regimental precision and they make a sophisticated, disciplined addition to any room in the house.

Mirrors can be fun – I love the sense of humor in the mirror wall decorations and coat hooks by Italian design firmPorada

Mirrors touch us with their magical capacity to reflect the world and, when we use them imaginatively, they reward us with brilliance, wit, and even functionality.

Let me know your favorite use of mirrors – and send me a photo. I will share the best ideas for other folks to get inspired to think about mirrors as well.


Written by Catherine Holliss

Interior Design Blog Writer,, LLC

Director of Interior Design, Sander Architects LLC.  


Lead image of Rectangular Capiz Seashell Mirror ©

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