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How To

How to use mirrors to make your space look bigger

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     (Toronto Interior Design Group | Yanic Simard/Houzz)

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     (Contemporary Kitchen/Houzz)

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     (Zephyr Interiors/Houzz)

Mirrors are standbys in bathrooms and bedrooms, and they’re often found over the fireplace, but their role in a home can be far greater and more dramatic than that. Though essential for checking your appearance, they can also radically boost the sense of space in a room. Used creatively, mirrors can create fascinating optical illusions, seeming to expand a cramped nook or endow an already generous space with the ultimate wow factor.

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Double the size of a kitchen. If your narrow galley kitchen is giving you cabin fever, beef up its sense of space by installing a mirror along one wall. Suddenly, those long, lean dimensions fill out — and you’ve got a handy backsplash.

Prop and go. A huge free-standing mirror propped against a wall will brilliantly boost the sense of space in a room. Plus, you can reposition it to refresh the look and take it with you if you move. Placing some furniture in front softens any glare and adds to the reflection interest.

Fill the alcoves. Mirror tiles fitted into the alcoves on either side of a fireplace can give a compact living space a gloss of elegance and a roomier feel. A further genius touch is arranging the seating symmetrically, so that it’s perfectly aligned to create long reflections in each alcove.

Mirror tiles with a soft, antiqued finish, provide a gentler, warmer feel than a single piece of super-shiny mirrored glass.

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Expand your closet. In a compact bedroom, mirrored closet doors are incredibly useful. They make the space feel generous and are, of course, handy for checking how you look. Mirrors have been used to great effect in this bedroom, which is decorated in a simple white scheme, helping it to feel as big and light as possible.

Reach to the top. A narrow bedroom can be made better with mellow, antiqued mirrors stretching high above the bed. It gives the room a feeling of depth without disturbing the warm, cozy feel with too many sparkly surfaces.

Boost a hallway. Add depth and brightness to a hallway by attaching a made-to-measure mirror on one wall. Halls often feel gloomy or cramped, but a simple floor-to-ceiling mirror will bounce the light around and brighten the space.

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Try a strip or two. The problem with using mirrors across a whole wall is that it can feel confusing. Where does the real room stop and the reflected one start? While such optical illusion may work in some rooms, if it feels like too much for your space, consider an alternative. Mirror strips do the work of expanding the room without reflecting every last detail or baffling the eye.

Take it higher. Mirrors are useful when space is short, but they can also bring a wow factor to a well-proportioned room, lending a sense of drama while maximizing the feeling of size.

A fabulous space with soaring ceilings is instantly doubled by adding a wall of framed mirrors.

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Cover two walls. To radically increase the feeling of space but also play around with the potential of exciting, multiple reflections, try using mirrors on two adjoining walls. This creates an abundance of reflection and perspectives, giving the room an expansive and glamorous feel.

Enlarge even the smallest room. Prevent a petite powder room from feeling too pint-sized by installing mirrors on one wall. Antiqued glass turns the mirrors into a decorative feature rather than a purely practical one, but they still perform the same proportion-boosting service as a standard mirror.