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How Mirrors Spread Light and Add Space

A full-mirrored wall will optically expand and add glamour to a room.

Mirrors can completely transform the look of a room, and increase the feeling of space, like this one cleverly disguised as a window. Photo by SHNS. and the placement of the mirrored shutters was wrong. (SHNS photo by Thomas Busler / The Commercial Appeal)

Ever think of mirrors as being good for your health? Well, they can be. Put a full-length mirror where you can see yourself as you step out of the shower or tub and see if that doesn't encourage a diet and exercise program.

In addition to being a health benefit, a full-mirrored wall will optically expand and add glamour to a room. There are some caveats, though. A mirror is there to reflect what is in front of it, so be careful what you reflect. A mirror on a dining-room wall might be wonderful, but not so if it reflects dirty dishes in the adjacent kitchen. A mirror in a hallway might open it up a bit, but not a nice view if placed across from a bathroom door.

Mirrors spread light in a room and add sparkle to dark corners. Cut up strips of mirror placed adjacent to each other give a festive effect to the room as objects dance off the mirrors in interesting ways akin to a kaleidoscope.

A collection of small mirrors can add great interest to a wall. They can be of several shapes and sizes and, if framed, the frames can carry a theme such as sun, moon and stars. All silver frames of various shapes or all wood frames of different sizes could be another unifying theme for framed mirrors on a wall.

A mirror on a mirror in a bathroom adds a feeling of creativity to the standard mirror-over-the-sink idea.

Some think that bronze-tinted mirrors have "magical qualities." The truth is, the bronze tint makes the reflection more appealing. People look younger and healthier in a bronze mirror.

(Rosemary Sadez Friedmann, an interior designer in Naples, Fla., is author of Mystery of Color.)

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