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How do you know what size mirror will look best in your space? This is a guide that helps answer that question. Below are a few common scenarios — foyer, vanity, half-bath, and mantel — and the best sizes for each of those space.
Size of Mantel Mirror
Pros of Different Sizes
Larger mirrors have the obvious advantage that they provide a larger reflection surface, so therefore they create more light in the space they’re in.
Small mirrors are more practical in many ways, including the availability of frames. Once a mirror gets large enough, keeping a frame intact can be hard, so there aren’t many antique frames available for larger pieces. In contrast, for smaller pieces, you can find frames almost anywhere for them.
Ornate, gold framed mirror in french-style interior
Cons of Different Sizes
Large mirrors can look overwhelming, especially if they’re in a smaller space.
Small mirrors, on the other hand, can offer limited light bounce because of their size, so they won’t help to create light in the room like a large mirror will.
Frame Style of Mantel Mirror
Pros of Frame Styles
Ornate frames can offer a way to combine both function and decor, where the frame itself acts as a piece of art, in addition to the mirror and other decor that’s in the room.
Sleek frames can blend in with many different décor types, relative to something flashier or more ornate. And they also are better in different environments. So, for example, if you move, it’s easy to integrate your mirror into the new space somehow. Whereas ornate frames can be a little more complicated.
Wood frames can have a natural and versatile look, where the type of wood you choose can often act as a complement for other trim within your home.
Metal is a good choice because it’s so versatile and it’s so easy to transform with paint, for example, so it can serve as both a finished look or it can be a great base that you can use and then potentially update if your decor changes as well.
Black framed wall mirror
Cons of Frame Styles
Ornate frames can make a small room feel cluttered or reduce the perceived space due to their elaborate designs.
Sleek frames, while modern, may lack the character needed to complement rooms with a more traditional or eclectic style.
Wood frames require regular maintenance to avoid wear from elements like moisture, which can affect their longevity.
Metal frames, though versatile, might not fit in with interiors that aim for a warm, rustic appeal due to their cooler aesthetic.
Shape of Mantel Mirror
Pros of Mirror Shapes
Rectangular mirrors offer a classic look that can easily align with various interior styles, ensuring wide utility and application.
Round mirrors can break the monotony of straight lines, adding visual intrigue and a softer aesthetic to the room.
Arched mirrors, with their unique shape, add an architectural element and elegance, enhancing traditional decor themes.
Traditional framed arched mirror over mantel
Cons of Mirror Shapes
The ubiquity of rectangular mirrors might not stand out in a space, possibly leading to a more lackluster appearance.
Round mirrors, while distinct, might not fit as well with certain furniture lines or lack the practicality of larger, more traditional shapes.
Arched mirrors require careful consideration of room size and decor to avoid a disproportionate look that can crowd a space.
|Price per Sq Ft
|84″ x 36″
|$100 – $1,000
|$10 – $50
|72″ x 48″
|$50 – $500
|$5 – $25
|60″ x 36″
|$20 – $200
|$5 – $15
Mounting Style: Leaning vs. Hanging
Pros of Mounting Styles
Leaning mirrors are ideal for casual or bohemian interiors, offering flexibility in placement and easy movement without wall damage.
Hanging mirrors create a more permanent and polished look, suitable for formal spaces or where stability is paramount.
a gold framed leaning mirror
Cons of Mounting Styles
Leaning mirrors pose a tipping risk, especially in homes with pets or children, and may not be secure on uneven surfaces.
The process of hanging a mirror requires tools and precision to avoid damaging the wall or choosing a mirror too heavy for the hanging spot.
|Factors Affecting Mirror Price
|1. Size: Larger mirrors generally cost more due to the increased material and labor required.
|2. Shape: Mirrors with intricate or unusual shapes, such as arched or beveled edges, tend to be more expensive than simple rectangular or square mirrors.
|3. Frame Material: The material used for the mirror’s frame can significantly impact the price. Common frame materials include wood, metal, plastic, and resin, with higher-quality materials like solid wood or metal typically costing more.
|4. Frame Finish: The finish of the frame, such as paint, stain, or lacquer, can also affect the price. Special finishes or hand-crafted details may increase the cost.
|5. Mirror Quality: The quality of the mirror itself plays a role in pricing. Mirrors made with higher-quality glass, such as float glass or silvered glass, tend to be more expensive.
|6. Mounting Hardware: The type and quality of the mounting hardware included with the mirror can impact the price. Mirrors with sturdy and adjustable hanging mechanisms may cost more.
|7. Brand and Craftsmanship: Mirrors from
General Decor Considerations
Importance of Balance, Proportion, and Style
A well-chosen mirror acts as an anchor for the mantel, achieving a balanced look that resonates with the room’s overall aesthetics.
Setting a width guideline ensures the mirror complements rather than overwhelms the mantel, contributing to a harmonious appearance.
Adequate spacing between the mirror, mantel, and ceiling can prevent the decor from appearing overloaded, maintaining an airy feel.
Selecting a mirror that mirrors the decor style of the room enhances the design continuity, making the space feel thoughtfully curated.
Keeping accessories to a minimum avoids visual chaos, ensuring the mirror remains a standout feature rather than getting lost in clutter.
A horizontal mirror sitting above a mantel in a french-style interior
Risks of Neglecting Decor Principles
Failing to consider the scale and style relation between the mirror and mantel can lead to a discordant look, detracting from the room’s visual appeal.
Overloading the mantel with accessories or choosing a poorly proportioned mirror can clutter the space, making it feel smaller and less inviting.
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