The right living room mirror ideas can transform the energy, look, and style of your space, boosting natural light in the process. The key to a good living room mirror is in the placement, and there's no better way to add a character to your living room than with a creative mirror design.
'Adding a mirror to your living room is not only an aesthetic choice but a practical one too that can work wonders for the proportions of the space,' says Noorein Kapoor, principal designer at Noorein Kapoor Design, 'while providing a focal point, a mirror can also make the living room feel lighter, brighter, and bigger.'
When picking living room ideas for a new scheme, a mirror is almost always likely to feature, too. Here, designers and experts share interesting, practical ideas for including a mirror in your living room.
10 creative living room mirror ideas to consider
1. Use a mirror to decorate above a mantel
Did you know that the best way to decorate a mantel is with the 'three-plus-one' trick? This means, using three objects and placing them on one side of your mantel, without lining them up. Ideally, these objects should have different proportions too.
Usually, the three best pieces for a mantel are a vase, a decorative/ curio, and the perfect wall staple, a mirror. This place is a great opportunity to integrate new designs and create an elegant living room.
To add more interest and movement, integrate a light feature, perhaps candles to allow the eye to move up and down along the display.
2. Expand city views with a mirror
'One of the most important decorative ideas for a gorgeous living room is a mirror,' says Brooklyn Brownstone designer, Jarret Yoshida (opens in new tab). 'Most cities have apartments that are too dark or cramped so when my New York interior designer brain turns on as I enter my client's apartments, I immediately want to either reflect on the view or create an idea of space. Mirrors visually capture the ongoing drama outside or can double the sense of space.'
Ensure you place the mirror in such a way that the best views can be gathered in its reflection. Plus, make the room feel sunnier. The best thing about these little decorative wonders is that they can be placed on any wall, so you don't have to feel restricted in their use.
While placing the mirror, try to set it at an angle that shows the best reflections while you're seated down. Choose a beveled mirror to maximize the light from the outside. Interestingly, mirrors work great in living room corners too, filling up the space and adding more views.
3. Curate the perfect reflection
In large luxury living rooms, sometimes some elements can get lost in the volume of the space. While you may have painstakingly designed the interior, lovingly sourced products from travels and boutique stores, the elements can become one among the crowd.
Mirrors are the best way to draw focus on these objects. How? Because no matter who you are, vanity gets everyone! Place a mirror in any room or setting and you can be sure that guests will want to take a look at their reflection, casually or intentionally.
By keeping the mirror in strategic locations, you can use it to highlight specific features or elements so no matter what, they don't go unnoticed.
'Mirrors are interesting artforms, in the way they play with dimension, reflection, truth, and illusion,' says interior designer Martin Waller, founder of Andrew Martin (opens in new tab). 'In terms of placement, think about what you want to reflect: through a mirror you can spotlight your favorite artwork placed in an unforeseen corner of the room. You can hang the mirror opposite a window to bring the outside in or place it in a passageway as a keyhole for what the next room has in store.'
4. Create an accent wall with a mirror
If you're redesigning a living room, why not convert an entire wall into a reflective surface? This will not only help bounce the light around but also give the impression of a larger space. Plus, mirrors always look grand, don't they?
If you're worried that an expanse of mirror will be too much for the room, consider going in for a distress-finish mirror. This will also give your room a nice, vintage touch and plenty of depth, plus hide marks and smudges easier, meaning you don't have to spend your life constantly cleaning it.
5. Choose mirrors in interesting shapes to add a quirky touch
'Experimenting with shapes is great in interior design,' says interior designer Noorein Kapoor (opens in new tab). 'Circles, ovals, and rectangles are all classically pleasing mirror shapes but don’t be afraid to color outside the lines. Uneven, asymmetrical, and positively weird shapes are a key contemporary mirror trend, so feel free to get a wiggle on.'
While the market is flooded with fun designs, you can even get one specially customized for your space. Or, arrange a differently-sized mirror together on the wall, like a gallery wall idea – just make sure you use the same frames for symmetry. This is also a great time to experiment with unique materials.
In this scheme, the mirror is enveloped within an interesting frame. The addition of cane not only conjures a nice modern rustic living room setting, but also adds a lovely layering to the room's materiality.
6. Consider an antique mirror to add a regal touch
Beautiful Venetian glass, gold or silver framed or ornately designed mirrors can become the shining stars of the room. These beauties can lend an art deco feel, and even make a small apartment living room feel grand.
