Time For Reflection: How to Choose a Mirror

Mirrors are decorative and practical staples for every interior. They can make spaces feel larger, reflect light, duplicate views, enrich atmosphere, and add interest – all while maintaining their intrinsic functionality. So, it should come as no surprise that we’ve included ten different modern mirrors in our own collection! We invite you to visit our London showroom to discover everything from organic shaped mirrors to clean-cut design classics.

Like art, mirrors are a very personal choice that reflect the style and character of the owner. Use our handy guide to find a mirror that’s 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

There are no hard and fast rules in interiors, but it’s important to consider scale and balance. Think about the wall space where you’ll be placing your mirror and the amount of negative space that will be left around it, especially if you’re 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 go big. 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’re 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 remains true when choosing a mirror to hang above a fireplace or sit on a mantelpiece. The mirror should 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 runs the risk of getting lost within the larger environment. Instead, 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 in the room.

Which shape of mirror should I choose?

Modern Furniture by Tom Faulkner

Charcoal finish with standard mirror

As mentioned in our advice on which shapes of coffee tables and dining tables to choose, square and rectangular shapes tend to be more formal and create a feeling of grandeur 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 draw attention to the height. A square mirror, on the other hand, 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’s 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. They’re especially impactful when centred above a console table, for example, or when a pair of round mirrors flank a large doorway or an expansive 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 well in modern and minimalist settings. The same can be said for the crisp lines of a contemporary metal framed mirror. The combination of decisively modern and traditional design creates a dynamic energy and amplifies 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, as well as colours such as cool grey, bridge red, and charcoal.

Fossil Antiqued Mirror | Modern Furniture by Tom Faulkner

Mirror finishes

A standard mirror finish is a must for mirrors that will be used for more than decorative purposes and are to reflect views or bring light into darker spaces.

An antiqued mirror finish 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 achieves an incredibly warm, soft effect with beautiful variations. We’re lucky 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 restrict visibility.

Please get in touch 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. And 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!