The art of illusion – part 3 – use of mirrors

Another of the easiest ways to use illusion is with the use of mirrors. This has to be one of the oldest 'tricks in the book' and yet remains as popular today as ever before. The placing of a mirror in a lounge or main living area is traditionally over the fire place. This can be seen in historical houses when large mirrors play a predominant part of the design style. The logical reasoning behind having a mirror placed above a mantle piece is two fold.

Firstly most fireplaces are opposite windows and therefore the natural light entering the room is then 'captured' by the mirror and bounced back into the room. In days before electricity this use of mirrors maximised as much light as possible.

The second reason mirrors are placed over fireplaces is due to the fact that most fireplaces are the main focal point in a room, as such if you place a large mirror above the mantle piece it provides the illusion of a larger room, which in essence is why they are sited at the place which is automatically looked at when someone enters the room. In order for mirrors to serve their purpose effectively you should also think about the symmetry involved.

Basically remember that whatever your room looks like it will be doubled if you have a large mirror! Therefore if you have an untidy and cluttered home it will appear doubled, which can be very depressing! If you have a small room it would appear larger by using a mirror sited on the opposite wall to your window, as discussed.

As such you will need to dress your windows appropriately to enable not only the maximum amount of natural light into the room, but also the reflection seen in the mirror to be stunning! If you have a bay window use the latest bay window curtain pole designs which enable you to open the curtains back to each outer edge of the bay. In the past this wasn't possible due to the fixings preventing the curtain rings or gliders to go round bends, however there are bay window poles which use splicing pieces making a continuous 'run' for your curtains.

Use sheer voile curtains if you want to achieve a soft and airy look to the room, if you prefer a little more privacy and substance to your curtains opt for lined voile curtains. White and pastel colours are perfect for allowing the light to reach the mirror which will also make the whole room appear much larger than it really is. Image: Delight By Design

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