Types of Mirrors

Mirrors help you look your best and they're great decorations in your home. They harness the natural light that comes in through your windows, pick up the illumination from your light fixtures, and reflect it throughout your home.

At west elm, our mirror collection combines form and function to great effect. For a minimalist, a sleek square mirror with dark borders - or without a frame at all - works wonders. If your taste is more traditional, choose a circle or rectangle mirror with ornate gilt woodwork or metallic highlights. If you love the distressed look, painted wood mirrors give off an industrial vibe. Or for a taste of the exotic, go for bohemian glass with mosaic tiles that resembles wall decor seen in far-eastern palaces.

Different styles of mirrors

Mirrors are amazingly versatile, but with so many styles available, how do you know which will work where? This will help:

  • Floor mirrors: Tall and dramatic, floor mirrors add brightness and panache to your living spaces. Ranging from Art Deco luxe faceted mirrors to simple rectangles with rustic wooden frames, they give the illusion of space, reflecting everything around them. Floor mirrors are designed to rest on the floor, either flush against the wall or leaning at a jaunty angle.
  • Wall mirrors: Think of wall mirrors as works of art. They come in every style, size, and shape, including square, circular, ovoid, rectangular and asymmetrical. Find them with no frames, simple wood frames, modern metallic frames, or elaborate ebony tile borders. Hang them anywhere: over the bathroom vanity, at the end of a corridor, over a console table in the entry hall, or over your bed.
  • Decorative or Accent mirrors: Decorative mirrors are a great choice for spaces that tend to be dark. Instead of hanging a traditional painting, a bright decorative or accent mirror is just the ticket. We have them large with jeweled embellishments, or small and sculptural, ideal for grouping together on a wall.

Things to consider when choosing mirrors

Mirrors are friends to small spaces. Put a floor mirror against a wall that's free of doors, windows, and other architectural details. Buy the widest mirror you can find. Go for a simple, frameless mirror or indulge yourself with an ornate, over-the-top gilt wood frame.

Don't be afraid to experiment with shapes. Mirrors come large and small, square, round, circular, oblong, rectangular, triangular, ovoid, and asymmetrical. Shock an otherwise demure décor with an asymmetrical brass-framed beauty. Tone down a loud, colorful room with a mirror that is simplicity itself.

Mirrors are colorful! Their glass reflects light and 'mirror' what they see. We've got them with copper surrounds, herringbone frames, and mosaic inlay to jazz up your space. For an art gallery effect, choose beaded mirrors from our local artists collection and bring life to a dark corner.

If you love the earth as well as great style, opt for handcrafted mirrors, designed by artisans in eco-friendly materials like recycled metal and sustainably grown walnut hardwood. You can smile knowing you own a one-of-a-kind object, made by real craftsmen in a small family business.

Do you just adore mirrored glass? Consider adding a mirrored dresser to your collection. Store your clothes in a glamorous piece of sleek, modern furniture. The mirrored drawer fronts, bronze legs, and walnut frames create a look that's edgy and sophisticated.

Finally, some tips on places to hang mirrors: in a living room with a southern exposure, place the mirror opposite the window for great afternoon light. In the bedroom, hang it opposite an adjacent window for morning rays. Placing a mirror in your dining room will reflect the glow from overhead chandeliers and diffuse the light around the table. A decorative mirror in the foyer makes the space brighter and larger, plus you can check yourself out before you leave!

How to hang a mirror

  1. Find a friend to help you.

  2. Locate the hanging hardware that came with your mirror.

  3. Gather these tools: stud finder, tape measure, spirit level, pencil with eraser (white chalk if your walls are dark), and a Phillips-Head screwdriver.

  4. Lift the mirror up to where you want it hung. Have your helper hold one side and make a light, short mark across the top of the mirror onto the wall. This will serve as your height guide to ease installation.

  5. Flip the mirror around so the hanging brackets on the back are visible. Hold the mirror against the wall again, making sure to line the top up with the mark you made earlier. Use your pencil to make a small mark on each side of the mirror that's even with the hanging brackets. Use your spirit level or tape measure to ensure marks are even.

  6. Use masking tape across the mirror back to measure the distance between the two brackets. Make a mark on the tape and then place it on the wall, making your insertion marks there.

  7. Use your stud finder to see if those marks are over a stud or just drywall. Check each insertion mark, as one could be over a stud while the other isn't. Use your screwdriver or drill to drive in the hardware. Insertion marks over studs take stud screws, and the other, drywall or toggles. Screw the anchor or toggle all the way in so its top edge is flush with the wall. Insert the provided screws into the anchor, leaving some space for the decorative mirror's hanging hardware to rest on the screw.

  8. Hang the mirror. Hold the rings or brackets on the mirror over your screws and gently lower the mirror in place. Hold until it's hanging securely. Do a final level check.

At west elm, we want to help you choose mirrors that reflect your design style. Mirrors can be exciting and calming, ornate and simple, and create any mood that your decorative heart desires. They brighten and widen even the smallest and darkest of spaces. Browse our collection today, and let the mirror magic begin.

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