Your need-to-know guide for mirrors

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Mirrors are some of the most useful decorating tools, and also some of the most undervalued ones. We take them for granted, exiling them to the realm of functional objects, and forgetting what aesthetic value they can bring to our spaces.

There is a wide range of mirrors available to us these days, made from a wide selection of material. It will not be unusual if you feel overwhelmed by the number of choices you have at your disposal and fear you might choose the wrong mirror for the wrong space.

Some mirrors are, indeed, more suited for particular purposes, and it is important that you are aware of these differences in order that you can make the most out of your mirrors. There is no need to fear, however, since we at homify are here to help and to guide you through the mirror-picking process. Behold: Your need-to-know guide for different types of mirrors!

Familiar favourite

The original is a good place to start when it comes to reviewing a multitude of options. Plane mirrors have flat or planar reflective surfaces. The virtual image produced by this type of mirror is about the same size of the object reflected in it.

Way back in the day, these mirrors were made of flat pieces of copper, brass or precious metals. These days, they usually consist of a thin piece of plate glass that protects the surface and keeps it from dulling.

Now, a plane mirror in its original frame or without a frame, can be used almost anywhere with good results. These will work especially well in minimalist spaces, such as seen in the image above. No frills, no fuss. This is the key to simplicity.

All round

modern Living room by Collier Webb
Collier Webb

Gold Convex Mirror

Collier Webb

Spherical mirrors can be either concave (converging) or convex in nature. The former refers to where the glass is curved inward, similar to the inside of a spoon. Concave mirrors usually offers enlarged reflections, since the curvature of the image bounces light to the focal point in front of it. These mirrors are traditionally used as shaving mirrors.

Convex mirrors, on the other hand, protrudes outward, reflecting a wider angle, enlarging at edges more than the centre. The result of this is a reduced reflection, smaller than the actual object and slightly distorted. An example of this is the side view mirrors on our cars, and that is why they so duly state: “Objects in mirror are larger than they appear”!

You may ask yourself why you would use any spherical mirrors, concave or convex, in home decoration at all? It is a valid question, but with some design background, you will soon be able to answer this for yourself. Spherical mirrors not only have the ability to transform a space, but to be transformed by it. Concave and convex mirrors add style to a room, but also take on the room’s style. It is like adding another dimension to the room, distorting reflections to create either a fun, intriguing or mysterious atmosphere. The options are endless.

Lighted mirrors

modern Bathroom by Hudson Reed
Hudson Reed

Lucid LED Mirror

Hudson Reed

Mirrors are excellent home decoration companions. We can go our entire lives without contemplating their significance and the value they hold. A mirror is inherently neutral, blending with the interior and making walls disappear. They add depth to a space, and expand the visual dimensions of the room.

As we have already stated, however, mirrors can also be a feature decoration itself. Whether it be by adding a show-stopping frame or using mirrors with distorted surfaces, these handy can decorative elements can be the stars of the show themselves. A backlit mirror is a great example of this. It immediately draws your eye to the mirror and gives it an otherworldly glow.

These features work well in contemporary bathrooms.

Wooden frame

rustic Bathroom by Cenquizqui

These types of mirrors work exceptionally well in outdoor spaces, such as on a veranda or terrace. Here, a mirror will not only reflect the beauty of the natural environment into the man-made space, but will also create a romantic atmosphere by reflecting starlight and candlelight at night. A wooden frame is ideal for this, since it resonates the natural charm of the outdoors, and if properly treated, will by weather- and wear resistant.

Let's be honest, though wooden frames look beautiful on most mirrors, and can be an assest for any space within or without a home. Just look at these gorgeous ones from Cenquizqui.

Glamour

minimalistic Dining room by Rupert Bevan Ltd
Rupert Bevan Ltd

Dining Area Alcove Mirrors

Rupert Bevan Ltd

Mirrors can also be an important tool in adding elegance and class to a space. All you need is an expensive-looking frame (fakes are fine!), and you can transform a bland space into an old Hollywood classic. This can be a great look for a bathroom vanity. Anyone sitting in front of this mirror will feel like royalty.

If you really want to go all-out, and have no fear of the flamboyant, you can always opt for a large, ornamentally framed mirror, layered with another (empty) picture frame to create interesting juxtapositions in an elaborately decorated room. This will work particularly well with baroque-style homes.

On the walls

modern Houses by ZERO9
ZERO9

mirror bathroom

ZERO9

Wall mirrors can be a great way to extend the perceived space in any room. This is certainly why these mirrors are so popular in studio apartments and wardrobes. Mirror tiles cover an entire wall can also be a great look, adding an interesting twist to the standard full-length mirror.

An alternative can be to arrange several smaller mirrors to fill an entire wall – a collage of mirrors. This is a trend that is quite popular these days, not only when it comes to mirrors but with wall coverings in general, including pictures, photo frames, etc.

If the mirrored look is definitely something that inspires you, take a look at this beautiful, infinite house with a mirrored facade!

Which of the mirror types is your favourite?
modern Houses by Casas inHAUS

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