Mirror, mirror, on the wall…

Here’s a question often asked: If I buy and fit a big framed decorative mirror to a room, will it give the impression of more space?

Answer: By all means buy and fit a framed mirror you like, that suits and compliments the room, but do not necessarily expect it to create the illusion of more space. In fact, many framed mirrors have the opposite effect and can actually make a room look smaller.

Of course there are exceptions, what about the mirrored hall in the Palace of Versailles, I hear you say? That has many, many framed mirrors and it looks enormous.

Two things; one, by normal room standards, Versailles is enormous. And two, it has so many mirrors, that is exactly the reason why it looks so big. Moreover, none of the mirrors there stand alone in isolation but, together provide an unbroken continuous reflection, which is the key to creating the illusion of space using mirrored glass.


Conversely, a framed mirror by itself on an expanse of wall will inevitably draw attention to itself, rather than helping to increase the perceived size of its surroundings. That can be absolutely fine when, for instance, you want to create a focal point.

A classic over mantle mirror above a fire surround is a perfect example of creating that sort of central focal effect.




If you’re trying to create the impression of a larger room, try a full floor to ceiling (or cornice to skirting board) mirror instead of a hung mirror.

Use bevelled edge detailing for joints – get interior design advice before deciding on the choice of mirror positioning and ensure the glass measuring, cutting and fitting is carried out by experts who are experienced in applying mirrors to walls.

Fitted mirrors that do not perfectly follow the contours of walls, ceilings and floors will inevitably look disastrous.




Room sizes in residential properties (particularly new builds) in the UK and especially in London are getting smaller. RIBA estimate that the average internal floor space for a new three bedroom home can now be as little as 88m2 and a new one bedroom flat can be a mere 37m2. That’s a one bedroom property with less floor space than a single Tube carriage on the Jubilee Line.

So, if you are wishing some of your rooms looked a little more generous or you just want to go in a slightly new design direction, we say mirror, mirror on the wall….

mirror3Here are some more of our examples:

Positioning sofas back hard against a wall (on the left) is not our usual thing. But, in this very narrow living space – the full mirror wall behind, at least helps make the best of a very awkward slim room look a little wider.





Yes, it was a bad choice of sofa and not something which we chose. But, just how well does that mirrored wall reflect the custom built floating staircase and the rest of the opened planned living room?

For more information or advice on any aspect of interior design, please get in touch.

Posted in Advice, Ideas

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *