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How to make best use of mirrors

Skill Level: Intermediate

Introduction

Mirrors aren’t just for looking into – they can play a big part in home decoration when trying to optimise the effect of small areas and rooms within the home. Mirrors can give the appearance of spaciousness, and will also brighten up a dark room.

 
From an illumination/lighting perspective, mirrors make sense…and are in fact very practical. Consider the cost of extra lights, including the wiring and installation - why not make more efficient use of the lighting you already have. Mirrors reflect light wonderfully, and with the wide range of styles and fixing options now available, they can be found to suit a wide choice of taste and decorative uses.

 

Mirrors around the home

Whatever sort of home you have you can probably find a use for mirrors. A long narrow hallway with a mirror well placed on each wall will appear much wider, place a mirror on the wall at the end of the hallway, and the impression of greater length is given.
 
When considering mirrors in a living or dining room, be aware that many people feel uncomfortable when their own reflection is constantly in their line of vision. In these rooms, use mirrors to reflect light and the things in the room, making space appear bigger, rather than simply reflect the people in it. Locate smaller mirrors behind shelves to highlight artwork or other ornamentation and features.

It's all an illusion

The extra “space” created by mirrors is just an illusion of course – but the extra light mirrors give off is very much a reality. Fit mirrors in alcoves and recesses, with spotlights…the effect can be quite pleasing. Perhaps, you will consider fitting mirror tiles in window reveals…this too will increase light coming into the room, natural light.
 
Any dark area can be improved by the use of mirrors, which will distribute whatever light is available. Think about putting the mirrored surface at right angles to the light source, or even opposite, for the absolute maximum amount of reflection and effect.

Fitting mirrors

There are three main methods of fitting a mirror to a wall. The first is to screw fix through pre-drilled holes in the mirror. Alternatively, there are special mirror clips, or thirdly, a framed mirror; hung by bracket, or chain. In each case there is no real need for professional help, provided you have a few basic tools, and take the appropriate safety precautions. A power drill and bit, screw driver, spirit level, crews and plugs, and perhaps a tape measure…and a little bit of confidence.

Mirrors in the bathroom

Bathrooms are very often one of the smallest rooms in the house with the amount of light further restricted due to the need for opaque, frosted glass and windows – but here too mirrors can be a big help. If the bathroom is particularly small, fix mirror tiles to the inside of the door – check out mosaic mirrored tiles if you don’t want a perfect reflected image all the time. If a mirror is used as a looking glass it should be positioned to give the best reflection possible.
 
Tinted mirror tiles can give a bathroom just that little bit extra wow factor…pink tinged shades give off a feeling of warmth and calm, bronze shades give a golden, sunny glow. Position the lighting correctly, it should shine on you, not the mirror.

Mirror tiles

Mirror tiles have been around for ages and are very popular on bathroom walls.
 
These smaller, bathroom mirror tile are affixed by self adhesive, double sided pads. They are quick and easy to work with, and involve the minimum of mess and disruption. The trick with making a good job of mirror tiles is to first, plan out the walls you’ll be covering…where to start from, and where you’ll end up. Surface condition is important. Make sure you get rid of any lumps and bumps, flaky paintwork or background.

Tools you will need:
Wera Kraftform 932 12 x 200mm Slotted Chisel Driver
Wera Kraftform 932 12 x 200mm Slotted Chisel Driver
- Newsome 5 Piece 100mm Masonry Drill Bit Set
Newsome 5 Piece 100mm Masonry Drill Bit Set
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