When it comes to interior decorating, you’d be surprised to know how big an asset accent mirrors can be. There’s a practically infinite selection of art you can hang on your walls – from prints and paintings to 3D sculptures. But accent mirrors offer a few unique advantages over traditional wall art that can really bring a room to life. So if you’ve got a bare spot on your walls and aren’t quite sure what to do with it? Consider an accent mirror.
Improve Your Ambient Lighting
One of the most important things that an accent mirror can do is enhance levels of light in a room. Mirrors literally reflect light, both natural and artificial, helping to improve the quality of light in any room. This is most obvious in rooms with a lot of natural light, which a good mirror can make feel doubly bright. That said, mirrors can also be an asset in darker rooms, where they can help amplify the artificial light. To maximize this effect, look for an accent mirror that has a fully mirrored surface, rather than a framed one.
Make A Room Seem Larger
The reflective quality of mirrors not only works to reflect light, but can also make a smaller space seem bigger. Larger accent mirrors work especially well, creating the illusion that a room extends farther than it really does. Try it out somewhere the mirror will be out of direct line of sight; you want to trick the eye more than you want to see your reflection. Smaller accent mirrors work on a smaller scale, acting as a sort of peep-hole into what looks like another room. The key is to use the mirror to visually extend the walls when glimpsed in passing.
Use Mirrors To Enhance Your Decor
Paintings and other artwork (and their frames) come in a whole rainbow of colors, shades, and textures; if you choose carefully, they can be a powerful element of your room’s color scheme. But they can’t actually interact with your design. Because accent mirrors are reflective, not only will the frames enhance your decor, but the mirror literally reflects it. That means an accent mirror will act as a living part of your room that’s different from every angle, but that always blends with your decor.
…Without The Pain Of Color Matching
As an extension of this, mirrors are great, permanent fixtures in a room that you like to re-accessorize frequently. Paintings should be carefully chosen to match carpet, upholstery, curtains, and other accessories. But a frameles mirror won’t ever look out of place, no matter how often you change up your color scheme. As long as your basic design aesthetic stays more or less the same, a frameless mirror will be right at home year-round in a space you change seasonally.
Make It Modern
Mirrors work especially well in modern-styled spaces. The silvered glass inherently meshes with the industrial material and color theme of a modern decor. Additionally, many accent mirrors have gorgeous geometric or abstract designs. Simple, solid lines can have a big impact, and exemplify the modern aesthetic. For a less “chrome” like feel, shop mirrors with gold or brass frames; the look is a little warmer and more art-deco, but will give you that same striking simplicity.
Accent Mirrors As Artwork
Really, though, a good accent mirror should be a work of art in its own right. There are two basic components to an accent mirror: the mirror itself, and the frame. Uniquely shaped frameless mirrors put all their style into the mirror itself. But simpler mirrors can have very elaborate, decorative frames. You can find mirror frames in a huge range of materials, from traditional wood and metal to stranger materials like leather. But if the frame is the real star, you’ll need to take more care to ensure it matches your space.
(But A Little Easier To Find A Spot For)
Accent mirror frames come in a much wider variety of sizes, shapes, and styles than traditional painting frames. That means a lot more flexibility in your design, especially when it comes to the shape. Many accent mirrors are more like wall hangings that happen to have a mirror in them than a functional mirror. But that “incidental” mirror is just big enough to catch a little light – while the frame does the heavy lifting.
More Mirrors Per Frame
Large, elaborate frames are common, but don’t assume that one frame = one mirror. You can also find some pretty gorgeous mirrors with intricate frames dotted with many tiny, shaped mirrors. These are pretty purely artistic rather than functional (you wouldn’t want one as a bathroom mirror!). But the effect can be gorgeous, giving you the light- and depth- enhancing qualities of a mirror in a piece of art.
(Or Less Frame Per Mirror)
That said, some accent mirrors don’t even have frames. Instead, it’s the detailing on the mirror itself that draws the eye. My favorites are from Elk’s Venetian collection. These feature fine, intricate detailing, smoothly carved edges, and tiny, lace-like holes around the edge of the mirror. The final effect has what looks like a frame, but with a fully mirrored surface that helps maximize light reflection.
Finally, installing a decorative accent mirror is frequently just outright functional. While you might not want your guests checking their hair in your living room or family room, having an accent mirror in a bedroom or hallway is a great way to give yourself the ability to dress in front of a mirror or check your scarf on your way out the door. Bonus: you’ll get a piece that’s more interesting than a bulky floor mirror or a boring, square-framed dresser mirror.
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