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An entryway mirror can enhance your space: When you should (and absolutely shouldn’t) have one

Decide if an entryway mirror is right for you with these tips

Woman welcoming friends at the front door
courtneyk/Getty Images

An entryway gives guests their first impression of a home, so you don’t want it to feel dark and cramped. The easiest solution? Add an entryway mirror. Mirrors are among the best tools in a homeowner’s design arsenal since they reflect light and automatically make a space feel more open. Plus, from vintage-looking pieces to modern displays, you will surely find an entryway mirror that suits your home’s aesthetic.

Yet, sometimes, an entryway mirror isn’t the best idea. Find out when you should hang one and when you shouldn’t.

Why you should have an entryway mirror

There are plenty of great reasons to get a mirror for your entryway that go beyond just filling that blank space on your wall. Here are some of our favorite things mirrors can do.

Reflect the light

Mirrors are an excellent way to bring light into your home. If your entryway is directly across from a window or other natural light source, a mirror can enhance that light and make your entrance feel more expansive. Even without the light source, mirrors create the illusion of space.

However, without light to reflect in the mirror, you may lose some of the effects. If you have pretty lights nearby, this can work in a pinch. Consider your light source and consider how it will make your space feel. Reflecting an efficient fluorescent light might have the opposite effect of what you intend.

Reflect on your favorite things

Mirrors will add depth to your entryway, but contemplate what you’re reflecting back to your guests. If the mirror highlights architectural details that you love, it’s a good design choice. If your mirror reflects a feature you don’t like, you will dislike it twice as much.

Make a statement

A single big mirror can draw the eye up and provide the illusion of more space. Your entryway mirror should be front and center, with a few smaller decorations next to it that will busy up the area. However, you want to ensure that your mirror isn’t hanging too high.

Get a mirror that’s big enough to stretch up the wall with the bottom of the frame around 48 inches from the floor. Also, match the width of the mirror to the table you have in your entryway or to around three-fourths of the wall space if you don’t have furniture.

If you can’t find a suitable mirror to match those dimensions, it’s best to wait or find an alternative. And if you aren’t sure, try having someone hold the mirror in a few different positions to see how you feel when you walk into your entryway.

Create a functional space

A mirror in the entryway gives you one last look before you’re out the door. Want to check how your outfit looks or to make sure you styled your hair exactly as you’d like it? An entryway mirror is perfect for that.

A mirror can also add some security to your home — after all, there’s a reason stores use them for that purpose. While it’s not likely an intruder will enter your home, having more reflective surfaces gives you a better view of your whole home.

Home entryway with rug, mirror, and coat rack
New Africa/Shutterstock

Things to avoid (potentially) when putting a mirror in your entryway

There are a few reasons you may want to avoid hanging a mirror in your entryway.

Improper feng shui

Should you hang a mirror right at your front door? If you follow the principles of feng shui, you may want to reconsider the entryway mirror. Hanging a mirror opposite the front door can rob you of money and opportunity, causing you to work harder for what you have, according to feng shui practices. However, you should consult a feng shui expert for your particular space and its energy needs. If you aren’t a follower of feng shui but want to be safe rather than sorry, you might try it for a set period of time to see how the energy feels.

Here are a few simple ways to adhere to the principles of feng shui:

  • Relocate the mirror to another area of your house.
  • Move the mirror so it isn’t in line with the door or reflecting the view of the door.
  • If the mirror can’t come down, use fabric and other design elements to cover it.
  • If the mirror doesn’t work anywhere else in your home, consider donating or selling the mirror.

Unwelcome reflections

Once again, if your mirror is only reflecting design features that you don’t like, hanging a mirror isn’t going to help you feel any better about the space. Wait until you’ve made the changes you want in your home’s decor, or choose another statement piece to lift the design of the entry.

No wall stability

Mirrors are heavy, and the last thing you need is for your mirror to come crashing down on your guests at the front door. If your entryway doesn’t have the studs to stabilize a heavy mirror, you might reconsider your choice of decor. One way to stabilize a mirror is to rest the bottom of it on a table, helping hold the bulk of the weight. Invest in sinkers that expand throughout the drywall for better grip, or skip the heavy frame and use L-hooks to hold the mirror.

Entryway with round mirror
New Africa / Shutterstock

What is the best mirror shape for an entryway?

While placement is an important part of setting up your entryway mirror, the size and shape can also be a game changer for your space. Most homeowners and designers will opt for a simple curved or rounded entryway mirror to offset the boxy and rectangular look of the entryway. These mirrors are often circular or placed vertically to raise the look of the space and create an open effect. Though, more traditional styles may favor a horizontal mirror, particularly if the entryway is long and slender. The shape of your mirror will greatly depend on the space available to you.

A well-placed mirror can double your natural light and help your entryway feel bigger than it actually is. With the right placement and use of reflection, your entryway mirror can help your guests walk into an encouraging space and excite you each time you walk through your door. Play with dimensions and placement until it’s just right.

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Deb Goncalves
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Deb's work has appeared on Moms, Babygaga, and WorldAtlas. When she's not working (that's hard to say about a Capricorn), she…
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