When you should (and shouldn’t) have an entryway mirror

One of the best design tricks around is using mirrors to reflect light and make a space feel more expansive. However, just because a mirror works in most cases doesn’t mean it works in all. The entryway is a common design obstacle where a mirror can make or break a space.

If you’re deciding whether to install an entryway mirror or not, here are a few essential things to keep in mind. That mirror can transform your entryway decor, but think carefully before you make a move.

Woman welcoming friends at front door
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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 multiply that light and make your entryway feel more expansive.

Without light to reflect in the mirror, you may lose some of the effects. If you have pretty lights nearby that can also help reflect light, this can work in a pinch. Consider your light sources and think about how that light will make your space feel. Reflecting an efficiency fluorescent light might have the opposite effect of what you intend.

Reflect your favorite things

Mirrors will add depth to your entryway, but consider what you’re reflecting back to your guests. If the mirror highlights architectural details that your guests may otherwise miss, it’s a good design choice. If your mirror is reflecting a feature that you don’t like, you’re going to dislike that mirror doubly.

Mirrors are wonderful for doubling up on the areas of your home that you love. If your entry is filled with beautiful natural light and gorgeous molding features, a mirror will offer you double those things.

If your entry isn’t located in an ideal spot, a different type of statement artwork could be to help hide those things you don’t like. Think of your mirror as giving you double of what you love.

Go big and go simple

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 your 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, but still have 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 to 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.

Things to avoid (potentially)

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

Improper feng shui

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. However, you should consult a feng shui expert for your particular space and its energy needs.

If this describes your belief system, you might consider hanging a mirror on the same side of the wall as your door instead of your entryway. If you aren’t a follower of feng shui but want to be better safe than sorry, you might try it for a set period of time to see how the energy feels.

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.

Customizing your space with a mirror

Home entryway with desk, mirror, and coat rack
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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 could help your guests walk into an encouraging space and make you excited each time you walk through your door. Play with dimensions and placement until it’s just right.

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