Q: I have a small apartment in a big city high-rise. It’s a long space with windows only at the far ends. The front windows face south, which is nice, but past the front room and kitchen, the rest of the place is kind of dark. I’ve been wanting to have mirrors to help bounce the light around, but I can’t put any holes in the walls. How can I utilize more mirrors if I can’t hang them?
A: It’s a great idea to be thinking mirrors! Mirrors really do reflect whatever light is around, as well as make your rooms feel larger. Even in dark rooms, mirrors create sparkle and flash to brighten decor and add interest. You can accomplish a similar effect with bright and shiny accessories, including glass, crystal, polished metal or chrome finishes on lamps, vases, bowls, trays, etc. Add mirrors to your own wood furniture or doors with actual mirror panels or even self-adhesive vinyl film. Use framed mirrors for trays on nightstands and coffee tables to reflect light from candles or lamps. For a vintage look, seek out antiqued finishes or mercury-glass styles.
Even though you can’t drill holes for hardware, you have plenty other options for adding mirrors to your walls. If your home is older, you might have picture rails close to the ceiling. This is a wooden trim piece with about a half-inch gap between the trim and the ceiling itself, just enough room to get a hook designed for hanging art. With the proper considerations and hardware, you can probably hang up to poster-sized mirrors safely. Or create a collage of mirrors small enough to hang with non-damaging adhesive hooks. Vary the frames for even more interest, or keep them similar for a simpler look. Or go for lighter materials as polished metal or acrylic panels with a mirror finish.
For even more drama, large floor mirrors look like windows or doors where you don’t have one. These mirrors stand on the floor, and lean against a wall or corner. Because they reflect walls, floor and ceiling, it looks like there is another entire room beyond. Or place a mirror opposite a window with an outside view to duplicate that open feeling and sunshine. For safety, choose tempered glass for such large panels, and anchor your floor mirrors somehow or choose stable, freestanding frames. Even so, investigate wall anchors that will at least slow down a tipping mirror and use nonslip pads under the frame when you have floors such as wood, stone, tile, linoleum or vinyl.
For hanging any mirror or art, always use the proper hardware and mounting techniques. When you’re not sure what to do, ask a professional installer or contractor for details that will work in your house.