'Antique and vintage mirrors have dual purposes – they act as pieces of art, while also dispersing light effectively around the room,' says Noorein. 'An ornate frame can make for a stunning centerpiece to a living area. Going for gold adds a luxurious touch to a space and it’s a trick that works in any style.'
'While golden framed mirrors are traditionally associated with ornate, Rococo-like designs, the brass renaissance has championed the warm metallic across simpler, contemporary styles,' Noorein explains.
7. Place the mirror on the floor for drama
While it's more usual to see mirrors hung on walls, floor mirrors are not an uncommon sight. If you have a large space and are looking for out-of-the-box ideas, having a mirror placed down can add a serious wow factor.
Floor mirrors almost act as living room furniture items that add a fun factor to the lower half of the room. If you're placing on against the wall, choose a frame that contrasts with the wall color. Or pick a bold metallic, which is sure to pop against any hue.
Leaning a floor mirror behind a sofa is a classic decorating trick. This gives the room a beautiful layered look while majorly amplifying light. It also helps fake an architectural character in the room where none exists.
Alternatively, you could find new uses for the mirrors. 'Mirrors don’t only go on the wall; you can consider incorporating them into your living room furniture ideas too,' says Noorein. 'Incorporating glass tabletops, partitions will make it seem like there’s a more open flow. You can also use mirrored cabinet doors to make spaces feel large and uncluttered.'
8. Create the illusion of a third window with a mirror
This is a great way to make a small living room look bigger. By placing a mirror between two windows, you can trick the eye into believing there is another window there. This will help create a lighter, more relaxed mood and make the space seem open and breezy.
Another idea is to place a large mirror directly opposite the windows, to create the illusion of more windows around the room. This too will help enhance the brightness of the living room.
9. Place a mirror next to a lighting piece to increase illumination
True, a tall lamp in front of the mirror will hide the reflective gem but it can serve another purpose. Placing mirrors behind lamps will help ramp up the glow of your lamplight – and the pretty frames will add beautiful borders to the fixture.
Also, this is a great way to hide an ugly alcove or corner that just doesn't fit into the architectural beauty of the family room or living room. Want to add more functionality to an ugly spot? Hide storage behind the mirror. There! Your mirror is now doing double duty.
10. Elongate a small living room with a long wall mirror
Quite frankly, narrow living rooms can be an opportunity to think creatively. With mirrors, you'll be surprised at how much you can achieve with just one element.
Instead of cluttering your walls with art, pictures and frames, simply choose a mirror that extends as much or beyond the sofa propped against it. This will not only add a wonderful decor element to the room but also give the illusion of an extended space.
Keep in mind though, that when dealing with a large or long mirror, be mindful of what it will reflect. Having a lovely chandelier in the room will add another layer of shimmer to the room, thanks to the mirror reflecting the same. Keep the room organized and trim.
Where should a mirror be placed in a living room?
Mirrors aren't only meant for checking your appearance. It can be used for capturing light and projecting it into those darker corners, it can create textural and spatial illusions, and even double as a decorative piece, filling an empty wall or corner.
Place it right opposite a window to expand the city views and give the appearance of an extra window. A large and long mirror can elongate the appearance of a narrow living room.
If you're looking for clever storage ideas for a small living room, you can hide a wall niche behind a mirror and make the space look neat. A gilded mirror is all it takes to make a space look royal. And finally, use the mirror in the corner of the room to give a sneak peek into the next room of the house.
What do you put on either side of a living room mirror?
Use the mirror to brighten the room; place two wall sconces on either side and amplify the brightness of the living room. You can also reflect some color into the room by using colorful LED lamps, their light dispensed into the room with the mirror.
Similarly, placing a mirror in between two windows will have the same effect; added brightness and a feeling of openness.
If you want to add more decorative touches to your space, consider hanging family photos around the mirror, adding an artwork, or even another cluster of mirrors. You can place the mirror in between a bookshelf too so there are books on either side of the piece.
Aditi Sharma Maheshwari is an architecture and design journalist with over 10 years of experience. She's worked at some of the leading media houses in India such as Elle Decor, Houzz and Architectural Digest (Condé Nast). Till recently, she was a freelance writer for publications such as Architectural Digest US, House Beautiful, Stir World, Beautiful Homes India among others. In her spare time, she volunteers at animal shelters and other rescue organizations.