Time For Reflection: How to Choose a Mirror

Mirrors are a decorative and practical staple for every interior; they can make spaces feel larger, reflect light, duplicate views, amplify atmosphere and add interest whilst still fulfilling their function. It should therefore come as no surprise that there are ten different modern mirrors in our own collection!
Like art, mirrors are also a very personal choice that reflect the style and personality of the owner. Use our handy guide to find a mirror that is right for your space:
Madison Mirror | Modern Furniture by Tom Faulkner

How big should a mirror be?

Oversized modern mirror
Oversized Lily mirror in Florentine Gold specialist finish

Whilst there are no hard and fast rules in interiors, scale and balance is essential. Consider the wall space where you are going to place your mirror and the amount of negative space that will be left around it, especially if you are going to hang art or install lights on the same wall.

If you want your mirror to be the main feature, then don’t be afraid to be generous with the size – oversized mirrors can make a real statement in bathrooms and sitting rooms. However, ideally leave some space all around the mirror to draw the eye and create impact.

If you are hanging a mirror above a piece of furniture – even a designer mirror above a bathroom vanity unit – then the width of your mirror can be anywhere between two thirds and the exact width of the piece of furniture. A mirror should never be wider than the piece of furniture that it hangs above or sits on.

This is consistent when choosing a mirror to hang above a fireplace or sit on a mantelpiece; the mirror needs to be wider than the aperture of the fireplace but never wider than the mantelpiece. Equally the maximum height of a mirror in this location should be at least 5cm below the cornice or picture rail.

If you want a mirror to be hung alongside art or to accentuate the décor, then opt for a smaller size to avoid overpowering the artworks and interior decoration.

A small mirror hung on its own could get lost; group several smaller mirrors together – such as three small round gold mirrors – to create a collection of jewel-like surfaces that will catch the light, share glimpses of reflections and become a focal point.

Which shape of mirror should I choose?

Modern Furniture by Tom Faulkner
Charcoal finish with standard mirror

Exactly like our advice on which shapes of coffee tables and dining tables to choose, square and rectangular mirrors tend to be more formal and create a feeling of grandness by drawing the eye to the lines of the space. A rectangular mirror such as our Lexington mirror hung horizontally above a sofa or sideboard for example would accentuate the width of that space. Hung vertically above a console table, it would accentuate the height. A square mirror creates a sense of neatness.
Florentine Gold specialist finish with Calacatta Oro marble

Modern round or oval mirrors are incredibly versatile and will also help soften and balance out an interior that is full of angular lines. Large round mirrors, such as our Madison round mirror, are particularly striking when used to emphasise the symmetry of a space – for example when centred above a console table or when a pair of round mirrors flank a large doorway or a large piece of artwork above a fireplace. Oval mirrors and slightly teardrop shaped mirrors, like our Jewel mirror, are elegant and feminine, and the curvaceous shape draws the eye upwards.

Other non-traditional shapes of mirror are more playful, whimsical and informal. A good example is our Lily mirror which is inspired by the organic shape of lily pads. The asymmetrical, yet elegant form works well on its own or in a group and feels inherently fun.

What style of mirror and finish work well together?

Phoenix Rectangular Mirror | Contemporary Furniture by Tom Faulkner

The frame

Your choice of frame will help define the mirror and its role in your space; an ornate gilded frame draws the eye and a minimalist frame gives the illusion of a floating reflection.

Nevertheless, don’t feel restricted by the period or style of your space or mirror. Ornate decorative frames look fantastic in a traditional interior, but they look equally as good in modern and minimalist settings, and the same can be said for the crisp lines of a contemporary metal framed mirror. The combination of incredibly modern and traditional design has an exciting energy and draws the eye to the quality of both styles.

A minimal or virtually frameless mirror such as the Lexington has a subtle elegance and the less decoration a mirror has, the more it will blend in. Our contemporary mirrors come in a variety of standard and specialist finishes including popular metallics such as gold, silver, brass and copper and colours such as cool grey, bridge red and charcoal.
Fossil Antiqued Mirror | Modern Furniture by Tom Faulkner

Mirror finishes

Standard mirror is a must for mirrors that will be used for more than decorative purposes and are to reflect a view or bring light into a dark place.

Antiqued mirror is perfect for mirrors that are for decorative purposes only. Antiqued glass adds character, depth and warmth to a mirror and our Fossil antiqued mirror is particularly bold. Old Silver is our most popular antiqued mirror finish due to the speckled effect created by the antiquing process.

Verre eglomise is a type of antiqued glass achieved through an ancient method of applying a design and gilding on to the reverse of the glass. The reflective surface achieved effect is incredibly warm and soft with beautiful variations. We are lucky enough to work with a verre eglomise specialist who can create four different tones: mint green, champagne, white gold and silver leaf. Mirrors with verre eglomise glass are for decorative purposes only as the variations of the reflective surface restricts visibility.

Modern Furniture by Tom Faulkner
Get in contact with us if you need help choosing the right mirror for your space. Most of our contemporary mirrors are fully customisable so we can vary the sizes and finishes to ensure they work in any interior. Don’t forget to have a look at our Instagram feed to see how many designers and clients have chosen our mirrors for their interior schemes.