Tips on Hanging a Mirror Over Furniture
Mirrors reflect light and make a room feel larger, and when hung above furniture they act as stunning yet simple wall decor. Focus on size, shape and the style of the frame when selecting a mirror for your space. While brightly colored artwork doesn’t fit everyone’s taste, a decorative framed mirror adds depth and color without overpowering existing design elements. Choose a frame style and color that coordinate with the furniture below; a simple wood-framed mirror in turquoise brightens an espresso stained shaker-style dresser, while an ornate metal frame in tarnished gold coordinates beautifully with a Victorian-style sofa.
The Importance of Width
Balance is essential in interior design, and an oversized mirror hung above a narrow lingerie chest throws the entire room off. The mirror should be two-thirds or three-quarters the width of the furniture below it to create visual balance; however, feel free to go wider, up to the width of the furniture, if it works in your space. Use this same method when grouping a mirror with other artwork or wall hangings, taking the entire width of the arrangement, including spacing between pieces, into account. For example, if the total width of one mirror and two wall sconces is 55 inches, make sure the couch is at least a few inches wider than this. If you have a very wide mirror yet still want to hang it in a specific location, you can achieve balance with strategic furniture placement. If you want to hang a very large mirror above your sofa, two end tables that reach to armrest level placed on either side increases its visual width, allowing you to hang a slightly wider mirror above. This same method works in a bedroom with dressers -- many chests of drawers and lingerie chests are relatively narrow. Line these up next to each other and treat the group of furniture as one piece when deciding on a mirror width.
Ideal Hanging Height
When you have space above a piece of furniture, the height of the furniture determines how high you install the mirror. Hang the mirror so the bottom is 4 to 6 inches above the upper edge of tall furniture; for example, maintain 6 inches between the bottom of the frame and the top of a six-drawer chest. This creates a visual break and doesn't allow the mirror to tower over the item below. For furniture less than 30 inches high, hang the mirror as close to eye level as possible, which ranges from 57 to 65 inches from the center of the mirror to the floor. Go slightly lower than this when hanging a mirror over a buffet console in a dining room. Because people are mostly sitting in this type of space, natural eye level is lower.
Factor in the Opposite Wall
Mirrors act as wall art when hung above furniture, but the reflection itself becomes a part of the decor. For this reason, take care when choosing a location for your mirror -- it will reflect anything opposite, including a pile of clothes left in a bedroom, cable clutter surrounding a television and a laundry room off a dining area. Ideally, position the mirror so it reflects another decorative element in the space, whether it’s a window, artwork or wallpaper. When this isn’t possible, clean up the area opposite the mirror to make it worthy of reflection. Tuck television cables out of the way, relocate the laundry basket or move a stash of junk mail off of the kitchen counter.
Secure installation is essential when hanging any mirror, and this is especially true when you put a mirror over seating or a bed. Always install the mirror directly via wall studs; when this isn’t possible, use heavy-load wall anchors instead. Heavy gauge mirror wire and a closed hook work for mirrors of less than 25 pounds. Use a French cleat bracket as hardware for anything heavier, ensuring that the mirror stays in place in any situation.
by Amanda Bell