The Perfect Mirror

HGTV Magazine features Design Star judge Vern Yip, who shares 10 tips for finding and hanging the right mirror for your home.

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Vern Knows Mirrors

HGTV's Vern Yip says, \"My home is filled with mirrors of all shapes and sizes. They're one of my favorite accessories because they can make a room look bigger and brighter. Put one opposite a window and it bounces the light around. Or lean one against a wall in a dining area and it will reflect the fixture above the table, doubling the amount of light. That's what I did with a 10-foot-long, black-framed mirror in my breakfast room.\" Vern's first tip: Hang the mirror 60 inches from the floor to the center of the mirror so people can see themselves. That's a good rule of thumb for hanging artwork, too.

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High-Traffic Door

Place a mirror near the door you use most, whether that's in the entryway or beside your \"real front door,\" like the one to the garage. It makes it easier to get one last look at yourself before you walk out. Chain 21\"-diameter metal mirror, $60, target.com

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Frame-Color Rule

A wood-framed mirror doesn't have to match the other wood pieces in the room, but keep it in the general color family. Say your other furniture is oak or pine: Any warm, golden wood frame is fine, but a dark cherry frame would be better paired with reddish mahogany pieces. Same goes for metal frames: stick with the main metal in the room. Glucksteinhome suede 43\" x 32\" wood mirror, $239, broyhillfurniture.com for stores

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Say \"No\" to Frameless

For a mirror that can go anywhere, try one that's bordered by a mirrored frame. But never skip the frame entirely. Mounting a frameless mirror to a wall makes a room look dated and unfinished. Levanger 37 3/8\" x 22 7/8\" Brass and fiberboard mirror, $85, IKEA stores

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Classic Subtleties

Keep the features on the glass itself subtle, especially if the frame is intricate. I love beveled glass — it's clean and never looks out of place — but etched and faux-antiqued glass can be detail overload. Light quatrefoil 39\"-diameter wood mirror, $539, ethanallen.com

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The Right Size

The width of the mirror should be smaller than the piece of furniture below it. If the mirror is roughly two thirds the size of the piece, it'll work just about every time. So if you have a nine-foot console or sofa, the mirror above it should be about six feet across. You can go a little wider, but anything narrower than that will feel lost. Marrakesh dreams 24\"-diameter wood mirror, $139, homedecorators.com

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Small-Mirror Trick

If you have a small mirror that looks lonely by itself, try this trick: Flank it on either side with framed art or wall sconces. Lay out the composition on the floor before you hang it, and treat the grouping like one unit, again making sure the overall length is two thirds the length of the furniture beneath it. Radiant 36\"-diameter iron and wood mirror, $199, pier1.com

Style Balance

Choose a mirror style that will balance out what's around it. For example, if you have an ornate buffet, a clean-lined mirror can be a stunner. Alternately, one with a carved frame is great above a contemporary console. Horn 25\"-diameter polished horn mirror, $395, jaysonhome.com

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Above the Sofa

If you can't figure out what to put above your sofa, hang a full-length mirror horizontally on the wall. Most will fit beautifully over a seven-foot couch, and some even come with the hardware you'll need to hang the mirror sideways. Acanthus leaf 46\" x 33 3/4,\" Resin mirror, $499, wisteria.com

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Consider Custom

Most frame shops can make them quickly, and it may not cost more than a ready-made one. It's a great option if you're searching for an unusual size, like what I needed for my back entryway. I paid the same amount I would have for a ready-made mirror that wasn't the right size. Queen Anne 38\" x 26\" lacquered wood mirror in orange, $595, jonathanadler.com

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